Oilers blow 3rd period lead and lose 3rd straight.
TULSA, OK– There are a lot of questions and not that many answers for the Tulsa Oilers as they close on 20 games into the season, the biggest question being how they can find a way to win .
Last night, the Oilers took on the Allen Americans and for the balance of the game, they gave the team with the best record in the Central Hockey League a run for it’s money as the deficit they had to overcome was only a goal. Then, after Mike Beausoleil took an interference penalty at the end of the 2nd period, the Americans needed only 21 seconds to put the game out of reach by scoring two quick goals.
Friday night’s game featured the first visit of the
Missouri Mavericks to the amazing BOK Center this season, sporting a
5-4-2 record and fresh off a win at home over the Fort Wayne Komets on
November 13. The last time the Mavericks and the Oilers met was on
November 5th in a fire-delayed game where the Oilers fell 4-2.
While Tulsa doesn’t look particularly good in the standings they are
doing rather well individually. Mike Beausoleil had a goal and an assist
last night against Allen that stretched his point streak to four games.
Chad Costello leads the Oilers on the score sheet as of now with sn
even seven goals and assists for 14 points.
Finally, rookie defenseman Brennan Barker scored his first goal as a professional last night against the Americans in the 3rd period. All those things are nice except for the fact that the Oilers sport a dismal 3-9-1 record, dead last in the CHL’s Berry Conference.
Prior to tonight’s game, as has been the new ritual for the Oilers of late, head coach Bruce Ramsay made a roster move, waiving defenseman Stacey Bauman and acquired Yale University product Tom Dignard. In 13 games Bauman had four minutes in penalties and no goals or assists and was a -7 on the stat sheet.
The Mavericks got on the board first at 3:13 of the opening period on a goal by Toby LaFrance assisted by Dominic D’Amour and Tab Lardner. The Oilers would tie the game in the second period on a goal by Derek Eastman assisted by Jack Combs and Chad Costello.
The game was a much more physical than Thursday night’s game, with heavy checking and hitting along the boards. The Oilers then took the lead seven seconds into the 3rd period on a second goal by Eastman Assisted by Gordon Bell and Combs. The goal was in dispute by Maverick goalie Rob Nolan as referee Kevin Webinger had called a delayed penalty on the Mavericks and there was some question as to whether or not Missouri had touched the puck before it went into the net
It counted, and the Oilers enjoyed their first lead of the game. Unfortunately, it was short lived. Nick Sirota tied the game at 5:24 on an even strength goal with Ryan Jardine assisting. The lead evaporated entirely when Derek Pallardy scored a power play goal at 11:36 assisted by Simon Watson. Missouri continued the onslaught When Toby LaFrance netted his second goal, also on the power play, at 12:09. The final goal for the Mavericks was a second goal by Sirota, this time at even strength,
It became apparent in the 3rd period as any resemblance of an Oilers counterattacke evaporated that the 2010-11 squad lacks the capability to finish the job once they take a lead. Two games where the opposing squad has hung 5 goals on the Oilers makes that fact disturbingly evident.
In the end the Mavericks out shot Tulsa 31-26, with Oilers goalie Ian Keserich stopping 26 and Rob Nolan stopping 24. The Oilers converted 2 of 6 power play opportunities while Missouri went two for six, The Oilers made a louder thud in the cellar of the CHL’s Berry Conference and lose their 3rd straight since their 4-3 shootout victory over the Colorad Eagles a week ago. The Oilers also have not won a game at home since opening night, a fact spun positive only slightly by the fact that as of Friday night they had only played 5 games in the BOK Center since the beginning of the 2010-11 campaign.
The team travels to Independence to complete the home and home series with the Maverick on Saturday night at 7:05pm in the Independence Events Center. The next home game for the Oilers features the first visit of thev Quad City Mallards next Tuesday at 7;05pm.