TULSA, OK—One of the many cliché’s used in sports writing is “do or die” and for the Tulsa Oilers, it is in fact that time. It’s time for balls-to-the-wall, no holds barred hockey (two more sports clichés) or the Oilers will be going to the golf course at season’s end as opposed to getting their chance at the big dance. Losing last night to Rapid City 3-0 did not make things any easier.
Their loss combined with the Missouri Mavericks trouncing the Colorado Eagles 6-1 at home put them 3 points out of the 5th and final playoff spot at least for now, with 7 games left to play. The only bright spot was the fact that the team ahead of Missouri, the Mississippi Riverkings, lost in Allen to the Americans 5-2.
While there is still a lot of hockey to be played and literally ANYTHING can happen between now and the end of the regular season it is now almost a requirement for the Oilers to win most if not ALL of the remainder of their games if they want to make the playoffs for the first time since 2005.
The Oilers opened the scoring at 2:05 of the first period with the Riddle Brothers combining to score a shorthanded tally. The Mavericks would answer with a little over a minute left in the period when Jeff MacDermid scored even strength with Braden Walls and Jordan Foreman assisting. The period was typical for teams this close to a playoff spot in that the play was intense but conservatively so. The tension was building between the clubs as the period came to its end.
That tension would come to a head just 8 minutes into the second period as the Oilers Derek Eastman and Jordan Foreman would engage in fisticuffs. The fight was brief and uneventful but it set the tone for physicality in the period as the teams knocked each other around with a greater intensity than in the first period. One of the newest Oilers, Luke Stauffacher, scored at neat turnaround goal at 18:29 to break the tie with Travis Banga and David Alexandre Beauregard assisting.
At 9:29 of the 3rd period the Mavericks would knot the score at 2 when a former Oklahoma City Blazer, Mike Burgoyne and a former Tulsa Oiler, Jeff Christian, would combine to score with an additional Blazer also assisting. The Oilers had a brief ray of hope as a goal judge mistakenly turned on a light after Missouri goalie Garry Festa froze the puck, causing the horn to sound and the goal displays to come up on the scoreboard and the 360 led ring in the BOK Center. Referee Justin Greene had already whistled the play dead, however, and play continued.
The game would end and the overtime period commenced, with the Mavericks down two men at the end of regulation and thanks to the CHL rules the time on each penalty reduced by half. The Mavericks would kill the two man advantage the Oilers had with a good portion of overtime remaining. The game would go into a dreaded shootout.
Goals by Aaron Davis and Marty Standish in the shootout and a flawless performance by Marco Emond in the shootout gave the Oilers a hard fought win. Incredibly this is the first time the Oilers have defeated the Mavericks at home all season. The shootout win helps the Oilers by giving them 60 points and they remain 3 points behind the Mavericks and the Mississippi Riverkings who won tonight in their own shootout tonight against the Allen Americans.
This game concludes the home side of the regular season for the Oilers. The Oilers play 6 games on the road to finish the season, facing Amarillo on Wednesday, two games in Fort Collins against the Colorado Eagles and finishing with a pair of games at Mississippi on March 19th and 20th. It is unclear if the Oilers will make the playoffs, but if they do ticket information can be obtained by consulting tulsatoday.com or tulsaoilers.com. All of the exciting road games coming up can be heard at edgetulsa.com as well as Bruce Ramsay’s Hockey Happy Hour on Monday night, hosted by Oilers broadcaster Steve McCall.
Photos by: Kevin Pyle
SHOTS ON GOAL
Missouri 1 for 7 : Tulsa 0 for 8
Tulsa – Jake Riddle (shorthanded) (Troy Riddle) 2:05
Missouri – Jeff MacDermid (Braden Walls, Jordan Foreman) 18:54
Tulsa – Luke Stauffacher (Travis Banga, Derek Merlini) 18:29
Missouri – Mike Burgoyne (powerplay) (Jeff Christian, Simon Watson) 9:30
Tulsa – Aaron Davis
SHOOTER SCORE SCORE SHOOTER
Jeff MacDermid NO NO Troy Riddle
Tom Maldonado NO NO Jeff Gumaer
Mike Burgoyne NO NO Tyler Butler
Jordan Foreman NO YES Aaron Davis
YES Marty Standish
TOTALS: 0 2
Tulsa – Adam Bartholomay – (Hooking), 2 min, 1:00
Tulsa – Jeff Gumaer – (Too Many Men Bench Minor), 2 min, 6:03
Missouri – Mike Harr – (Hooking), 2 min, 8:28
Tulsa – Derek Eastman – (Tripping), 2 min, 9:50
Tulsa – Derek Eastman – (Board Checking), 2 min, 13:39
Missouri – Karl Sellan – (Roughing), 2 min, 15:33
Tulsa – Jeff Gumaer – (Too Many Men Bench Minor), 2 min, 1:13
Missouri – Jordan Foreman – (Interference), 2 min, 3:28
Tulsa – Derek Eastman – (Fighting Major), 5 min, 8:04
Missouri – Jordan Foreman – (Fighting Major), 5 min, 8:04
Missouri – Jordan Foreman – (Slashing), 2 min, 8:04
Tulsa – Derek Eastman – (Slashing), 2 min, 8:04
Tulsa – Thomas Harrison – (Slashing), 2 min, 9:56
Missouri – Carlyle Lewis – (Slashing), 2 min, 12:02
Missouri – Jeff Christian – (Delay of Game Bench Minor), 2 min, 20:00
Missouri – Jeff Christian – (Too Many Men Bench Minor), 2 min, 4:25
Tulsa – Brent Patry – (Cross Checking), 2 min, 7:37
Missouri – Blake Forsyth – (Tripping), 2 min, 18:46
Missouri – Nick Sirota – (Charging), 2 min, 19:26
GAME LENGTH: 2:53
REFEREE: Justin Greene
LINES 1: Josh Montgomery
LINES 2: Benjamin Dupuis
1ST STAR: Davis, Aaron (TUL)
2ND STAR: Standish, Marty (TUL)
3RD STAR: Christian, Jeff (MIZ)