TOPEKA, KS – The Brahmas season came to a crashing halt on Saturday night when Ryan O’Connor scored the overtime winner with 15.2 seconds remaining to give the Topeka RoadRunners a 5-4 victory.
RoadRunners netminder Juho Niku had been sensational all series but his Saturday night started with a nightmare of a turnover that resulted in Troy York feeding Hogan Davidson for an empty-net goal in front. The Brahmas held first blood for all of 14 seconds, but then Jack Nickels responded with a shot that snuck through traffic and past an unbeknownst Corbin Kaczperski. The Kansas Expocentre came alive with the tally and pushed the RoadRunners to yet another goal just moments later. Andrew Hart capitalized off of a York turnover and beat Kaczperski upstairs to give the home team a lead after one.
When the second period began, Max Harper of Topeka pushed the lead back to two after Johnny Walker set him up in front. However, just like the last time the RoadRunners held a two-goal lead, the Brahmas charged back with one of their own when Cody Wickline outsmarted the Topeka defense and intercepted a pass that he spun around and allowed Joey Fallon to bury below the glove of Niku. Unfortunately the RoadRunners would grab a two-goal lead once again though, courtesy of their post-season hero, Quinn Preston.
Although they had a two-goal lead in the third, the RoadRunners elected to get comfortable and sit back, a tactic that the Brahmas made them pay for. With just 6:50 remaining, Alex Berardinelli twisted an odd angle shot through traffic that beat Niku five-hole. The goal seemed to deflate Topeka and the Brahmas cashed in on it again minutes later. Martin Mellberg entered the zone and held on for his troops to accompany him, before sending a saucer pass cross-ice to Hogan Davidson. #37 wound up for a slapshot, selling everyone inside the arena before going back cross-ice for Tyler Drevitch, who roofed one at the 1:58 mark to tie the game.
Knotted up at 4-4 the teams pushed on into overtime, where the Brahmas controlled a large portion of the extra frame. However, in the final minute, Ryan O’Connor beat Corbin Kaczperski with a writser to send his team to the 2016 South Division Finals.
Juho Niku earned the victory stopping 39 of 43. Corbin Kaczperski suffers the loss allowing five goals on 39 shots.
The Brahmas 2015-16 season has now come to a close. Thank you to all of our valued members who go into making Brahmaland such a great place and be sure to stay tuned to all Brahmas social media pages the next few days for more information regarding end-of-the-season festivities!