DENVER, CO.—After 60 minutes of regulation, five minutes of overtime, and 18-rounds of shootout the Tulsa Oilers (0-1-1) still fell to the Denver Cutthroats (2-0-0) on Saturday night in the second game of the CHL opening weekend.
Despite the loss the Oilers did notch one standings point for taking the game to overtime and the shootout.
Ross MacKinnon turned away 24-of-26 shots in his first start as an Oiler, while his counterpart across the rink Kieran Millan faced 38 shots, turning away 36. Ryan Menei got the Oilers first goal with just a half a tick remaining in the first period, flipping the puck past Millan on the power play off an assist from Todd Robinson.
At 1:45 of the middle frame Ryan Cramer slapped home a rebound to give Tulsa a 2-0 lead. The Oilers held the lead until a two-man advantage allowed the Cutthroats to solve MacKinnon in the game’s 43rd minute when Jean-Phillipe Chabot tucked in a rebounded Troy Schwab shot to cut the Tulsa lead to a goal at 7:06 of the period. Denver followed that up two minutes later when A.J. Gale found the back of the Tulsa net off a face-off to know the score at 2.
Five minutes of scoreless overtime gave way to the shootout session which took a record 18 rounds to finally decide. The two teams went through the best-of-5 first round with the teams scoreless, then Thomas Beauregard scored for Tulsa and T.J. Fox matched him for Denver in the same round to tie the shootout at 1-1. Six rounds would elapse scoreless until the Oilers Ben Gordon and the Cutthroats Garett Bembridge would match each other to knot the shootout at two goals apiece.
After a miss by Tulsa’s Ryan Cramer, Steve Kaunisto snapped the disc past Ross MacKinnon to give the home side the hard fought victory.
In all, the Oilers peppered the Denver net, outshooting Denver 38-27 with Tulsa’s Todd Robinson shooting 11 shots. Both teams scored with the extra man with Tulsa going 1-for-5 on the power play, and Denver going 1-for-6. The next time the Oilers will face the Cutthroats will be in December when they will take on the Cutthroats in two games played not in the Denver Coliseum as they did this past weekend, but at Lewis Arena in Aspen, Colorado. The first of only two times Denver will visit the BOK Center will be in 2014 on February 1st.
Tulsa will return home for the home opener of the 2013-14 season next Saturday night at 7:35pm in the BOK Center to take on the Allen Americans. The fun starts early on Saturday as a “block party” is planned for fans starting at 4pm along Frisco Street in downtown Tulsa, which is near the ticket office entry to the BOK Center. In addition, the first 2500 fans through the door will receive a free “Reload” t-shirt.
Single game tickets are on sale at the BOK Center ticket office located at 200 S. Denver and season tickets as well as information on group ticket packages can be obtained by visiting tulsaoilers.com, or by calling 918-632 7825.