Ryan Barlock (42) and Sebastian Geoffrion (57) square off in Tulsa on 12/6. Photo by Kevin Pyle (www.photopyle.com)
After suffering their worst defeat last weekend in Moline, Illinois at the hands of the Quad City Mallard the Tulsa Oilers bounced back in a big way this past weekend notching three wins, including two games against the Arizona Sundogs and one on the road against the Wichita Thunder.
Third period the charm for Tulsa.
An inexplicable crowd of 4,077 braved icy roadways in the Tulsa area to see the Tulsa Oilers (11-9-2) top the Arizona Sundogs (7-11-1) 5-3 in the BOK Center on Friday, December 6th.
The two teams were pretty evenly matched in the game, which was the first of six meetings between the Oilers and Sundogs this season. The game started off with Arizona denting the twine first with a strike from Jordan Clendenning at the 9:24 mark of the first period. Less than a minute later Adam Pleskach scored his 14th goal of the season to even the score.
At 14:20 of the first Pleskach scored his second goal of the night on the power play, taking a Scott Macauley pass and neatly lifting it up and over Arizona goalie Andrew Engelage to give the home side a 2-1 advantage. Then, with less than a minute remaining in the opening stanza, Travis Ouellete, playing his first game as a Sundog, scooped up a rebound off the end boards and fired over Tulsa netminder Shane Madolora to even the score at 2-2.
The two teams battled without a goal through the second period. Shot values through two periods was relatively low, by the end of the middle period the Sundogs were outshooting the Oilers 18-14, and on the whole the teams were playing an evenly paced game throughout.
The Tulsa offense came alive in the third period, when the Oilers took command of the game with a shorthanded goal by Todd Robinson at the 11:45 mark of the period when Todd Robinson finished off a neat passing play between him and Kyle Bochek. The Sundogs again evened the score at 14:29 of the third when Arizona scoring leader Paul McIlveen teed the puck up and blasted it by Madolora.
At that point the Oilers offense found new life. At 16:40 Ryan Cramer punched home his 7th goal of the year when he blasted in a shot off a Blair Macauley pass. Then veteran Michel Beausoleil provided the insurance marker with a little over two minutes remaining to put the game out of reach for the home team.
The Oilers improved to 11-9-2 with the victory, ending a two game losing streak. The Sundogs fall to 7-11-1. Tulsa has 11 wins in their last 15 games. Scott Macaulay, Adam Pleskach, Todd Robinson, and Kyle Bochek each ended the night with two points and Tulsa found a way to pick up two points despite being outshot for a third straight game, and Shane Madolora improved to 9-7-0 on the season with a 25-save performance.
Oilers roll the Thunder 4-1.
Shane Madolora made 32 saves, Kyle Bochek and Scott Macauley both recorded a goal and an assist as the Tulsa Oilers defeated the Wichita Thunder 4-1 in front of 5,722 in the InTrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita on Saturday night.
The Thunder had enjoyed three straight wins over the Missouri Mavericks prior to taking on their only remaining original CHL rival while the Oilers had got back on the winning track on Friday night at home against the Arizona Sundogs after dropping two straight to the Mavericks and the Quad City Mallards.
Tulsa got on the board first at 5:48 of the first period when Kyle Bochek took a pass from Ryan Menei and buried the puck behind Thunder goalie David Brown. Erick Lizon, who was recently assigned to Wichita by the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons responded less than a minute later slipping a shot into the Oilers net just past Madolora’s pads to tie the game at 1-1.
The tie remained in force until the 8:20 mark of the second period when Ben Gordon deflected a Scott Macauley wrist shot past Brown to give the Oilers a 2-1 edge. Gordon’s tenth goal of the season extended the Minnesota native’s point streak to eight games. Eight minutes later Macauley sped up ice and got a goal of his own, taking a pass from Menei and ripping the puck past Brown’s glove to extend the Oilers lead to 3-1.
The Oilers locked the game down at that point, with Shane Madolora made several stops from close range to preserve the lead for the Oilers. Michel Beausoleil capped off the win with an empty net goal at 18:55 and the Oilers put an end to Wichita’s three-game win streak.
