‘Runners return home to face Wildcats

Richard Kelly

Only 18 possible points remain in the Topeka RoadRunners regular season. Even with their good standing, they’d like to pick up as many as possible.

Topeka (37-9-3) returns home tonight to face their North American Hockey League South Division foes, The Wichita Falls Wildcats.

The RoadRunners are currently on a roll, winning five straight games and going 6-0-1 on their most recent seven-game road trip. Their only defeat was a 1-0 shutout from the hands of the New Mexico Mustangs on Feb. 11.

 “We just kind of thrive on it [playing on the road],” said Langer. “We truly enjoy the road — there’s some structure there. We do the same things, we travel the same ways, we eat the same way and we’re always a team. And some of the fans (at away games) really get us going with some of their actions. It’s always fun to win in someone else’s building.”

During this time span, Topeka has also increased its lead in the NAHL South Division race, as they now hold a 12 point lead on the second-place Amarillo Bulls, with the Bulls holding three games in hand.

But Langer wants his team to be weary of Wichita Falls (22-22-4), who is playing their first road game since Jan. 22 after nine consecutive home contests.

“They like to play physical and they’re not afraid to mix it up, based on their games recently,” said Langer. “They were in our facility last time and even though we won those games, they gave us a lot (of problems) and we had to manage through them. We’re expecting a tough opponent coming into our building.”

The RoadRunners will have a new acquisition in the lineup for tonight’s contest after forward Pat Conte was unable to join the team due to an error during the transaction process. Forward Kyle Buffardi comes to the RoadRunners from the Los Angeles Jr. Kings.

Tonight’s contest features $2 tickets, $1 hot dogs and free parking. The Robertson Cup, which Topeka will host in May, will also see its logo revealed.