On Wednesday night, 1,300 fans in the United Wireless Arena in Dodge City, Kansas were treated to a taste of the North American Hockey League as the Topeka RoadRunners defeated the Wenatchee Wild 2-0 in exhibition play.
The first period was a fast paced affair filled with big hits, skilled passing and speed. Though it was a scoreless period, fans responded well to the action.
In the second period, fans were treated to a rare penalty shot when a Wenatchee player covered the puck in the Wild crease. Topeka sent affiliate forward Willem Nong-Lambert to take the shot at 2:59 but his "leave behind" attempt was turned aside. Each team had power play opportunity but neither side was able to cash it in. The RoadRunners got on the board first at 18:40 when James Ring snapped home the rebound of a Ryan Doucet wraparound attempt for the 1-0 lead. The teams both switched goaltenders at the midway point of the period, with Topeka's Brandon Reagan relieving Josh Hillegas, and the Wild's Greg Lewis coming in for Robert Nichols.
The third period saw some increased hitting and more quality scoring chances, but the only successful attempt came at 14:43 when Gage Hough sent a pass to Linus Johansson on a rush who blistered a shot into the top corner for a 2-0 lead that proved to be the final score. Reagan and Hillegas combined to turn aside 24 shots for the shutout.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)