TOPEKA, KS — Coming into tonight the Jackalopes had never lost a game in overtime, that was until the Pilots scored off a bound with 11.4 seconds left in OT to take game one of the weekend series 4-3.
The Jackalopes got on the board first in the late stages of the first period after Connor Fedorek sent a pass from below the goal-line to Connor Smith in front. Smith took a couple shots but was eventually able to put away his won rebound to give the Jackalopes a 1-0 lead.
This lead lasted for about four minutes before the Pilots tied it up 1-1 with under two to play in the second.
The second period saw a pair of defensemen goals by the Jackalopes. The first came off the stick of Brenden Coughlin midway though the second. Zach Henitz had the puck at the top of the circles but was hit before he could get a shot off. Able to stay on his feet and coral the loose puck he sent a pass to Coughlin as he streaked to the point. Coughlin then sent a hard shot on goal that beat Pilots goaltender Emil Gransoe over his glove. That made it 2-1 Jackalopes before the Pilots once again tied the game off a power play goal in front a few minutes later.
The Jackalopes answered with a power play goal of their own when Connor Fedorek sent a shot in that found it’s way into the back of the net to put Odessa back on top 3-2. Once again however, the Pilots stormed back and tied the game 3-3 with just over a minute to play in the second period.
A scoreless third period led to a overtime session, the third straight between the two teams. Both teams had power plays in the extra session but it was the Pilots who capitalized. A shot in front produced a rebound that was buried by Austin McCarthy on the door-step with 11.4 seconds left in the extra session.
The loss puts the Jackalopes 13-20-1-1 on the season. They will face the Pilots for two more games on Saturday and Sunday respectively before returning to Odessa.