The Topeka RoadRunners rolled up their 10th consecutive win on Friday night, a 5-2 win in Texas on Friday night.
The NAHL\’s second leading scorer going into the weekend, Erik Higby started things off by roofing his own rebound for an unassisted goal just 1:21 into the game. He later set up another goal, winning a faceoff and getting a shot off that rebounded to Alec Hagaman who walked around Tornado goalie Dan Sullivan at 17:13 for a 2-0 Topeka lead that stood at the end of the first period. The RoadRunners outshot Texas 15-3, dominating every aspect of the game.
The second period saw Texas cut the ‘Runner lead in half when John Kelly deflected a shot from the blue line, his first goal of the season at 3:18 but Topeka answered back with Ryan White scoring a power play goal at 6:00. Again, the ‘Runners were dominant, outshooting Texas 18-4 in the period for a 33-7 two period advantage.
The third got ugly, but not before Topeka put the game out of reach. At 10:52, Patrick Kirtland powered home the rebound of a Martin Sundstedt shot and then Bob Marx buried a 5-on-3 power play bomb at 12:07 for a 5-1 edge. Texas scored a power play goal through a screen at 15:33 setting up a 5-2 score. With 2:30 left, a full scale line brawl involving everyone on the ice except Texas goalie Dan Sullivan spelled the end of the night for 11 players between the two clubs. The ensuing power play prompted Texas to pull Sullivan for the extra attacker with 2:30 to play but the strategy yielded few chances and Topeka ended up posting the 5-2 win. RoadRunner goalie Evan Karambelas is now 12-2-1 and second in the NAHL with a 1.92 GAA, a narrow .01 behind Garrett Bartus, who left St. Louis to begin his college career at the University of Connecticut.
Topeka (27-5-3) plays Texas for the final time in Texas this season on Saturday night. The Tornado will visit Topeka in the end of January.