Pilots drop overtime affair with Jackalopes

The Topeka Pilots had the game in hand late in the third period Friday night, but the Odessa Jackalopes were ready to spoil the party. 

Topeka (32-14-5) led 2-1 with less than two minutes to play before Odessa defenseman Spencer Kimball netted his first of the season and tied it at two late in the third. 

Then, just 1:13 into overtime, Jackalopes forward Samuel Harris netted his second of the night and sixth of the season, pulling off a come-from-behind 3-2 victory at the Ector County Coliseum. 

Harris’ tally was set up after Pilots forward Michael Muschitiello was penalized for tripping 42 seconds into the extra session. 

After a couple of preliminary shots were stopped by Pilots goaltender Josh Langford, Harris knocked it into the back of the net to give Odessa (9-38-2) its first victory of the season over Topeka. 

Before Kimball tied it with a seeing-eye shot late in the third, Pilots forward Lucas Sandoval netted his fifth of the season at 3:23 to give Topeka a 2-1 lead. His brother Dominic Sandoval had the primary assist on the play, feeding the puck to the slot. It was a short-handed goal, the sixth of the year for Topeka. 

Topeka opened the scoring at 5:36 of the first, as Topeka’s leading goal-scorer, forward Quinn Green, netted his 20th of the season, beating goaltender Andrew Takacs. 

Odessa fired back at 12:34, with Harris’ first goal of the evening, knocking a shot past Langford. 

Gaining one point in the standings, Topeka now sits three points ahead of the Shreveport Mudbugs at 69 points, good for third place in the NAHL South Division. 

Topeka has another chance to pick up two points on Saturday night, as they again face the Jackalopes at 7:15 p.m at the Ector County Coliseum.