The Texas Tornado welcomed the Topeka RoadRunners into the Dr Pepper Arena for an NAHL South Division showdown and jumped out to a quick lead just 0:57 into the game. Michael Hoy stopped a clear at the far point and carried it into the circle before hitting Brandon Platt crashing the near post. Spencer Viele made the initial save, but left the net wide open for Justin Greenbergto burry the rebound.
Topeka scored their first of four straight goals at 7:47. Tyler Groat took the puck behind the net and went for a wrap around, but the puck came off his blade and went directly to Ross Luedtke at the opposite post and he put it over Hunter Leisner’s left pad. At 12:27 they took the lead when the Tornado tried to carry the puck behind the net, but Kyle Sharkey who was moving in the opposite direction stripped the puck and wrapped it around the near post for the unassisted goal. Exactly three minutes later Sean Gaffney sent a shot from the far dot, Leisner made the save and thought he had the puck frozen against his body, but it rolled out of his pads into the paint and Sharkey punched it in.
In the second period Topeka added to their lead when Mitch Mueller took a shot from the far point that went off the shin pads of Groat who took it the other way on an odd man rush. Anthony Mousseau slid and took the shooting lane away from Groat forcing him to pass at the last moment to a man on the backdoor. Mueller had hustled back and got a stick on the pass, but it deflected directly to the trailer Luedtke coming straight down the gut for the easy goal. Just over two minutes later the only penalty of the game was called as Brandon Hawkins was hit with a checking form behind double minor and game ejection. Texas killed off the four minutes of power play time and seemed to gather some momentum from the kill.
At 10:38 of the third Louie Rowe sprung Jackson Leef on a scamper down the far side from just inside the defensive zone. Leef carried the puck into the offensive zone and curled to between the circles before firing a wicked wrister that simply ate Viele up. Viele got a piece of it but it went through him and into the back of the net. It took the Tornado less than a minute to pull within one, as Greenberg fished the puck out of a scrum behind the Topeka net and skated it to the bottom of the near circle before threading a pass through the crease to newcomer Max Shuart on the backdoor for the goal.
With 1:09 left Texas took a time out and when play resumed the Tornado net was empty for the extra attacker. Immediately off the draw to Viele’s right the Tornado put the puck on net and forced Viele to make a big save. Texas had a couple of chance at the puck in the scrum in front before cycling it back up top for a shot from the point. The shot was blocked in front by Trace Strahle and Sharkey sent a blind shot 180 feet into the empty net to seal the deal.
With their flurry of offense in the third the Tornado outshot Topeka 13-5 in the final period and 32-30 on the game. The RoadRunners were the only team to have a power play opportunity but the Tornado penalty kill denied them on the four minute man advantage.
The Tornado who had won 15 of 16 and 10 in a row before being swept by Amarillo last weekend now find themselves in a three game losing streak. Even more important they are now only five points ahead of Topeka who has two games in hand.