One of the more surprising aspects of the game Saturday night was the relative lack of penalties in the game. The 8 minutes of penalties were evenly split between the teams at four minutes each and both Tulsa and Wichita were scoreless on their lone power plays. It is a marked difference from what old school Oilers fans remember as a very tumultuous rivalry in the early years, with several games worth of penalty minutes handed out after some very violent games over the years.
The Oilers have earned two points in three consecutive trips to Wichita for the first time since the 2010-11 season and have won 12 of their last 16 contests overall. Madolora recorded his tenth win of the season as Tulsa allowed its lowest goal total since shutting out the Thunder on November 6 at the BOK Center.
Sweep complete: Oilers edge Sundogs 4-3.
Jarred Mohr is up-ended by an Arizona Sundog on 12/8 in Tulsa. Photo by Kevin Pyle. (www.photopyle.com)
For only the second time this season the Tulsa Oilers swept a series of game over a weekend when they defeated the Arizona Sundogs 4-3 in the BOK Center on Sunday afternoon. It was the second straight win against the Sundogs and with a 4-1 win last night over Wichita the Oilers have won three-in-a-row.
Arizona got on the board first with a goal by Bryan Cameron, who slapped the puck past Oilers goalie Shane Madolora at the 4:13 mark of the opening period. At about the 9 minute mark Arizona newcomer Tommy Maxwell lined up the Oilers Ben Gordon and delivered a vicious check to the head that sent Gordon crumpling to the ice and touching off two separate altercations. Kyle Bochek took on Maxwell and Jake Obermeyer restrained Garrett Clarke. Gordon was uninjured and finished the game, Maxwell was assessed a four-minute double minor for roughing in addition to a fighting major by referee Brent Coloumbe. Obermeyer and Clarke were assessed 10-minute misconducts.
On the ensuing power play at the 11:40 mark of the first period, Ryan Menei snapped a wrist shot off the glove of Sundogs’ goalie Andrew Engelage and Drew Fisher sent a bouncing pass out front to Macaulay. The rookie forward swatted the puck past Engelage for his fifth goal of the season and knotted the score at 1-1.
Just 15 seconds elapsed into the second period Alexandre Beauregard scored after taking a beautiful pass from Macauley and flipping it past Engelage to give the Oilers their first lead of the game. It was Beauregard’s second goal of the season and the Oilers carried the 2-1 lead into the third period.
Cameron got his second goal of the night a little over 3 minutes into the final period to tie the game 2-2, but at 13:36 Drew Fisher returne the lead to the home team when he took a neat pass from Adam Pleskach in the corner and snapped the puck over Engelage’s blocker. Then the home team got an apparent insurance goal with just over two minutes remaining, defenseman Jake Obermeyer found an opening in the middle of the Sundogs zone and zipped a snap shot underneath the crossbar to give the Oilers a 4-2 lead.
Arizona, refusing to go quietly, responded in just 30 seconds as Travis Oullette re-directed a shot through the pads of Madolora to bring the Sundogs back within one goal. Through several starts, stops, and face-offs in the final 90 seconds, the Oilers clamped down defensively to stave off the Sundogs comeback bid and preserve the win.
The last time the Oilers completed a sweep of a weekend set of games was when they defeated Wichita twice and Brampton once each over the November 15-17 weekend.
Altogether, the wins over the weekend saw Tulsa improve to 13-9-2 with 28 points and into sole possession of second place in the Central Hockey League, four points behind Rapid City. Arizona dropped their 5th straight game in a row, falling to 7-13-1 on the season and into 9th place. To date the Oiulers have played more games than any other team in the CHL at 24, and are the most improved team thus far in the league climbing out of miserable 0-5-2 start to their current level.
From here the Oilers will travel to the Great White North to the Toronto suburb of Brampton, Ontario for the first time for a three-game set with the Beast. On November 17th Tulsa defeated Brampton 6-3 at home. As of this writing the Beast have played 22 games, (Tulsa has played the most games of any team in the CHL at 24), and they are in 6th place just above the .500 mark at 11-10-1 with 23 points.
Tulsa will return home on December 20th for a rematch with the Quad City Mallards, the team who handed them their worst lost to date this season, a 9-3 drubbing on November 30th.