Traber notches another shutout, Topeka wins 4-0

Lyne ’em up Forward Jake Lynes makes a pass while on an odd-man rush in the third period of Friday’s contest. The pass would help set up forward Dan Dupell’s goal, which made it 3-0. Topeka won the game 4-0.

Richard Kelly

The Topeka RoadRunners’ are beginning to look like a North American Hockey League’s defensive powerhouse.

In another inspired performance, Topeka goaltender Peter Traber notched his third straight shutout as the RoadRunners defeated the St. Louis Bandits 4-0 Friday at Landon Arena. St. Louis was held to 21 shots on goal and their potent offense, which usually scores around four goals a game, had trouble getting any sustained pressure.

“You’re seeing good things out of our guys right now defensively,” said Scott Langer, Topeka head coach. “They’re [St. Louis] a good hockey team and we found a way to keep them off the board.”

Traber’s play specifically has been a hot topic. Forward Jake Lynes, who had a goal and an assist in the contest, knows how difficult it is doing what he’s done of recent.

“Getting one shutout is huge, getting two is unbelievable,” said Lynes. “The fact that (Traber) got three in a row is incredible. We’ve blocked a lot of shots, and there have been a lot of shots that probably should’ve gone in, and he’s saved them somehow.”

In the first period, neither team found much offensive pressure, as Topeka (22-11-2) held a 4-2 shot advantage at first intermission. Forward Gage Hough was able to make the best of his opportunity though at 9:31 when he slipped a rebound past St. Louis (24-7-2) goaltender Spencer Viele for a 1-0 advantage.

At 2:41 of the second period, Lynes added to the lead when he took a pass from forward Brian Christie and fired a shot past Viele to make it 2-0. Play opened up more in the second period, as Topeka outshot St. Louis 8-7.

St. Louis began to mount more pressure during the third period, outshooting Topeka 12-4, but Traber continued to stonewall the Bandits. 

“I think (Traber is) really feeling it right now and that’s important because this is a tough part of our schedule,” said Langer. “He’s slowly getting the name King Traber and he’s very deserving of it.”

Looking to add some breathing room, at 7:55, forward Dan Dupell took a gorgeous pass from Lynes and buried a shot to make it 3-0. Despite pulling Viele in favor of an extra attacker, the score increased to 4-0 at 15:59 after forward Ryan White scored an empty net goal.

Topeka looks to sweep the weekend series on Saturday night. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m.