Topeka’s power play scores four times in 6-5 victory over Thunder

Published 3:06 am Saturday, February 20, 2010

When Topeka, the North American Hockey League’s best power-play team, got a power play, the Roadrunners took advantage against the Albert Lea Thunder Friday in a 6-5 victory at City Arena.

Topeka (36-7-4) scored four times on the power play and increased their conversion rate to 23 percent.

The Roadrunners scored three power-play goals in the second period to rally from a 2-0 first-period deficit to hand Albert Lea (11-29-5) its third consecutive loss.

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“You don’t give the best team in the league opportunities,” said Thunder head coach Chuck Linkenheld.

Anthony Iaquinto scored twice in the first period to stake Albert Lea to a 2-0 lead, but Topeka came back with a flurry of goals in the second period to take a 4-3 lead.

Niko Kapetanovic recorded three points and cut the lead to one with a goal near the end of the second period.

But Topeka’s Tony Thomas scored the team’s fourth power-play goal at 8:48 of the third for a two-goal advantage.

Chris Cass scored twice in the third for the Thunder, but Erik Higby, the league’s second-leading goal scorer, connected for his 24th goal of the season at 16:18 to keep the Roadrunners in front.

Topeka 6, Albert Lea 5

Topeka 0 4 2 — 6

Albert Lea 2 1 2 — 5

First Period—1, Albert Lea, Anthony Iaquinto 11 (Zack Smoot, Stephen Obarzanek), 10:55. 2, Albert Lea, Iaquinto 12 (Brian Nehring, Niko Kapetanovic), 14:40. Penalties—Iaquinto, Alb (hooking), 5:12; Tony Thomas, Top (hooking), 13:41.

Second Period—3, Topeka, Justin Kovacs 5 (Alex Hagaman, Bryce Johnson), 3:52 (pp.). 4, Topeka, Michael Hill 20 (Kovacs, Erik Higby), 7:36 (pp.). 5, Topeka, Kovacs 6 (Johnson), 9:30. 6, Topeka, Thomas 16 (Johnson, Edgars Lipsbergs), 14:29 (pp.). 7, Albert Lea, Kapetanovic 15 (Colton Warner, Nehring), 18:25. Penalties—Derek Docken, Alb (interference), 2:34; Obarzanek, Alb (slashing), 7:02; Luke Jenkins, Alb (interference), 13:52; Nickolas Gatt, Top (slashing), 15:44.

Third Period—8, Topeka, Thomas 17 (Nate Millam, Lipsbergs), 8:48 (pp.). 9, Albert Lea, Chris Cass 11 (Brandon Lubin, Kapetanovic), 12:39. 10, Topeka, Higby 24 (Kovacs, Jacob Poe), 16:18. 11, Albert Lea, Cass 12 (Jenkins), 19:22. Penalties—Taylor Ward, Alb (hooking), 5:58; Harry Quast, Alb (hooking), 8:36; Poe, Top (holding), 10:28.

Shots on Goal—Topeka 14-12-20—46. Albert Lea 10-13-10—33.

Power-play opportunities—Topeka 4 of 6; Albert Lea 1 of 3.

Goalies—Topeka, Evan Karambelas 16-3-1 (33 shots-28 saves). Albert Lea, Nikifor Szczerba 1-4-3 (46-40).

A—455. T—2:06.

Referee—Andrew Wilk. Linesmen—Matthew Tyree, Brett Martin.