Runners hold off Springfield 5-0

Playing in their first game since the firing of head coach Andy Maher, the Springfield Jr. Blues came out motivated and firing against the Topeka RoadRunners.

 

But after the Jr. Blues kept the Topeka RoadRunners on their toes with 15 shots in the first period, the rest of night belonged to Rasmus Tirronen and the Runners.

Tirronen stopped 31 shots and five different RoadRunners came up with goals as the Runners pushed their winning streak to nine straight games with a 5-0 victory at Landon Arena.

RoadRunners coach Scott Langer said he was particularly pleased with the way his defense responded after a rocky first period.

“We gave up a lot of chances in the first period,” Langer said. “(Springfield) played very animated against us and it certainly could have went a different way. But we hung in there, and I think we continued to get better during the game. We eliminated chances, we did a good job of going to the net and we focused a little more on the defensive part than we did early on.”

The shutout was Topeka’s second of the season with the first coming in the second game of the season against Motor City.

“A shutout’s always a shutout,” Tirronen said. “Every night you go into a game, you want to get a shutout, so it feels really good to get one.”

After a scoreless first period, Topeka seized control of the game in the second period, scoring three goals while out-shooting the Jr. Blues 23-6.

The RoadRunners got on the board at 2:05 of the second period when Justin Hussar took advantage of a pass from Ryan White and found the back of the net. Brian Christie then lit the lamp at 12:39 before the recently acquired Davey Middleton stretched his point-streak to five consecutive games with a short-handed goal at 18:49.

“They policed themselves and got themselves ready to go in that second period and we were a totally different hockey team,” Langer said. “We found a way to punch in some goals, and again Ras played well.”

Nate Milam added a power-play goal in the third period and Michael Hill flipped in a shot with 2.5 seconds remaining to cap off the win.

Topeka dominated on the shot chart, outshooting Springfield by a staggering 51-31 margin.

The RoadRunners had a five point lead in the South division standings at the conclusion of the game. Second-place Texas played a late game Saturday night at Wenatchee.

The Runners will host the Jr. Blues again at 5:05 p.m. Sunday. Springfield will be looking to snap a seven-game losing streak.

Springfield 0 0 0 -- 0

Topeka 0 3 2 -- 5

First period -- No scoring.

Second period -- 1. Topeka, Hussar (White), 2:05; 2. Topeka, Christie (O’Leary, Milam), 7:41; 3. Topeka, Middleton (Van Antwerp, Sharkey), 18:49.

Third period -- 4. Topeka, Milam (Poe, Christie), 8:26; 5. Topeka, Hill (White), 19:58.

Shots on goal -- Springfield 15-6-10 -- 31 . Topeka 11-23-18 -- 51.

Goalies -- Springfield, Martin. Topeka, Tirronen.

Attendance -- 2,118.

Stars of the game -- First star: Tirronen. Second star: Hussar. Third star: Christie.

 

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