The Topeka RoadRunners had reason to feel confident heading into the weekend series against Texas. But after losing two in a row to their South Division rival, it's evident a lot of hard work lies ahead.
The RoadRunners first period effort was a bit more spirited than it had been 24 hours earlier. Topeka outshot Texas 10-6, hit the crossbar once and then clanged the pipes twice in rapid succession on a power play but the only goal of the period came when newly acquired Texas forward Josh Royston slapped home the rebound of a J.D. Howard shot at 7:57, his first goal of the year. The 1-0 Tornado lead stood until late in the third period.
With less than two minutes remaining, Topeka used their timeout to plan their strategy for pulling the goalie for a possible game tying goal. Before Rasmus Tirronen could even get to the bench, Jack Prince found himself in behind the Topeka defense and he buried a low hard shot for a 2-0 lead with 1:39 to go. Jim Kruger turned aside all 20 shots he faced for the shutout.
Topeka (5-2-2) heads to Wichita Falls (7-0-1) next weekend to face the first place Wildcats. The Wildcats dropped a shootout decision on Friday in Corpus Christi but rebounded with an 8-4 win on Saturday.