Pilots complete series sweep with 3-2 victory

The Topeka Pilots came out of the gate ready to compete on Saturday night. 

With three goals before the first 10 minutes of the game had gone by, Topeka (21-10-3) jumped out to a commanding 3-0 lead. 

And they never trailed in the contest, holding the Shreveport Mudbugs to two second period tallies, winning 3-2 at George’s Pond Hirsch Coliseum for a series sweep. 

Topeka now moves to 45 points on the season, as they are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. They currently sit in third place in the NAHL South Division, with the division-leading Lone Star Brahmas currently six points ahead at 51 points. 

Outshooting Shreveport (20-11-0) by a margin of 11-3 in the first, forward Austin McCarthy tallied his 11th of the season just 1:41 in to make it 1-0 Pilots. 

McCarthy followed up on a loose puck on the play and knocked it home, after forwards Connor Zilisch and Michael Muschitiello were denied on their shot attempts by Mudbugs goaltender Richie Parent. 

Defenseman John Gormley doubled the lead at 8:25, with his shot from the point beating Parent through a screen. It was Gormley’s third goal of the season. 

Then just over a minute later at 9:43, Zilisch made it 3-0, knocking home another rebound for a powerplay tally. 

Two Mudbugs goals in the second period quickly made it tense, but Josh Langford shut the door to keep the lead for Topeka. 

Despite a combined 11 powerplay opportunities between the teams, only one tally came on the man-advantage Saturday night. 

Topeka will now finish up their six-game road trip with a trip to Springfield, Ill to face the Springfield Jr. Blues Jan 3-4 at the Nelson Center.