Pilots Suffer First Overtime Loss of the Season

In a see-saw battle with the Odessa Jackalopes, the Topeka Pilots came out just short on Saturday night.

Topeka (10-8-1) had a 4-3 lead after a goal from forward Hugh Quinn at 9:55 of the third period, but Odessa (6-8-1) battled back with a goal at 16:55 from defenseman James Crossman, sending the game to overtime tied 4-4.

In the overtime session, each team had a couple of good looks, but the Jackalopes had the game-winner at 2:46, with forward Sebastian Frantz giving Odessa a 5-4 victory at Ector County Coliseum.

After falling 2-1 Friday night, Topeka opened the scoring early on Saturday, with forward Quinn Green notching his sixth goal of the season at 3:15.

Odessa then picked up tallies at 7:08 and 14:11 of the first, as Topeka entered the first intermission trailing 2-1.

Topeka picked up the pace in the second period, peppering goaltender Cade Phipps with 16 shots on goal. This effort was rewarded at 6:11, with defenseman Max Finner netting his third goal of the season.

The score remained 2-2 into the second intermission, setting up a frenetic third period.

Forward Matt Minverva gave Odessa the lead at 6:32 of the final period, but Topeka came right back. At 7:37, forward Michael Muschitiello scored a powerplay goal, his seventh goal of the season, putting the game back on even keel at 3-3.

This set up Quinn’s tally, which gave the Pilots a one-goal advantage.

The third period also included a number of altercations, including major penalties for fighting for Pilots forward Brendan Schultz and Odessa defenseman Brendan Coughlin. The game included 66 minutes of penalties assessed.

Topeka will now look to grab two points in Sunday’s matinee and finale of the three-game series. Puck drop at the Ector County Coliseum is set for 4:11 p.m..