Topeka drops game to Springfield in shootout

Richard Kelly

There are good days and bad days for every sports team. The Topeka RoadRunners had one of their bad days Sunday night.

Coming off a dominating 5-0 victory Saturday, Topeka (28-8-3) struggled to get any momentum going, as they wound up falling to the Springfield Jr. Blues 2-1 in a shootout. Springfield (18-19-3) snapped Topeka’s nine-game winning streak in the process and ended their seven-game losing as well.

Topeka head coach Scott Langer wasn’t convinced that his team put in their best effort.

“It seemed like a very disinterested effort there on the forecheck side of things,” said Langer. “We just couldn’t get pucks to the net and weren’t willing to battle for the rebounds. It was not a good effort all around for us today.”

In the shootout, Topeka only scored once on four shots against goalie Andrew Martin, as Springfield scored on three of their four opportunities against goalie Eric Rohrkemper

“We go to a shootout and it’s something we work on all the time and we weren’t even close,” said Langer. “A lot of guys tonight cheated the system as far as I’m concerned and thought this was going to be an easy win and it’s never easy.”

A scoreless first period of play led way to a very defensive battle for the second period as well. At the 16:52 mark, a fluky play gave Andrew O’Leary a powerplay goal for Topeka’s only goal of the contest.

Topeka’s lead stuck until 4:53 of the third period, as Guan Wang banged home a rebound off his own shot. Both teams had opportunities to take the lead throughout the period, but both goaltenders made big saves to preserve the tie.

But following the overtime, the shootout ensued which had a disappointing result for the RoadRunners.

Physical play caused a few stoppages in play through the night, with Topeka’s Cory Ramsey receiving a game ejection for fight instigation and Springfield’s T.J. Poganski receiving a game ejection for unsportsmanlike conduct. Following his goal in the shootout, an obscene gesture by Springfield’s Jack Callahan also led to an ejection.

Topeka is back in action for a three-game series against the Corpus Christi Ice Rays this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Landon Arena. They look to rebound with a better effort.

 “We’ll let it go, but it’s back to work for us,” said Langer. “We have to go back to doing the little things, and the biggest thing is that we don’t get outworked, and we did tonight.”