Pilots receive divisional awards

The Topeka Pilots, members of the North American Hockey League, received exciting news on Tuesday, receiving notification of several divisional-based awards they have received for the 2018-2019 season.

The awards were based on performance during the 2018-19 regular season.

The Pilots are honored to announce they received the NAHL South Division Organization of the Year Award for their inaugural season efforts on and off the ice.

“It is an honor for the Pilots to be recognized as the South Division Organization of the Year,” Pilots owner Lamar Hunt Jr. said. “It’s been an inaugural season we won’t forget, and we couldn’t have done it without the support and dedication of everyone involved. Without the diligent work of the Pilots front office staff, coaches, players, billet families, Booster Club, off-ice officials and the ExpoCentre staff, this wouldn’t have been possible. We also want to thank all of our corporate and community partners for their continued support of hockey in Topeka.”

Secondly, forward Joel Brandinger has received the South Division Academic Achievement Award for his studies from his senior year at Forest Hills Northern High School in Grand Rapids, Mich. Brandinger graduated from Forest Hills Northern High School in May 2018.

Brandinger, who was born in Linköping, Sweden, graduated Summa Cum Laude and finished his senior year with a cumulative GPA above 4.0. He was also a member of the Michigan Mathematics Prize Competition test during his senior year.

In his first year with the Pilots, Brandinger netted two goals and added five assists, for seven total points. He was also fourth during his senior year in points while at Forest Hills Northern High School.

He stated after taking this year to focus on hockey, he plans to continue his academics next season, taking collegiate classes online.

“It’s definitely a tough balancing act with school and hockey,” Brandinger said. “It takes planning and time management, but if you have the will and the work ethic, it’s achievable.”

If interested in seeing the Pilots in action for the 2019-2020 season, season tickets are now on sale. For more information, please call the Pilots office at 785-266-7825 or visit www.topekapilots.com.