The Topeka RoadRunners fell behind quickly on Friday night, and battled back to tie twice but ended up losing in Frisco, TX by a final score of 4-3.
Rock Einerson gave Texas a 1-0 lead just :42 seconds into the contest picking the top corner on the short side, perhaps catching everyone unaware but the goal gave the Tornado confidence early. Scott Deur gave Texas a 2-0 lead when his shot took a goofy deflection off a ‘Runner defensemans stick and caromed in at 11:40. Topeka cut the lead in half when Cole Schneider\’s centering pass bounced into the net off the leg of Texas netminder Dan Sullivan and Texas\’ lead was trimmed to 2-1 after one period.
In the second period, the ‘Runners ramped it up, outshooting the Tornado 19-5. They tied the game at 2-2 on Cole Schneider\’s second goal of the game and sixteenth of the season, set up perfectly by Michael Hill and Alec Hagaman on the power play at 12:56. A costly holding penalty gave Texas a power play less than a minute later which Alex Jacobs capitalized on for a 3-2 lead with a shot from the right point. Topeka again battled back to tie, with Alec Hagaman redirecting a Jeff Burke shot at 18:49 tying the game at 3-3 after two and Topeka had all the momentum. Texas goalie Dan Sullivan had singlehandedly kept his team in the hunt, denying numerous quality chances including huge saves on Edgars Lipsbergs on the doorstep and Bryce Johnson on back to back chances, but the RoadRunners continued to pressure.
In the third period, a turnover on a failed clearing attempt gave Texas an opportunity that gave them the game, with James Howard putting the Tornado up 4-3 at the 5:10 mark. Cole Schneider was robbed by Sullivan in the third period in a play the capsulized the evening. Topeka was getting chances, and some of them coming while shorthanded, but just ran out of time.
Texas improves to 13-10-2 while Topeka slides to 17-5-3. The teams meet again Saturday night in Texas, then again in Topeka Dec.18-19. The ‘Runners are 3-2-0 vs Texas this season.