After a gut wrenching 4-3 shootout loss the night before, Topeka dug deep and bounced back with a spirited effort to secure a 5-3 win over Springfield on Saturday at the Nelson Center.
The ‘Runners opted to go with Eric Rohrkemper in net to start the game, having picked up a win a week prior in his only start on the year. He was victimized by two Springfield goals in the first 9:03 of the game, the first a rebound goal by Justin Hochsprung and then a powerplay goal from the left point by T.J. Poganski. After the second goal, Cooper Frederick came on in relief and stopped the bleeding as the ‘Runners mounted a comeback. The Jr. Blues lead was cut in half when Edgars Lipsbergs scored a powerplay goal off the glove of C.J. Groh from the right point, assisted by Ryan White and Bob Marx at 16:41. The 2-1 Springfield lead remained intact at the end of one period.
The second period was about as dominant a period as the ‘Runners have put together this season. Outshooting the Jr. Blues 16-3, Topeka netted two power play goals to take a 3-2 lead. Bryce Johnson scored the first one, assisted by Nate Milam on a shot that was so wide open Johnson almost fanned on it in disbelief. That goal came at 7:53, and then at 11:04, a shot from Kevin Ryan was tipped in by Martin Sundstedt for a 3-2 RoadRunner lead, the goal also coming with a man advantage.
In the third, Ryan White blistered a shot low on the blocker side past C.J. Groh at 1:38 giving Topeka a 4-2 lead. It was an insurance goal that came in handy when Nick Curry buried a nice shot on a broken play at 7:18 of the third to cut the RoadRunners lead to 4-3. Topeka had to kill off a crucial Springfield power play later in the period, and secured the win on another Bryce Johnson goal into an abandoned goal at 19:34, keeping Topeka in a first place tie with St. Louis.
Topeka (8-2-2) heads home for a 3 game homestand with the Albert Lea Thunder (2-9-0) on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Thursday is Breast Cancer Awareness Night, and a Family Fun Night as well featuring $1.00 hot dogs, free parking, and 2 for 1 tickets in the Club Level. For more details, please visit topekaroadrunners.com.