Topeka Pilots returning forward Michael Muschitiello had himself quite a game on Friday in the NAHL Showcase.
Topeka (5-1-0) got a timely goal by Muschitiello early in the second period and he scored the game-winning goal in the shootout, giving the Pilots a 2-1 victory over the Austin Bruins at Schwan’s Super Rink.
The Pilots have now won the first three games of the showcase, with stout goaltending also playing a large factor of the team’s success.
Goaltender Sam Metcalf got the victory in Friday’s contest, stopping 41 of 42 shots on goal, while Bruins goaltender Brett Miller stopped 20 of 21 shots on goal in the shootout defeat. Metcalf stopped both shots he faced in the shootout.
Muschitiello’s shootout goal was preceded by a shootout goal from forward Austin McCarthy. McCarthy faked forehand and flipped a backhanded shot past Miller’s blocker side.
The game-winning goal then came from Muschitiello, who rocketed a shot glove-side high, beating Miller cleanly to give Topeka a 2-0 shootout advantage and victory.
Trailing 1-0 after one period, Topeka knotted the score at 1:37 of the second period. McCarthy fed the puck to Muschitiello, who found himself alone in the slot, beating Miller top shelf. Defenseman Max Finner also notched an assist on the play.
Topeka wraps up the NAHL Showcase on at 6 p.m. on Saturday, as they face the Chippewa Steel.