Springfield Ends Skid, Beat Runners 3-2
If the slugfest at the end of regulation was any indication, the Jr. Blues’ visit to Landon Arena at the end of December could be rather interesting. The RoadRunners (19-6-4) rallied late but were undone by a last second Springfield (11-15-2) goal resulting in a disheartening 3-2 loss.
Tyler Andrew slipped the puck past Ryan Kellenberger’s skate at 11:20 in the first to give the RoadRunners a 1-0 lead. Springfield was able to fend off two power plays in the period to maintain the one-point deficit going into the second period.
In the second, Terry Leabo tied the score with a netter, assisted by former RoadRunner Dallas Crum, at 8:58. Springfield Head Coach Tony Zasowski then rolled the dice, pulling Kellenberger for an extra attacker. The gamble paid off with Ryan Atkinson’s goal at 11:48, giving the Jr. Blues a 2-1 lead.
With the clock slipping away in the third, Mick Bruce tied the game 2-2 with a goal at 14:59. Shortly thereafter, Springfield handed the RoadRunners a golden opportunity to take the lead after back-to-back penalties gave Topeka a two-man advantage. Springfield managed to fight off the power play and nearly scored shorthanded on a Brett Skibba breakaway. The RoadRunners went 0-4 with a man advantage on the night.
With less than a minute remaining, Mike Fazio flicked a knuckling looper over the shoulder of Mackenzie Sawyer and into the net, leaving 26 seconds on the clock. The RoadRunners forced two face-offs in Springfield’s zone but came up empty as time expired. Gloves littered the ice almost immediately as simmering frustrations manifested into a hail of fists and ill temper.
The RoadRunners will shake off the loss and head home for a two-game set against the Amarillo Bulls on December 14 and 15. During the series there will be two silent auctions benefitting the United Way of Topeka. The players hand painted Christmas ornaments will be up for bid with the proceeds going to help struggling Topeka area families have a happy holiday. For more information on tickets, call 785-286-PUCK or visit the Expocentre Boxoffice.