In what was set up to be an epic battle, Monday\’s Game 5 in Topeka was a bigger letdown than the sequel to SlapShot. In game marred by penalties, the St. Louis Bandits rode 14 power plays to a 5-0 win and a berth in the Robertson Cup Tournament beginning May 4.
The first period started out with both teams seemingly sharp and crisp. Five consecutive RoadRunner penalties kept the home team from getting any rhythm. The Bandits led 1-0 after 1, an even strength goal by Craig Kitto at 9:41. Topeka still managed to outshoot St. Louis 8-7.
The second period is when the wheels came off the cart. Five more St. Louis power plays yielded 3 power play goals. Brooks Bertsch at 6:17, Colton Hargrove at 15:06, and Ryan Stouffer at 17:19 all came with a man advantage, and were all of the same description. A rebound, second chance opportunity with a pile of Bandits in the crease. C.J. Eick scored at even strength at 16:14, a laser using Topeka defenseman Jacob Poe as a screen that chased Eric Rohrkemper and brought Cooper Frederick on in relief.
The third period saw the Bandits go into lockdown mode, and their trap defense was more than sufficient to keep the RoadRunners at bay. St. Louis won 5-0 and Topeka\’s season ended with a bitter loss.