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CAPS THROTTLE THE STARS IN SWEEP

The Capitals have clinched a berth in the South Division Playoffs after routing the Dallas Junior Stars in a three-game series over the weekend. The team racked up 26 points, scoring 10 in each of the first and last games and six in the second to sweep one of their division rivals.

The Caps took an early 2-0 lead in the first game on the backs of Alex Johanson (assisted by Tre Kautzman and Steve MacIver at :54) and Mike Pedersen (assisted by James Bohan and John Crusinberry at 2:15) before surrendering two goals to Dallas to end the period tied at two-a-piece. That was the closest Dallas would come all weekend. Two more Caps goals in the second and seven in the third lifted the Caps to a 10-3 win. Johanson, Pedersen, Hank Roers, and Alex Sauer each contributed two goals in the game with Benton Deanovich and Kyle Rimbach adding a goal-a-piece.

Game two also started off close but the result was the same. Topeka jumped to another early lead with a goal by Tre Kautzman (assisted by Johanson and MacIver at :48) and a shorthanded tally by Rimbach (assisted by Richard Yusa at 7:38). Dallas narrowed the deficit to one before the end of the first period but it would be their last score of the game. James Bohan extended the lead to 3-1 in the second, while Joe Stoneburner fired in two goals in the period for a 5-1 lead heading into the third. Rimbach added a final goal in the closing frame to lift the Caps to a 6-1 victory. Bailey Aust was strong in net, stopping 20 of 21 shots on goal for his eighth win of the season.

In the series finale on Sunday morning, there would be no drama. Three goals in the first, two in the second, and five in the third carried the Caps to a 10-0 win. Jacob Pelton held serve in net by stopping all 21 shots against for his third shutout of the season. Sixteen different Capitals tallied points in the game including Sawyer Lockleis who punched home his first goal of the season. On the series, Richard Yusa (7 assists), Tre Kautzman (2 goals, 5 assists), and Alex Johanson (3 goals, 4 assists) led the way with Rimbach (3 goals, 2 assists), Pedersen (2 goals, 3 assists), Deanovich (1 goal, 3 assists), MacIver (4 assists), Roers (3 goals, 1 assist), and Bohan (1 goal, 2 assist) rounding out the offensive explosion which put Topeka over 100 points scored as a team for the season.

The Capitals hit the road for an eight-game trip before returning to Landon Arena for their final series of the season on February 27th. For more information on upcoming games and the postseason, call 785-286-PUCK.