Saturday, 11.14.2015 / 9:32 pm CT
By Alex von Keudell
The Topeka RoadRunners proved their third period surge on Friday was not a fluke, as they defeated the Wildcats by a score of 5-2 Saturday night.
The scoring was opened by veteran winger Carlos Fornaris, who tapped the puck past Julian Sime on the power play to give the Runners a 1-0 lead heading into period 2. The first period was one of the worst periods of hockey the Wildcats had played all season long, as they only managed to generate five shots on goal.
Their hopes for a better 2nd period were dashed just 26 seconds into the period, as Andrew Hart found himself on an odd-man rush. He lost an edge after Michael Rounds collided with him, and after falling to the ice, he one-handed the puck between Sime’s pads and into the net, completing a highlight-reel goal. With all the momentum on the side of Topeka, Jonny Lazarus dropped the gloves with Ryan Hutchinson. Both players exchanged punches left and right until the officials separated the fray.
Lazarus’ donnybrook proved why fights can be a useful ally. Less than two minutes after his scrap, Matt Hines rifled a shot through traffic and past Tyler Johnson to score his first goal as a Wildcat. The excitement at the KYC was palpable, but it was short-lived. Thirty seconds later, Andrew Hart scored his second goal of the game on another odd-man rush. The goal would result in Sime being pulled from the net, marking the first time a goaltending change was in order for the Wildcats all season.
The Wildcats’ penalty killing struggles continued. They conceded a power play goal on Friday night, and would surrender two on Saturday. Harper would slip the puck through Justin Kapelmaster’s five-hole, scoring his second goal of the night and giving Topeka a 4-1 lead.
The third period would begin with Adam Goodsir in the penalty box serving a hooking penalty. This time, the Wildcats managed to fend off the penalty, and Goodsir would respond with a goal of his own on the power play. Again, however, the RoadRunners would quickly quell the momentum gained by the Cats, as Harper would take the wind out of the Wildcats’ sails with another goal, and the Runners went on to win 5-2.
Johnson made 25 saves in the win, while Sime and Kapelmaster made 8 and 13 saves in the loss, respectively. The Wildcats travel out to Odessa for the first time this season on Tuesday, November 17th to take on the Jackalopes.
*Any copying, republication, or re-use of this material without consent is strictly prohibited.