McCarthy nets hat trick, Pilots knock off Jackalopes 8-2

The Topeka Pilots had their way with the Odessa Jackalopes Friday night. 

Forward Austin McCarthy had a hat trick, goaltender Guy Blessing made 31 saves, and the Topeka Pilots tallied eight goals in total, en route to an 8-2 win at Ector County Coliseum. 

After Odessa (7-14-2) opened the scoring for a 1-0 lead, Topeka (14-9-2) struck for four straight goals. 

The Jackalopes cut the deficit to 4-2, before four more consecutive tallies by the Pilots, all in the third period and all on the powerplay.  

The Pilots entered the contest needing to pick up their play on the powerplay. With the tallies, they increased their powerplay success rate to 11.3 percent. 

Topeka outshot Odessa 47-33 for the contest, including a 17-9 shots on goal disparity in the third. 

After forward Dominic Sandoval tied it at 1-1 at 9:14, McCarthy got his first marker of the night at 19:47, making it 2-1 Topeka after one. 

In the second, defenseman Vincent Corcoran picked up his first goal of the season at 3:09, taking a nice feed and burying the puck past goaltender Aaron Randazzo.  

Forward Kaiden Scott then got into the act with a nice individual effort at 11:09. Scott’s tally was his sixth of the season. 

Entering the third with a 4-2 lead, forward Shawn Kennedy pushed the lead to 5-2 at 5:06, netting his fourth goal of the year, firing home a rebound. 

McCarthy then netted his second of the night 23 seconds later, beating Randazzo on the backhand. 

The hat trick was completed at 11:49, as Corcoran dropped off a pass for McCarthy at the blue line. He skated around an Odessa defender and ripped a shot from the slot for his third goal of the night and his 10th goal of the season. 

Forward Matthew Francois finished off the scoring at 14:51, deflecting a shot from the blue line into the net. 

Topeka will look to continue its momentum Saturday night, as they again face the Jackalopes, looking for a series sweep. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m. at the Ector County Coliseum.