RoadRunners run away with 8-2 victory, 13 points out of division lead

Look at me now Topeka forward Ryan White (12) skates through defenders on Thursday night. White had a hat trick in the contest, as he helped lead Topeka to a 8-2 throttling of the Corpus Christi Ice Rays.

The Topeka RoadRunners (30-12-2) finished up a six-game home stand Thursday against the Corpus Christi Ice Rays (20-20-3).

Taking the lead early in the contest and keeping it throughout the game, Topeka (30-12-2) scored four goals in the third period alone, as they defeated Corpus Christi 8-2 at Landon Arena.

Forward Ryan White was much of the reason for the success, as he notched his first hat trick as a RoadRunner, with his third goal coming at 10:06 of the third period. White said Thursday was one of the best played games Topeka has had this season.

“We had individual efforts from everyone tonight which is important,” said White. “It wasn’t just a couple guys here or there playing well. Everyone played a full game which is what we like.”

Topeka head coach Scott Langer also agreed that his team had one of their best games on Thursday. Particularly, scoring eight goals against Corpus Christi goaltender Anthony Stolarz was crucial. Langer said that Stolarz has been touted as a top North American Hockey League goaltender by National Hockey League scouts.

“We did a great job going to the net,” said Langer. “We got to his [Stolarz’] eyes. It’s difficult to stop what you can’t see. We were relentless on the puck.”

Early in the contest, White poked in a shot at 2:33 for the first goal of the game. At 4:37, forward Brian Christie scored on a shorthanded breakaway to give Topeka a 2-0 lead. Corpus Christi cut the deficit in half at 12:45 when forward Beau Walker slipped a shot past Topeka goaltender Peter Traber. In his fourth game back from an injury, forward Corey Ramsey ripped a shot glove side at 13:37 to give the RoadRunners a 3-1 lead.

Corpus Christi struggled to pressure Traber in the second and third periods, only registering four shots on goal in the second period and two shots on goal in the third period. Topeka pressured Stolarz again the second period, firing 10 shots on goal. White was able to cash in at 8:20 when he skated the length of the ice and buried a shot past Stolarz.

Outshooting the Ice Rays 9-2 in the final period, Topeka added four goals in the final 10 minutes of the contest. Following White’s hat trick goal, forward Anders Schultz scored his second goal in as many days at 11:40. Andrew O’Leary then scored two goals at 12:28 and 14:24 respectively to give Topeka an 8-1 lead. Forward Eric Purcell brought the score to 8-2, but the game was all but over at that point.

With the victory, Traber improved to 16-9-3 on the season, while Stolarz dropped to 17-13-4. The RoadRunners are now 13 points behind Amarillo for the south division lead with 16 games left.

Topeka begins a six-game road trip this Friday when they face the Springfield (Ill.) Jr. Blues.