Pilots Pick Up One Point Against Junior Blues

A resilient Topeka Pilots team fought to the very end Friday night at Landon Arena.
After equalizing the game at 3-3 with a nifty tally in the third, Topeka (12-10-3) could not find the game-winner in overtime, with the Springfield Jr. Blues instead beating goaltender Emil Gransoe for a 4-3 overtime win.
Forward Nick Techel was credited with the game-winner at 2:20 of the overtime session.
Topeka battled back from 3-1 down in the second period to force overtime in Friday’s contest, something that Pilots head coach Simon Watson was proud of.
“It was good to see our guys bounce back there from the breakdown in the second period,” Pilots head coach Simon Watson said. “We’ll look at the tape and learn from our mistakes.”
After a Jr. Blues tally made it 1-0 at 11:59 of the first period, forward Valdemar Ahlberg scored his first goal in his first game with the Pilots at 15:53, evening the game at one. Forward Connor Zilisch had an assist on the play, feeding Ahlberg, who beat goaltender Jack Williams with a backhanded shot.
Three different Pilots forwards contributed Friday in the goal column, something Watson looks forward to seeing more of in future games.
“All four lines contributed offensively,” Watson said. “We’ll have to make a few adjustments defensively and come back tomorrow to battle for two points.”
In the second period, Springfield (10-11-3) came out strong with two goals in the first five minutes of the period. Forwards Nigel Nelson and Brandon Puricelli scored just over a minute apart, pushing the score to 3-1.
Before the end of the second, forward Austin McCarthy cut the lead to 3-2, with a powerplay goal at 17:29 of the frame.
In the third period, forward Quinn Green equalized the game at three, with a slick shot between his legs, beating Williams at 5:46 of the third period.
Topeka will look to get back at it Saturday, with an opportunity to earn three out of four points on the weekend. Saturday’s contest will include $2 beer, hot dogs, and sodas.