VIDEO: Roadrunners sweep Wichita Falls in weekend doubleheader

Richard Kelly / Washburn Review / Video By: Bryce Grammer, Washburn Review

Plagued with difficulties in goaltending through portions of last season, the Topeka RoadRunners knew this season would have to be different with seven strong divisional opponents ready to take aim.

Rookie goaltender Josh Hillegas may be the sparkplug the team needed.

Hillegas stopped all 27 shots he faced on Saturday night as Topeka (6-3-1) overcame a slow start to defeat the Wichita Falls Wildcats 3-0 at Landon Arena.

“It was pretty special,” said Hillegas. “It was very fun to be part of it.”

With the win, Topeka swept the weekend series. They trounced the Wildcats 6-2 in their home opener on Friday night.

During the first period on Saturday, Wichita Falls (2-7-1) fired 14 shots against Hillegas, but he was able to turn them all aside. Topeka only mustered nine shots on goal in the opening frame, contrary to the 10-3 advantage they held after the first period on Friday night.

Early in the second period, at 2:32, forward Andrew O’Leary fired a shot past Wildcat goalie Tyler Green to give the RoadRunners a 1-0 advantage. At 9:53, forward Ryan Doucet scored his second goal of the season to put Topeka on top 2-0.

During the second period, the RoadRunners reversed the shots margin of the first period, outshooting Wichita Falls 14-9 in the second period.

In the final frame, the score would remain 2-0 until forward Robbie Davis landed the puck in an empty net to seal the victory at 19:16.

The game was not without its fair share of physicality as three misconducts and one game ejection were handed out between the two teams. Eighty- two penalty minutes were recorded in total.

Despite the win, Topeka head coach Scott Langer knows his team can perform better. His example of better play was Friday night’s contest.

“It was just enough to win, certainly not the effort we had (Friday) night,” said Langer. “Some veterans took the night off, which is disheartening at this time of year. I thought Hillegas kept us in the game. He played well and gave us a chance to win. We got the win and that’s important, but there are some lessons that have to be learned after tonight.”

Hillegas is now 3-0-2 on the season. He has 1.78 goals against average and a .925 save percentage, which are 8th and 14th in the North American Hockey League.

Goaltender Eric Rohrkemper has also been strong for the RoadRunners. While he is 3-3-0 on the season, Rohrkemper has a 1.77 goals against average and a .915 save percentage. This is opposed to his 2.46 goals against average he registered last season with a .893 save percentage.

Topeka now takes to the road to face the Amarillo Bulls Friday and the Texas Tornado next Saturday and Sunday. Games will be broadcasted live on countrylegends106.9 fm.com. They will not play their next home games until Nov. 11-12.