Pilots represent South Division at Top Prospects Tournament

Three Topeka Pilots raced into the North American Hockey League’s Top Prospects Tournament held on Monday and Tuesday in Attleboro, Mass. 

Defenseman Luc Salem and forwards Quinn Green and Michael Muschitiello all represented Topeka in two total games, with Pilots head coach Simon Watson also on hand to coach the Selects Red team.  

Only NAHL players without college commitments were eligible to participate in the tournament, with the exception of players on the Selects Red and Selects Blue teams. The event provided an exceptional opportunity for players to attract attention of the many collegiate and NHL scouts on hand. 

The tournament began for Salem, Green, and Muschitiello against their current coach, as the South Division team faced off against the Selects Red on Monday afternoon. 

In a high-scoring affair, the South Division defeated the Selects Red 7-3, on the strength of four goals from Amarillo Bulls forward Matt Allen. 

With the score tied at 2-2, the South Division exploded for four goals in the third to take control. 

Following Allen’s tally to open the scoring at 7:22 of the first, Muschitiello got into the act at 11:48, batting a puck out of midair into the net to make it 2-0 South Division. 

Not to be outdone, Green added a tally of his own at 18:07 of the third period, making it 6-3 South Division, giving both forwards a plus two for the game, with a goal each. 

While Salem did not show up on the score sheet in the first game, he played a vital role in Monday’s contest, helping limit the Selects Red to three tallies. 

In Tuesday’s matchups, Watson’s Selects Red roster rebounded after giving up seven goals on Monday to score seven goals of their own, defeating the Midwest Division 7-4. 

Down 3-2 after one, the Selects Red outscored the Midwest Division 5-1 in the final 40 minutes to seize the victory. 

Salem, Green, and Muschitiello were all held scoreless in Tuesday’s contest, as the South Division fell to the Central Division by a final of 5-4. Each player finished the game with a minus one rating. 

With the added confidence of bolstering their collegiate commitment hopes, Watson and the Pilots now return to NAHL regular season action. They will be in Albuquerque, N.M. this coming weekend, playing Friday and Saturday at the Outpost Ice Arena.