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‘RUNNERS COMPLETE SWEEP OF JR. BLUES

After a resounding 8-2 win on Friday night, Topeka looked to maintain their dominance on Saturday, and wearing throwback jerseys that captured the essence of the Santa Fe years, the ‘Runners crafted a 6-1 win to maintain their four point first place cushion over St. Louis.

Kit Sitterley scored his second goal as a RoadRunner as his shot powered through the right arm and body of goalie Andrew Martin, assisted by Tony Thomas and Bob Marx. The goal came at 3:52, and Topeka\’s lead doubled when Bryce Johnson pumped in a backhander at 15:11, advancing his consecutive game goal scoring streak to 5. Though Springfield held the ‘Runners to just 6 shots, Topeka led 2-0 after 1.

In the second period, Topeka rode three power plays to outshoot the Jr. Blues 11-5 in the second period, but the only goal was scored by Springfield when T.J. Moor deflected in a Jarod Rickord pass at 12:15 and the ‘Runners found themselves leading by a scant 2-1 margin after 2.

Challenged by head coach Scott Langer to refocus in the third period, the ‘Runners responded by launching 22 shots on goal in the final frame and potting 4 of them for a convincing 6-1 win. Nate Milam scored on a rebound of a Kevin Ryan shot at 3:31 for a 3-1 lead, and at 5:42, an impressive play by Kurtis Anton, stealing the puck on the backcheck, wheeling about and dishing a perfect feed to Cole Schneider who buried it for a 4-1 edge. As Topeka continued to press, Erik Higby scored a partial breakaway set up by Cole Schneider at 15:09, and for good measure, Tom Craig danced past the Springfield defender and walked across the goal mouth before roofing a shot at 19:17 for the final 6-1 margin. So dominant was Topeka in the final period, they outshot Springfield 22-2, and the two shots for Springfield came during a 5-on-3 power play. Eric Rohrkemper picked up the win, improving to 5-0-1 on the year.

Topeka is now 16-3-3 and still in first place. They travel to Springfield this Friday and Saturday, where the ‘Runners are 1-0-1 this season and 9-7-2 all time.