Caps Top Bulldogs 6-5 In Shootout Win
A traffic-jam-delayed start, a mountain of penalties, and a last-minute-game-tying goal by the Bulldogs couldn’t slow the Capitals fast and furious start in the NA3HL on Saturday night. After holding a two point lead in the third, Topeka was forced into overtime and out gunned Chicago in a shootout 6-5.
After arriving late due to an interstate pile-up in Missouri, the Bulldogs were greeted with Georgy Ostapchuk’s unassisted goal at 6:07 of the first, staking the Caps to an early lead. A minute later, the Bulldogs evened the game at one by way of a Matt Kostopoulos netter at 7:08. Ostapchuk was whistled for holding moments later leaving the Caps on the defensive. Sort of. While Chicago goaltender Michael Paku was behind the net clearing the puck on the power play, Tyler Brady (assisted by Dante Juris) snuck in front and slipped the puck into the empty net to restore the Capital lead. And with time winding down in the first, Nick Manney (assisted by Brady at 18:10) increased the Caps lead to 3-1.
This back and forth continued into the second as Jarret Walt cut it to 3-2 at 2:33. Not to be outdone, Yu Hikosaka (assisted by Juris and Jaydn Munnelly at 14:25) split the pipes to make it 4-2 Caps. Brady would find the back of the goal again (assisted by Hikosaka and Nick White at 15:16), stretching the edge to an almost insurmountable 5-2. The Bulldogs bore down at the end of the period as Tyler Dalton’s score narrowed the game to 5-3.
The Bulldogs began chipping away at the Caps lead with a goal by Trevor Foley at 2:45. And just when it seemed the Caps might eek this one out in regulation, Kostopoulos knotted the game at five with only 38 seconds left (extra attacker, unassisted) sending the contest into overtime. That the score was tied in regulation was remarkable largely because the Caps incurred 47 penalty minutes resulting in 10 power plays for the visiting Bulldogs. By comparison, Topeka enjoyed only two power plays for the game but nevertheless were able to kill all but one of the 10 penalties against them.
Overtime passed without incident and both teams were sent to the line for a shootout. White scored on his first attempt after Kostopoulos was denied by Jude Hull. On their third attempt, the Caps’ Brady made it 2-0 with a nifty shot past Paku, forcing the Bulldogs to make their final two penalty shots to extend the shootout. Foley did his part but Daniel Marotz was stymied by Hull on the final attempt, handing the Capitals their first ever shootout victory.
The Capitals and Bulldogs will do battle again Sunday morning at 11am at Landon Arena. Tickets are only $5 and parking is free. For more information on Topeka Capitals tickets and future games, call 785-286-7825, follow the team on Facebook, or visit www.topekacapitals.com.