Complimented by rock solid goaltending and timely offense, the Topeka Pilots kept the positive momentum rolling on Thursday afternoon.
Facing the Minnesota Magicians in game two of the NAHL Showcase, Topeka (4-1-0) used a tally in the first, second and third periods and stellar play by goaltender Emil Gransoe to come away with a 3-0 shutout win.
Gransoe stopped 31 shots for the contest, including 15 in a busy second period, moving him to 2-1-0 on the season and lowering his goals against average to 1.26.
Forward Austin McCarthy scored the game’s opening and game-winning goal at 7:21 of the first period, on the powerplay. McCarthy fired a shot over the shoulder of Magicians goaltender Ethan Haider, beating him glove-side high.
Despite being outshot 15-7 in the second period, forward Quinn Green made it a 2-0 lead at 17:40 of the second period, his fourth goal of the season. Green was set up by a nice pass from behind the net, and his shot from the slot beat Haider through his legs.
Special teams worked fortuitously for the Pilots again in the third. After a nice chip along the boards, forwards Matthew Francois and Zeke Zeier zipped in on a 2-on-1 break. Skating in on the left wing, Francois dished it to Zeier, who fired it past Haider, giving Topeka a 3-0 lead at the 2:04 mark of the third period.
The 3-0 lead held to the final whistle, ensuring the victory. Topeka is back in action at 11 a.m. Friday morning against the Austin Bruins, who picked up a 2-1 shootout win over the Lone Star Brahmas on Thursday.