After salvaging two points over their opening weekend against Nashville, the Capitals traveled to Texas over the weekend and took their first win, series, and sweep of the season to retake first place in the South Division.
Friday night saw the Caps and Jr Brahmas battling for the first time. Two scoreless periods fed into the third where Topeka took control on the back of Hank Roers who fired in the tie breaker at 6:20 (assisted by Steve MacIver and Spencer Sabourin). Following a double minor and game ejection of Texas' Jimmy Anderson for checking from behind, Roers struck again on the ensuing power play at 10:02 (assisted by Andrew Cooley and Colin O'Conner). The Jr Brahmas would halve the lead at 2-1 with a power play goal of their own at 18:09 but it would not be enough as Topeka held on for their first victory of the season. Goaltender Bailey Aust claimed the win, stopping 20 of 21 shots on net before giving way to Brett Malkmus for the final 8:15 of the game.
The offense for both teams showed up early Saturday night as each club tallied five combined points in the first two periods. Dylan Wattles drew first blood for Topeka in the back-and-forth first period at 6:36 (assisted by Benton Deanovich and Trey Opack). Dixon Whitehead squared the game for Texas 13:07 with an even strength goal making it 1-1. A little over a minute later, Topeka was back on top after Kyle Rimbaugh (assisted by Joe Stoneburner and Dylan Wattles) split the posts at 14:43. Shortly thereafter, on a power play of their own, Texas made it 2-2 on a goal by Conor Durkin. In the second period, Tre Opack netted his first goal of the series, and second point of the night, on the only score for either team at 9:22 (assisted by Alex Sauer). The third period was all Topeka as Kyle Rimbaugh completed the first hat trick of the season for Topeka with goals at 1:29 (assisted by Cooley) and an unassisted score at 8:14 to make it 5-2 Caps. With the goalie pulled late in the frame, Steve MacIver finished things off with an empty netter at 17:58 (assisted by Igor Valko) and the Capitals skated away with a 6-2 victory. Brett Malkmus took the win in net for Topeka, his first of the season after stopping 35 of 37 shots.
Sunday afternoon's contest proved a tougher task for the Capitals as they fell behind twice in the second before jumping back on top in the third. Leading 3-2 in the final minutes of regulation, Jr Brahma Paolo DiGenova evened the score at 19:19 sending the game into overtime. At 3:13 of the extra frame, Colin O'Conner (assisted by Hank Roers and Alex Sauer) finished off Texas with the game winner that sealed the first series sweep for the Capitals this season and placed the team at the top of the South Division standings by a point over Texas and two points over Nashville. O'Conner's overtime goal was his second of the game following an assist he garnered on Opack's goal in the third. Alex Sauer had a goal and three assists for a whopping four points on the day. Opack had a goal and an assist for two points while Jayden Munnelly, Cooley, and Roers rounded out the scoring with an assist each. Goaltender Bailey Aust earned his second victory of the series and the season, batting away 22 of 25 shots on the day and 42 of 46 on the weekend.
The Capitals hit the road again this weekend to take on the Dallas Jr Stars for a two-game Friday and Saturday series followed by another game against Texas on Sunday. The team returns home on Saturday, October 11th, to play the Twin City Steel. Tickets for the games (3pm on the 11th and 11am on the 12th) are still available and are only $5. Parking for these and every other game this season is free. For more information on upcoming games, call 785-286-PUCK.