The Topeka RoadRunners weren’t able to mount a comeback Wednesday night in Blaine, Minn.
While the game stayed tight until late in the third period, Topeka (1-2-0) could not take advantage of its opportunities, falling 5-2 to the Johnstown Tomahawks in game one of the NAHL Showcase.
Johnstown led 2-1 entering the third, and while Topeka forward Joey Moore made it close at 3-2 early in the frame, the Runners could not find the equalizing goals late.
Topeka pulled goaltender Sam Metcalf, hoping to find a couple of late tallies, but forward Joe Kile, who had two goals on the night, finished off the Runners with an empty net goal at 19:10 of the third period.
Kile got scoring started at 8:39 of the first period, beating Metcalf with a glove side wrist shot from the right faceoff circle.
Topeka evened it up at 14:14 as forward Dylan Rauh snuck in and slipped a shot past goaltender Vinnie Purpura, making it 1-1.
The score remained deadlocked until 17:53 of the second period, when Karim DelPonte broke the tie with a shot finding its way past Metcalf from the blue line.
DelPonte added to the lead with his second goal of the night just 34 seconds into the third period.
The bright spot in the third period was a nice shorthanded goal from Moore at the 4:29 mark. After a giveaway by the Tomahawks’ defense, Moore skated in alone and beat Purpura to make it 3-2.
Forward Joey Baez tacked on some insurance for Johnstown, scoring at 7:26 to make it 4-2 Tomahawks.
Topeka will look to rebound Thursday when they face the New Jersey Titans at 2:30 central time.