Topeka Bounces Back, Blanks Odessa 5-0
The key to success in any sport is either a short memory or the ability to focus one night’s frustration into dominating effort. Regardless, the RoadRunners (7-1-1) stormed onto the ice like a freight train and didn’t let up until the final buzzer, rolling over the Jackalopes (3-4-1) in decisive fashion 5-0. “It’s part of our culture to never lose two in a row,” said Head Coach Scott Langer. “Our guys responded with the energy level it takes to win on night two.”
The eventual game winning goal came at 4:17 in the first period off the blade of Drew Kariofiles. Topeka would add to their lead as Tyler Poulsen found the back of the net at 18:22, giving the RoadRunners a two-point cushion going into the first intermission.
In the second period, Sean Gaffney and Kyle Sharkey each posted a powerplay goal (at 1:35 and 8:01 respectively) to make it 4-0. The two goals punctuated a period in which the RoadRunners outshot the Jackalopes 18-4. Combining high energy at both ends of the ice with excellent goaltending by Mackenzie Sawyer, Topeka finished with an impressive 32-19 edge in pucks on net over Odessa. “The difference tonight was attention to detail,” added Langer. “There was a lot of pride taken in limiting [Odessa’s] chances against us.”
Collin Montgomery would make it 5-0 with a goal at 19:04 in the third period, removing what little drama there was remaining and cementing their most complete win of the season thus far. Sawyer became the first of Topeka’s one-two-punch of stellar goaltenders to notch a shutout in 2012-2013. He stonewalled Odessa with 19 saves and lowered his goals against average to 1.71. The penalty kill continued to be relentless, limiting the Jackalopes to 0 for 6 and improving their record to 1 for 46 on the year.
These two teams will battle it out again Sunday night at 6pm. For more information on tickets to see the Topeka RoadRunners in game three of their series against the Odessa Jackalopes, call 785-286-PUCK or visit the Expocentre Box Office. Next weekend, the RoadRunners take to the road to face the Texas Tornado. Fans are invited to join the excitement at Blind Tiger Brewery and Restaurant for the RoadRunners Away Game Viewing Party on Thursday and Saturday night at 7:30pm.
TOPEKA ROADRUNNERS: Drew Kariofiles (6pts) goal assisted by Dan Dupell (5pts) and Christian Elsborg (1pt) at 4:17 in the first period. Tyler Poulsen (6pts) goal assisted by Mick Bruce (4pts) at 18:22 in the first period. Sean Gaffney (11pts) powerplay goal assisted by Patrick Pollack (1pt) and Kyle Sharkey (13pts) at 1:35 in the second period. Kyle Sharkey powerplay goal assisted by Sean Gaffney and Michal Pastor (7pts) at 8:01 in the second period. Collin Montgomery (5pts) goal assisted by Michal Pastor and Tyler Poulsen at 19:04 in the third period. Goaltender Mackenzie Sawyer (3-0-1, 102 saves, 1.71 GAA) saved 19 out of 19 shots on goal. Powerplay: 2 for 7. Penalties: 23 minutes on 10 infractions.
Odessa Jackalopes: Goaltender Jacob Theut (1-2-1, 106 saves, 3.33 GAA) saved 22 out of 26 shots on goal. Goaltender Blake Wojtala (2-2-0, 98 saves, 3.60 GAA) saved 5 out of 6 shots on goal. Powerplay: 0 for 6. Penalties: 51 Minutes on 11 infractions.