Standish gets a clutch shorthanded goal late; Costello extends streak.
TULSA, OK– Still smarting from a lethargic performance in as 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Colorado Eagles on Tuesday night, the wounded Tulsa Oilers took the ice to face a team they’ve had a tough time solving this season, the Missouri Mavericks.
The Oilers are 1-5-0 against the Mavericks, with their only win against them a 4-3 overtime thriller back on December 4th. Though the Mavs have one five of the last 6 games the last three games between the two teams have been decided by a single goal. While Tulsa played last on Tuesday night, Missouri hasn’t played since Saturday when they were blanked by the Wichita Thunder 4-0.
Bruce Ramsay’s squad came into the game depleted by recent injuries to forward Mike Beausoleil and Ian Keserich. Former OU Sooners club team goalie Rob Mattinson was signed to back up starting goalie Trevor Cann while Beausoleil sat out Friday’s game as a scratch. Those two out along with Tom Fritsche being away from the Oilers on family emergency leave had the demons of Denver Avenue with a short bench going into a potentially physical game.
The Maverick started the scoring off with a goal at 12:32 of the first period with a goal by Ray DiLauro assisted by Ryan Jardine and Toby Lafrance. The Oilers leading goal scorer Jack Combs answered for Tulsa on the power play at 15:25 with a tapped in goal past a sliding Gary Festa. Combs goal, his 26th, breaks his tie with Chad Costello for the lead in goals scored so far, but Costello assisted in that goal and continued not only his consecutive streak of at least a point a game over the past 13 games.
The teams would again trade goals in the second period, Missouri striking first at the five-minute mark with a goal by Mike Berry assisted by Nathan Onabigon. The Tulsa’s Anthony Battaglia took a drop pass from Mike Wirill and slammed it home past a sprawled Festa at 8:50.
The Oilers would take the lead for the first time in the game at 6:22 of the third frame on a power play goal by Mike Wirill. The play developed off a breakout pass by Tyler Fleck from behind the Oilers goal to Tom Dignard, who pushed it across the ice to Wirill who slammed it home.
Shortly after that the Mavericks almost tied the game at 3 when the puck was shot and ricocheted off Oilers goalie Trevor Cann’s mask, dropped to his feet and teeter precariously along the goal line. One of the Oilers defensemen quickly moved to shoot the puck up ice and clear the net. So close was the play that referee Dan Dreger used the first stoppage of play with 8:40 left to consult with the goal judge behind Cann to make sure the puck did not cross the line.
At 12:51 of the 3rd Marty Standish too the puck into the Mavericks zone and flipped it past Gary Festa to give the Oilers a 4-2 lead with a shorthanded goal. Missouri would respond justb 28 seconds later with a goal by Bill Vandermeer assisted by Toby Lafrance to narrow the gap to 4-3.
A late power play opportunity awarded to Missouri after a tripping penalty to Derek Eastment with 1:26 left gave the Mavericks an opportunity to get a 2-man advantage (after Missouri pulled their goalie) but it came up empty and gave the Oilers a hard fought win. It gave the Oilers their second win over Missouri this season. In the end the Mavericks outshot Tulsa 38-22 and the Oilers went 2-6 on the power play.
Once again the standings shuffled in the CHL’s Berry Conference. The win by the Oilers tonight and losses by the Texas Brahmas, who lost 5-3 to Rio Grande Valley, and Odessa Jackalopes, 6-5 losers to Rapid City, put the Oilers in sole possession of 3rd place with 45 points, which is one point behind the Bossier Shreveport Mudbugs who have 46 poits (and lost to the Fort Wayne Komets 5-3 tonight).
The Oilers will close out the home-and-home series with Missouri at the Independence Events Center tomorrow night at 7:05pm. Steve McCall will provide the play-by-play action over the internet at Z1045theedge.com. The Oilers will play at home again on February 11th when they host Texas at 7:35 in the BOK Center.