The Topeka Pilots came into their weekend with the Amarillo Bulls knowing they’d be in for a tough test against the NAHL’s top team.
After falling in Friday’s contest, Topeka (32-14-4) got another strong goaltending effort Saturday night and defenseman Luc Salem picked up his second tally of the night 52 seconds into overtime, as the Pilots knocked off the Bulls 3-2 at the Budweiser Bull Pen.
Salem’s goal came on the powerplay after Amarillo was called for too many men on the ice at 19:39 of the third period.
After a preliminary shot was stopped, Salem continued to poke at it and knocked it past goaltender Charlie Glockner.
It was his ninth of the season, as he also scored the game’s opening goal 26 seconds into the first period. He leads the Pilots’ defensemen in goals and total points, with 36 points.
Salem opened the scoring in the first minute of the game, beating Glockner with a shot from the blue line through traffic, making it 1-0 Pilots.
It remained 1-0 through the midway point of the second, as forward Nick Trela beat goaltender Guy Blessing at 9:16 to make it 1-1.
Blessing was strong in net for the Pilots on the evening, with 50 saves on 52 total shots. Glockner made 22 saves on 25 shots in the defeat.
Forward Alexander Oberg put Topeka back ahead at 17:13 of the second, taking advantage of a turnover and beating Glockner for a 2-1 lead entering second intermission.
Defenseman Noah Carlin’s 12th of the season tied it at two at 13:35 of the third, sending the contest to overtime.
With the victory, Topeka remains in third in the NAHL South Division, narrowly edging out the Shreveport Mudbugs, who sit two points back in fourth place.
The Pilots will remain on the road next weekend, as they head to the Ector County Coliseum for a two-game series with the Odessa Jackalopes.