Pilots prep for weekend series with Jr. Blues

After splitting last weekend’s series with the Shreveport Mudbugs, the Topeka Pilots are looking to continue building off a strong start this weekend in Springfield, Ill. 

Topeka (9-4-1) are currently tied for first place in the NAHL South Division after 14 regular season games, with the Corpus Christi IceRays. 

The Pilots will play a non-divisional foe this weekend, the Springfield Jr. Blues, a two-game series at the Nelson Center. Puck drop will be at 7:05 p.m. Friday and 

The Pilots and Jr. Blues will face one 12 times total in the regular season, the most of any team they play outside of the NAHL South Division. 

The two teams split their first series this season, back on Sept. 27-28, with the Pilots falling 2-1 in the first game of the season before defeating Springfield 5-4 on the second night. 

Topeka has been paced offensively by forward Austin McCarthy, who leads the team with 13 points on the season, tallying seven goals and six assists. 

Springfield (4-5-1) has played four less games than Topeka, with only 10 contests completed coming into Friday night’s matchup. Forwards Danila Larionovs and Adisen Brueck each have seven points, which is tied for the team lead. 

The Pilots will be looking to increase their success this weekend on the powerplay, going 14 for 54 so far on the season, a 7.4 percent success rate. Topeka will also look to increase its penalty kill success rate, as they have killed off 84.2 percent of them to this point. 

Goaltender Jakub Dobes also will look to continue his hot start for the Pilots, with a current goal against average of 1.66. Dobes recently committed to The Ohio State University.