Topeka 4 @ Texas 3 (OT) (Topeka wins series, 3-0) - Richard Young scored just over three minutes into overtime to send the RoadRunners to the South Finals for the fifth consecutive year as they swept the Robertson Cup host Texas Tornado with a 4-3 overtime win in Frisco on Thursday. Jordan Lovick scored all three goals for Texas, but the Tornado could not hold the lead late in the 3rd period. With the win, Topeka wins and sweeps the series, 3-0, and advances to the South Finals where they will face the Amarillo Bulls for the second straight season. The Tornado will now have to wait close to three weeks before they will host the Robertson Cup, being held from May 3rd to May 8th at Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco.
The Roadrunners opened the scoring at 6:41 of the first period on a goal scored by Kyle Sharkey. The play started in the Topeka zone as Kevin Patterson sent a long pass down the boards to find Ben Bahe. Bahe managed to reel in the pass at the Tornado blue line before skating towards the net. He connected with Sharkey on a centering pass and Sharkey slipped it past Joakim Jutras to give the Roadrunners a 1-0 lead.
Topeka’s lead held through the first period and more than half of the second as well, but the Tornado evened the score at the 11:09 mark. An initial shot from the point by Nick Neville was stopped by Traber, but seemed to handcuff him as he lost sight of the rebound. Lovick had his eyes on it, however, pounced on the loose puck, and fired it home to tie up the score.
Under four minutes later, Topeka regained its one-goal lead on Jake Lynes’ fourth goal of the series. The Roadrunners won the faceoff back to the point, where a slapshot was deflected past Jutras by Lynes to give Topeka a 2-1 lead. The Roadrunners took their 2-1 lead into the second intermission, 20 minutes away from advancing to the second round of the playoffs.
But less than a minute into the third, Lovick struck again, this time to tie the score. He took control of the puck at the top of the right-wing circle, took a couple seconds to control the puck, and snapped a wrist shot past Traber to tie the score just 59 seconds into the third period. Later in the period, The native of Lino Lakes, Minn. netted his third of the night. Mychal Monteith took a shot from the point that Traber stopped, but once again, Lovick crashed the net hard to get control of the rebound and score to give the Tornado their first lead of the game.
That lead held until there were less than four minutes left in third period, when Patterson scored to tie the game. Lynes and Patterson took the Tornado blue line on a 2-on-1 before Patterson unleashed a wrist shot that went top shelf on Jutras, beating the Tornado goaltender and tying the score at 3.
Patterson’s goal forced overtime, though it took just 3:07 for the game to be decided. There was a scramble in front, and when the dust settled, Young put in the rebound to send Topeka to the South Finals.