Marx, Hill lift RoadRunners past Ice Rays

Zach Schrotenboer carries the puck over the blue line Thursday night. He scored the RoadRunners first goal of the night on their way to a 5-3 victory.

Richard Kelly

Topeka RoadRunners fans looked a little on edge after two periods on Thursday night. But the third period was a complete sigh of relief.

After a second period that made the Corpus Christi Ice Rays look miles ahead of Topeka (29-8-3), the RoadRunners scored three third period goals including two on the powerplay from captain Michael Hill as the ‘Runners ousted the Ice Rays 5-3 Thursday night at Landon Arena.

Hill, who also had a first period goal, accomplished a hat trick and defensemen Bob Marx also had two powerplay goals. Marx, who had only scored four goals in 35 games before Thursday, knew that Topeka had to pick up the intensity in the final period.

“In the third [period], we realized that this was our last 20 minutes and we had to come out and do something,” said Marx. “Fortunately, we did it today.”

After Hill notched his first goal at the 13:51 mark, Jason Souva’s slap shot on the powerplay found its way past Topeka’s Rasmus Tirronen at 19:22 to tie the game at one.

In the second period, Topeka struggled to gather momentum, getting outshot 15-5 and giving up two powerplay goals at the 3:45 and 9:54 to fall behind 3-1. Marx was able to put a slap shot behind Pheonix Copley at the 16:21 mark to bring Topeka with one goal, but Corpus Christi (17-24-2) missed numerous chances to increase their lead.

The aforementioned third period included three misconducts and two ejections. Marx fired another slap shot behind Copley only 49 seconds into the third period to tie the game before Hill’s eventual game winning goal at the 13:12 mark. The final goal of the contest sent hats to the ice as Hill scored again at the 16:54 mark.

Topeka head coach Scott Langer was satisfied with the final result, despite the rocky second period.

“I guess at this point in the season and that type of game going into the third period period, I’m just happy we found a way to get the two points, because they had a pretty good effort over there,” said Langer.

The two teams face off again Friday at 7:05 p.m.