RoadRunners split Springfield series

Richard Kelly

The Topeka RoadRunners may still be scratching their heads as they continue to go back and forth on their losses and victories. Fortunately, a week off means they might be able to remedy that.

Topeka traveled to Springfield, Ill. this past weekend to face the Springfield Jr. Blues, as they fell 5-3 Friday night before rebounding for a come-from-behind 6-4 win Saturday night. Justin Hussar continues to produce as a RoadRunner newcomer, scoring two goals on the weekend with two assists. He is third on the team with 14 points on the season. Only fellow newcomer Jordan Davis with 16 points and returner Michael Hill with 26 points lead Hussar.

Despite a 13-6 shot margin after one period Friday, Topeka (9-5-2) surrendered two powerplay goals as they trailed 2-0 at the end of the first frame. Hussar cut it to 2-1 midway through the second period and two third period goals from Chris Bond and Nate Milam at the 9:09 and 9:50 marks of the third period made it 3-2 Topeka. However, Springfield retook the lead with 1:48 to play and finished Topeka off with an empty net goal.

Topeka outshot Springfield 42-18 in the contest. Eric Rohrkemper stopped 13 of 17 shots in the loss.

Saturday, Topeka wasted no time, scoring 3:31 into the first period on a goal by Brian Christie. But from this point, Springfield scored two goals in the first period and one in the second period to make it 3-1. But a penalty shot goal from Hill at 17:24 of the second period brought Topeka back to a one goal deficit

Springfield (9-12-1) then took a 3-0 lead in the second period before Michael HIll was awarded a penalty shot at the 17:24 mark of the second period. Hill buried it behind Andrew Martin to bring Topeka within two goals.

The real magic came in the third period. Just like the weekend prior versus the St. Louis Bandits, the RoadRunners had a strong final frame, mustering only 11 shots but accumulating four goals in the process, giving Topeka 6-3 lead over Springfield before the Jr. Blues cut it to 6-4 late in the third period.

Rasmus Tirronen stopped 30 of 34 shots for Topeka in the loss, as the RoadRunners outshot Springfield 43-34.

After a week off, Topeka returns for a three weekend homestand, with two games against the New Mexico Mustangs, Texas Tornado, and Amarillo Bulls respectively. All three teams are in the North American Hockey League South Division along with Topeka and the Corpus Christi Ice Rays. All games begin at 7:05 p.m.