Armed with momentum, the Topeka RoadRunners were forced to kill off a five minute penalty kill early in the third period of Saturday’s game.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep Amarillo off the board for all of it, giving up the eventual game-winning goal at 6:37, as the Bulls defeated the RoadRunners 4-2 at Landon Arena.
Following a game-tying goal from forward Dan Dupell early in the period, Topeka (14-4-2) kept Amarillo (12-2-3) at bay most of the powerplay, but forward Ryan Cole made sure forward Kyle Sharkey’s spearing major came back to haunt the RoadRunners. He scored on a deflection of defenseman John Rey’s shot.
“We did a great job most of that penalty kill, but it takes just one to basically put the game away,” said RoadRunners head coach Scott Langer.
In the first period, Topeka struck first as forward Sean Gaffney scored a powerplay goal at 6:02. Later in the period, Amarillo had a chance to tie it on a penalty shot, but goaltender Mackenzie Sawyer turned aside forward Gage Christianson. Forward Tyler Gernhofer tied the contest at 18:45 of the period, reversing Topeka’s Friday fortune, where two of their five goals were scored late in the period.
In the second period, forward Mike Davis gave Amarillo a 2-1 lead when his shot found its way past Sawyer. Amarillo outshot Topeka 23-18 in the first two periods.
In the final period, following Dupell and Cole’s goals, forward Omar Mullan sealed the victory with a goal at 8:02. Topeka made a frantic rush to tie the game late, but goaltender Collin Delia held strong to preserve a Bull victory.
“I thought we got some pretty decent chances, especially in the first period,” said Langer. “They’re a good team, but tonight we made it very easy for them to win on the road.”
Despite the final score, Langer said Sawyer’s effort was solid. He made 28 saves on 32 shots.
“[Sawyer] played pretty well tonight,” said Langer. “Some of the ones he did face, he did a great job on them. The other ones were just deflections that went off of things.”
Topeka now travels to Springfield Ill. to play the Springfield Jr. Blues this coming Friday and Saturday. They will then return to Landon Arena to face the Texas Tornado Nov. 23-25.