The RoadRunners 10-game road trip continues this weekend as Topeka drops in on the Amarillo Bulls. The Runners are off to a franchise best 13-2-1 start while the Bulls are looking to sustain the success they've had over the last two weeks. Who's got the edge in this matchup? Let's take a look at the numbers.
That's the scoring differential between the Runners and Bulls so far this season. Topeka leads the South Division in scoring with 61 points and is second in the league overall (64, Fairbanks Ice Dogs). The Runners have been led by the trio of Daniel Rzavsky, Mike Gornall, and Jasen Fernsler who have amassed 15 points each. Sly Sutter has tallied a team-leading seven goals and Fernsler leads in assists with 12.
Meanwhile, the Bulls have posted just 37 points enroute to a 5-6-2 start. Ruslan Rakhmatov leads Amarillo with 11 points (10 of which are assists) and is the only player with double digits in this regard. Cody Gylling and Brady Crabtree are tied for the team lead in goals with six. Gylling and Crabtree also account for three of the Bulls' four game winners this season.
Topeka has allowed 17 fewer netters than the Bulls (33 to 50) thus far. Much of this success can be accredited to the play in net by Matej Tomek (6-1-0, 1.10 GAA) and Drew Vogler (7-1-1, 2.53 GAA). Tomek garnered a lot of attention early in the year with a pair of shutouts in the NAHL Showcase but has been sidelined with a leg injury. Vogler has been equal to the task between the pipes as well with 235 saves and a .904 save percentage.
For the Bulls, Anton Martinsson and Jacob Weatherly have been splitting time in net. Weatherly has seen the bulk of the playing time with eight games played, a 2-3-2 record, and 210 saves. In five games, Martinsson has posted a 3-2-0 record and stopped 149 shots-on-goal.
The number of consecutive victories the Runners have over the Bulls going back to the decisive Game Five victory in Amarillo that earned Topeka the Division Championship. In fact, after starting last season with five-straight losses to the Bulls, the Runners ripped off nine wins before dropping two at home during the division finals.
As in first-place. That's where the Runners sit right now with a 10 point lead in the South Division and a 15 point lead over the Bulls. Of course, it is a little early in the season to be looking at the standings but it never hurts to be off to a fast start. Topeka will look to build on their 5-2-1 road record against their bitter rival who will try to successfully defend their home ice where they have laid claim to a 4-3-2 record.
The RoadRunners are playing the Amarillo Bulls this Friday and Saturday night and you can catch all of the action at our official away game viewing party at The Lazy Toad Restaurant (Friday night at 7pm) and Skinny's Sports Bar & Grill (Saturday night at 7pm)! You can also hear the game live on Sports Radio 1490 KTOP!