Down 3-0 midway through the game, the Topeka RoadRunners rallied to tie the game at 3-3 before the Wildcats recovered to claim a 4-3 win in regulation in Wichita Falls on Friday night.
The RoadRunners and Wildcats treated fans to a brisk opening period, with a few nice hits and a couple of great scoring chances. Topeka’s best chance came with Marshall Bowery lifting a backhander over the crossbar and out of play after Jeff Makowski picked off a Wildcat pass to send Bowery in alone. The lone goal of the period came at 18:42 when Nick Rosa tapped home the rebound of a Jonathan Lazarus shot and Wichita Falls led 1-0 after 20 minutes.
In the middle stanza the ‘Cats started to pull away as Adam Goodsir roofed a power play goal high blocker side on the power play at 7:31, a third shot opportunity as the ‘Runners couldn’t clear the bouncing puck. Erich Jaeger added another rebound at 9:34 as the Wildcats held in an attempted zone clearing pass. Trailing 3-0, the RoadRunners began to come back, getting on the board at 13:28 when Sami Tavernier blasted a slapshot over the blocker just :05 seconds into a power play, assisted by Tyler Hayes and Dominic Lutz. At 15:06, Marshall Bowery snapped home a wrister on the low blocker side to close the gap to 3-2. Topeka had a 5-on-3 power play late in the period but a RoadRunner penalty helped negate part of it, and it was still 3-2 at the end of the second period.
In the third period, Topeka completed the comeback with a shorthanded goal as Luka Maver made a slippery move to elude a Wildcat defender, sliding a low hard shot past Justin Kapelmaster to tie the game at 3-3. The Wildcats were able to recover, with Austin Albrecht ripping a power play goal past Juho Niku that Niku never saw, and Topeka’s last minute push with the extra attacker was fended off as the Wildcats won their thirteenth straight home game, 4-3.
Topeka (32-22-1) and Wichita Falls (41-10-4) meet for the final time this season Saturday night at 7:05 in the Kay Yeager Coliseum. The game will be broadcast on FASTHockey.com, with the voice of the RoadRunners, Arch Ecker providing play-by-play.