The Wildcats ended two skids over the weekend, snapping a six-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over Topeka and also ending a string of regular season regulation losses dating back to 2009.
The Wildcats got down early, as former Wildcat Richard Young put a shot past Jojo Jeanetta for a 1-0 lead just 57 seconds in. But the Wildcats would strike back quickly, exploding for three goals in a nine minute span for a 3-1 lead. Brennen Parker scored two of them, with a Jakob Batcha goal sandwiched in between. But typical of the Roadrunners, the two-goal lead did not last long before Brian Christie and Chris Bond scored to tie the game by the end of the second period. The Roadrunners outshot the Wildcats 19-8 in the second.
The Wildcats got outshot again in the third, but a strong defensive effort kept the game even until George Pagonis knocked in the eventual game-winner midway through the period. The Wildcats also successfully killed off two penalties late to take home the two points.
Saturday's game was all Topeka on the scoreboard in a highly physical contest that saw six players ejected, 41 penalties, 16 power plays, and 191 minutes in the sin bin. The Wildcats' 107 are a single-game team record.
For the second night in a row, the Roadrunners struck early, but this time they kept at it, tallying two goals in a one minute span before Zach Pochiro got the Wildcats on the board in the middle of the period. Not long after, the fists began flying as Nick Szopinski traded knuckles with Chris Bond. While that fight was being broken up, Rodney Lalonde, Richard Young, and Kyle Sharkey all came together, with the trio all being sent to an early shower. As the period came to a close, Pochiro and Brian Christie went at it, with Christie picking up an extra two minutes for elbowing, and Pochiro joining Lalonde in the stands, tossed out as the instigator of the altercation.
Topeka added to their lead with three goals in the second period. The rough stuff toned down a bit, with "only" 36 minutes in penaltied being handed out, but it returned in the third as captain Renato Engler and Michal Pastor both were shown the door following a fight behind the Topeka goal, followed by Jason Eddy leaving for the night after a double minor for spearing. The Wildcats added a goal late with Patrick Yudez scoring his eighth of the season.
WEEKEND NOTES: Both Engler and Lalonde will miss Friday's game due to suspensions, as will Pat Thompson, due to a concussion… Friday's win was the first regulation win in the regular season for the Wildcats over the Roadrunners since they took a 4-2 come from behind decision on March 20, 2009. It was also the first win of any kind in the regular season over Topeka since a 7-6 overtime win November 13, 2009.