'Runners Wrap up Weekend SweepApril 2, 2012 - North American Hockey League (NAHL) Topeka RoadRunners
Topeka's defensive effort suffocated Odessa in the first period as the Jackalopes managed just one shot on goal, and that came on a power play in the final minute. The 'Runners fired six first period shots on Justin Davis, taking a 1-0 lead when Sean Gaffney reached out to deflect a Ben Bahe shot from the right circle that bounced past Davis at 16:53. Trace Strahle garnered an assist on the play after carrying the puck into the zone and leaving the drop pass for Bahe.
Topeka doubled their lead at 2:36 when Jake Lynes floated a shot that the Odessa goalie misjudged and sailed past his glove hand into the twine for an unassisted goal. Topeka led 2-0 after 40 minutes. Odessa pulled the goalie for the extra skater in the final minute of the third period, and a Mikko Virtanen shot was tipped in a crowd by Darren Lapic that found its way past Peter Traber with 29.6 seconds remaining. Trailing 2-1, Odessa took their timeout, won the draw and got pressure in the 'Runners zone before Topeka finally cleared the zone. Ben Bahe chased the puck down, slid it to Anders Schultz who made a nice pass to Brian Christie for the empty net goal with :04 seconds remaining to seal the win. The 'Runners won all four games against the Jackalopes this season.
Topeka closed out their regular season with a record of 38-18-4 good for 80 points. The Texas Tornado also finished with 80 points with a record of 36-16-8. The first tiebreaker is total wins, giving Topeka the number 2 seed and home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs against Texas, which begin this weekend.
North American Hockey League Stories from April 2, 2012
- 'Runners Wrap up Weekend Sweep - Topeka RoadRunners
- Bulls Regular Season Rewind - Amarillo Bulls
- Walker Commits to (D1) Sacred Heart - Corpus Christi IceRays
- Jackalopes in the Playoffs - Odessa Jackalopes
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