As the final stretch of the season begins, the Topeka RoadRunners are facing strong challenges from their division rivals. Wichita Falls came to town Friday night looking to throw a wrench into the Runners thinning South division lead but it was Topeka who overcame a third period deficit to come away with the win 4-3.
The first period belonged to Topeka who outshot the Wildcats 10-6 and charged ahead on the back of Yu Hikosaka who netted a pair goals (one unassisted, the other assisted by Luka Maver and Dominic Lutz). The momentum see-sawed back in Wichita Falls favor in the second as they broke the seal with two scores of their own. Evan Okeley gave the Wildcats their first lead of the game early in the not-so-final period. With precious seconds ticking away, Cam Strong capitalized on a fortuitous power play to know the score and send the game into sudden death OT.
In the final minute of overtime, with a shootout all but certain, the Runners mounted a furious assault on Cats goaltender Austin Shaw. With the puck bouncing around the crease, Dominic Lutz found the handle, split the pipes, and sent the home team to showers two points richer. In net, Drew Vogler was strong, overcoming a few bad bounces to stop 25 of 28 shots and claim his 14th win of season.
The Runners and Wildcats conclude their season series Saturday night at 7pm. It's Hockey & Heels Night at Landon Arena. Prior to the game, there will be a special Hockey & Heels event with make overs, massages, and a Hockey 101 seminar (4pm-6pm). Fans can also attend the Jose Peppers Pregame Party. The first 25 fans at Jose Peppers (5pm) will receive a chance to win a diamond courtesy of Diamonds By Design. The first 500 fans through the doors at Landon Arena (6pm) will also receive a chance to win a diamond as well. During the game, the RoadRunners will be offering season ticket renewals and purchases for the upcoming 2015-2016 season. For more information about tickets and Hockey & Heels, call 785-286-PUCK.