Pilots Drop Two Against Amarillo

A closely contested matchup between two talented teams ended in a one-goal differential Friday night in Amarillo.
The Topeka Pilots, in their first trip to Amarillo this season, trailed 5-4 late in the third period and threatened to even it. Topeka (6-2-0), however, could not beat goaltender Jason Grande once more, dropping the first of a two-game series 5-4.
Forward Hugh Quinn scored a powerplay goal at 14:21 of the third, cutting the Bulls’ lead to one-goal. Defenseman Max Finner picked up his sixth assist of the season on the play, while forward Dallas Tulik notched his fifth helper of the year.
Forward Quinn Green had a great chance at the 6:17 mark with a penalty shot attempt on Grande, but he could not cut into the Amarillo lead.
The second period was the difference in the contest, with Amarillo (5-1-0) scoring three consecutive goals in just over five minutes time, pushing the lead to 5-2.
Tulik scored his fifth goal of the season at 18:02 of the frame, cutting the lead to 5-3 before the second intermission, but the deficit proved to be too much. Tulik also had a goal in the first period, giving him a three-point night.
Forward Kyler Yeo opened the scoring at 1:46 of the opening period, deflecting a shot from Finner and beating Grande. Yeo’s goal was his first of the season.
Goaltender Sam Metcalf was credited with the loss, stopping 32 of 37 shots. Grande stopped 15 of 19 shots on goal in the victory.
In game two Saturday evening, Topeka looked to even the series against Amarillo. The Bulls had other plans, however, defeating the Pilots 5-2 at the Budweiser Bull Pen.
Topeka struggled early in the contest, trailing 3-1 after the first period. Tulik had another goal in the contest, his sixth of the season.
The Bulls pushed their lead to 5-1 in the third period, before forward Matthew Francois cut the deficit to 5-2 at 12:22 of the third.
Goaltender Emil Gransoe picked up the defeat in Saturday’s contest, stopping 28 of 33 shots on goal.
Topeka returns to action at 7:05 p.m. Friday, as they begin a two-game series with the Springfield Jr. Blues at the Nelson Center.