Late-game heroics lift Runners

After getting blown out by the Topeka RoadRunners in a three-game series a few weeks ago, the Corpus Christi IceRays have given the Runners all they can handle in the first two games of a three-game series at Landon Arena.

 

But fortunately for Topeka, the Runners have produced just enough late-game heroics in each of the two games to fend off the IceRays.

In a game where momentum switched hands frequently, the RoadRunners were able to escape with a 5-3 victory Friday for the second straight night, using a late 5-on-3 power-play goal from Cory Ramsey to prevail in a wild one.

“It’s good hockey-- both team’s are having to work so hard,” RoadRunners coach Scott Langer said. “We were just fortunate to come out on top tonight, cause it could’ve went either way.”

Corpus Christi scored back-to-back goals late in the third period to tie the score before Ramsey, the beneficiary of a pass from Brian Christie, found the back of the net at 16:53 to put the Runners back in control.

“Christie won the battle in the corner and I snuck down in front and he gave me a great pass backdoor,” Ramsey said.

The IceRays set the tone early on, outshooting the RoadRunners 11-3 in the first period and grabbing the lead at 17:52 when Beau Walker punched in a goal with Corpus Christi on a 5-on-3 advantage.

However, the RoadRunners (30-8-3) answered with a dominating second period in which they netted three goals and outshot the IceRays 12-5. Zach Schrotenboer lit the lamp 2:14 into the second to even the score and the Runners took the lead at 8:24 after Davey Middleton fed the puck down to Kyle Sharkey, who was able to deke out Corpus Christi goalie Pheonix Copley and flip in a back-hander. Michael Hill then went hard to the net to notch his fourth goal of the series at 12:16, giving Topeka a 3-1 lead.

Corpus Christi crept back into the game at 13:16 of the third when Mike Benedict scored off a rebound. The IceRays then made the Runners pay for back-to-back penalties and knotted the score on another 5-on-3 power-play goal from Walker.

After Ramsey came up the game-winner, the Runners survived a 6-on-4 IceRays’ advantage and Hill scored from point-blank range on an empty net with just nine-tenths of a second left. Hill now holds the Runners’ franchise record for goals scored with 60.

Despite seeing some inconsistency out of his team, Langer said he was, for the most part, pleased with the effort.

“We found a way,” Langer said. “Brian Christie makes a heck of a play to get us back on top, and then Hill finds a way to break the franchise record. It’s a positive night.”

Eric Rohrkemper stopped 22 of 25 shots between the pipes for the RoadRunners.

The RoadRunners will go for a sweep of the IceRays while concluding a seven-game homestand at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.

Corpus Christi 1 0 2 — 3

Topeka 0 3 2 — 5

First period — 1. Corpus Christi, Walker (Saucerman, Smereck), 17:52.

Second period — 2. Topeka, Schrotenboer (Ramsey), 2:14; 3. Topeka, Sharkey (Middleton), 8:24; 4. Topeka, Hill (White), 12:16.

Third period — 5. Corpus Christi, Benedict (Souva), 13:16; 6. Corpus Christi, Walker (Obregon, Saucerman), 14:52; 7. Topeka, Ramsey (Christie, Sharkey). ; 8. Topeka, Hill (Sharkey), 19:59.

Shots on goal — Corpus Christi 11-5-9 — 25. Topeka 3-12-9 — 24.

Goalies — Corpus Christi, Copley. Topeka, Rohrkemper.

Attendance — 1,883.

Stars of the game — First star: Hill. Second star: Ramsey. Third star: Sharkey.

 

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