The Topeka RoadRunners put an exclamation mark on a successful seven-game homestand Saturday night at Landon Arena.
The Runners grabbed control early and never relented, posting a dominant 6-0 victory over Corpus Christi to put the finishing touches on a three-game sweep of the IceRays.
Runners forward Nate Milam, who helped pave the way with two goals and an assist, said it felt good for the Runners to end the homestand in style.
“We were having a blast at home and that’s the greatest feeling,” Milam said.
In an action-packed game that featured several hard hits and fights, the Runners excelled in all areas. Topeka outshot the IceRays 38-23 while notching its third shutout of the season. Rasmus Tirronen stopped 23 shots to register his second shutout over his last three outings.
“We saved our best effort for the third game, which is a good thing in a three-game series,” RoadRunners coach Scott Langer said. “There was a lot of great efforts out there. We stuck up for one another and got through all of the side show stuff that was going on. We sustained some pretty big hits late and we just kept going.
“Pitching a shutout on the third night, it’s important.”
Milam got the Runners started, registering his fourth short-handed goal of the season at 12:03. Milam then helped set up a Brian Christie goal at 12:42 to give the Runners a 2-0 lead after one.
“I noticed in the locker room before the game that there was a little more excitement,” Langer said. “They were fired up. Right from the get-go, we took it to them.”
The pace slowed considerably in the second period as the penalties started to accumulate. Michael Hill, who scored six goals in the series, lit the lamp with 33 seconds left in the period to give the Runners a 3-0 lead at the second intermission. Milam, Kyle Sharkey and Daniel Dupell then all added goals in the third period to cap off the victory.
Things got heated in the third period with eight misconduct penalties being handed out.
A total of five players were tossed out of the game. For Corpus Christi, Cody Milligan and Brandon Marshall were given game misconduct penalties, while Jordan Miller was ejected for slashing.
Topeka defenseman Cory Ramsey was ejected for being the third man in a fight and Runners forward Alex Vazquez was given a fighting game misconduct late in the second period.
The RoadRunners (31-8-3) now have 10-point lead atop the South Division standings. The Runners will not return to Landon Arena for a month as they gear up for a seven-game road swing.
First period -- 1. Topeka, Milam (White), 12:03; 2. Topeka, Christie (Milam, Vasquez), 12:42.
Second period -- 3. Topeka, Hill (Hussar, Dupell), 19:27.
Third period -- 4. Topeka, Milam (Ramsey, Christie), 6:19; 5. Topeka, Sharkey (Middleton), 17:33. 6. Topeka, Dupell (Poe), 19:37.
Shots on goal -- Corpus Christi 7-9-7 -- 23. Topeka 11-9-18 -- 38.
Goalies -- Corpus Christi, Copley. Topeka, Tirronen.
Attendance -- 2,894.
Stars of the game -- First star: Tirronen. Second star: Milam. Third star: Christie.