Young nets overtime winner as Wildcats knock off RoadRunners

Richard Kelly

Redemption is one of the best inspirations.

Wichita Falls Wildcats goaltender Matt Green is first-hand evidence.

Green, who gave up five goals on 45 shots in a 5-1 loss on Saturday, made key saves Sunday to stymie the Topeka RoadRunners as the Wildcats defeated the RoadRunners 1-0 in overtime.

Each team had opportunities to win the game in regulation, with Topeka hitting numerous goalposts and Wichita Falls having multiple shots that trickled close to the goalline. However, at the end of regular, the score remained tied at zero.

Early in the extra session, at 2:19, Richard Young fired a one-timer past Eric Rohrkemper to send all of his teammates onto the ice as they celebrated a victory which ties their series with Topeka at one apiece.

“We did a lot of good things but ran into a very hot goalie, and they kept us outside to where we couldn’t get to some of those rebounds that we normally get to,” said Scott Langer, RoadRunners head coach. “We played a decent game. It came down to a face-off draw in the defensive end, we lost it clean and it ended up in the back of the net.”

Langer couldn’t blame Rohrkemper for the goal.

“Eric played outstanding,” said Langer. “He gave us a chance to win the game. We just didn’t give him any offense.”

After amassing 17 shots in the first period on Saturday night, Topeka repeated that effort Sunday, as they took a 17-8 shot advantage into the locker room. And during the second period, Wichita Falls successfully killed off two 5-on-3 penalty kills as the RoadRunners peppered Green with shots.

But the 39 shots in the contest just couldn’t beat the Wildcats’ goaltender.

“It’s just a matter of finishing,” said Langer. “We hit a few posts and we had some opportunities there on the doorstep that we didn’t put home. You’ve just got to be a little hungrier in the playoffs. They [Wichita Falls] had something to prove down there and [Green] played outstanding.”

The victory was Wichita Falls’ first win against Topeka since Nov. 13, 2009 and ended their 16-game losing streak against Topeka.

The best of five series now shifts to Wichita Falls for games three and four, which will take place Friday and Saturday night. If necessary, game five will be in Topeka on April 11.