RoadRunners drop two close contests in St. Louis 4-3, 1-0 during weekend

Nathan Miller

The RoadRunners have the potential to be one of the best teams in the league, but potential doesn’t mean much when you can’t finish.

The RoadRunners extended their losing streak to three this past weekend as they fell 4-3, 1-0 to the NAHL North division leaders, the St. Louis Bandits.

“We just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing, playing physical,” said Aaron Gens, forward. “We just have to have a lot more confidence and prove to our team and coaches we are one of the top teams in the league.”

Saturday night’s contest came down to overtime. After finishing regulation without a goal, the Bandits were able to produce a goal with 1:17 left in overtime that put the RoadRunners away.

The RoadRunners ran out of time Friday night. After trailing 4-1 with 6:41 left in the game, the RoadRunners looked to make a comeback.

Forward Matt Hartmann, assisted by forward Martin Sundstedt and defender Tom Hill, scored a goal to pull the RoadRunners within two, 4-2 with 3:54 left. Then forward Corey Jendras, assisted by forwards Reed Seckel and Gens, scored another goal making the Bandit lead just one with 1:09 left in the period. But that was all she wrote for the RoadRunners as they fell 4-3.

“We are a team that battles to the buzzer,” said Gens. “We really turned it on in the end. It showed that we had a lot of character and heart.”

The RoadRunners are in the middle of a three-week span of consecutive games on the road. The team won’t return home until Nov. 15 to take on the Texas Tornado.

“We’re a pretty focused team,” said Gens. “We play 110 percent whether at home or on the road. It’s tough to play in front of other crowds but as long as we stick together and play for the coaches and the other guy sitting next to you, we will be fine.”

The RoadRunners will travel this weekend to Wichita Falls to take on the Wildcats. The Wildcats are 9-2-1 and lead the NAHL South Division.

“Every team is beatable any night in this league,” said Gens. “They’re a good team but they are nothing special. We can take them down, we just need to figure out where we are as a team right now.”

The Wildcats swept the RoadRunners earlier this season 2-1, 4-2, the first time the RoadRunners were swept in Wichita Falls since 2005. The Wildcats converted on two power plays, including one in the last 30 seconds, to take the first game 2-1. The following night a penalty hurt the RoadRunners again as the Wildcats converted on a penalty shot with 11:16 left in the game to secure the 4-2 victory.

Gens says it will take discipline to limit the penalties this time around.

“The refs changed it up this year and are calling a lot more penalties,” said Gens. “We just have to keep our sticks down and put in the extra effort defensively.”