Pilots beat USHL Lancers in Exhibition Game

After a final preseason test in Omaha, Neb. against the United State Hockey League’s Omaha Lancers, the Topeka Pilots are eager to drop the puck on the regular season Friday.
Traveling north three hours to face the Lancers in their lone exhibition match up, Topeka prevailed 3-2 in a shootout Tuesday, on the strength of a tally from new forward Shawn Kennedy.
The game gave the Pilots an opportunity to assess readiness levels for the regular season and also gave players an opportunity for a competitive challenge, facing a team in the USHL, which is a tier above the North American Hockey League.
“We expected a tough test, and that is what we got,” Pilots head coach Simon Watson said. “It was a spirited game, with a lot of physicality. A game like that is a great way to prepare for Friday night’s home opener.”
Kennedy also had the second Pilots tally, netting a goal in the second period. Returning forward Quinn Green opened the scoring for the Pilots in the first, as he looks to build off last year’s success.
“We obviously had things we want to improve on, but I was very happy with our compete level all night,” Watson said. “I thought we played amped up from the puck drop.”
Welcoming the Corpus Christi IceRays to town Friday, Watson said his team has been hard at work studying tape, but Tuesday’s win was also a nice momentum push to use heading into the regular season.
“It’s definitely a boost of confidence and validation of all of the efforts we’ve been putting in since camp started to have our game in Omaha go that way,” Watson said. “We’ve got a good team coming in Friday, and we’re excited for the challenge.”
Puck drop will be at 7:05 p.m. Friday evening at the Stormont Vail Events Center for the home opener.
For fans looking to attend Friday night’s contest, single game tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online or at the Stormont Vail Events Center box office. There will be a Quick Stick Schedule Giveaway, so fans are encouraged to come out early, with doors at 6:05 p.m. Friday’s contest will also include $2 beer, $2 sodas and $2 popcorn.