Pilots drop shootout affair with Brahmas

The Topeka Pilots netted a late equalizer in the third period to send Saturday’s contest with the Lone Star Brahmas to overtime. 

But Topeka (19-10-3) was unable to grab the two points, falling in the shootout. Lone Star forward Will Stromp had the winning goal in the shootout for the Brahmas, beating goaltender Josh Langford to give Lone Star a 5-4 victory at the NYTEX Sports Centre. 

Forward Quinn Green had the lone goal for the Pilots in the shootout, scoring in the first round to give Topeka the early advantage. 

After the Pilots tally in the shootout, Lone Star quickly equalized it, scoring on their first attempt. The shootout score remained even until the fourth round, with Stromp’s game-winner. 

The game got to overtime and then the shootout after Green also scored the game-tying goal with 23 seconds left in regulation to make it 4-4. It was his 10th goal of the season, which is tied with forward Austin McCarthy for the team lead. 

The Pilots had a brief 3-2 lead in the third after forward Connor Zilisch put Topeka ahead at 11:36 of the third. 

But the lead was nullified 25 seconds later, as Lone Star forward Matt Guerra beat Langford to even the game at 3-3. 

Lone Star then took back the lead at 17:18, with defenseman Mitchell Digby netting his third of the season, leading up to Green’s late equalizer. 

Green’s goal came as he deflected a shot from defenseman Luc Salem, which eluded goaltender Cayden Bailey. 

Lone Star opened the scoring at 6:17 of the first, as forward Eric Huss scored his first of two goals on the night to make it 1-0. 

The Pilots tied it at 3:45 of the second, as defenseman Jordan Gonzalez picked up his third tally of the season, on a nice shot from the high slot beating Bailey. 

Huss put the Brahmas back on top at 4:57, before defenseman John Gormley evened it up again at 15:01 of the second, on one of the most unexpected goals of the season. 

Gormley fired a slap shot from center ice that zoomed right past Bailey, stunning the Brahmas and tying the contest at 2-2. 

After a short holiday break, the Pilots will be back in action for a two-game series on Dec. 27-28 at George’s Pond Hirsch Coliseum, as they face the Shreveport Mudbugs. Shreveport is coming off of a two-game sweep of the Corpus Christi IceRays.