TULSA, OK—Riding high after two big wins last Sunday against the CHL defending champions and the somewhat hapless Wichita Thunder on Wednesday night the Tulsa Oilers (3-5-2) took on the St. Charles Chill (2-5-1) on Friday night in the BOK Center.
The Oilers roared out to a 2-0 lead by the first break on power play goals by Ben Gordon and Blair Macauley. Gordon’s tally came at 4:22 on a sharp angle shot fired from the left of the Chill net and somehow squeezed the puck past Mathieu Corbeil for his fourth goal of the season. Assists went to Todd Robinson and Scott Macauley. Scott’s also assisted his brother Blair, who found the back of the Chill net at 16:36 after he redirected a shot from Adam Pleskach behind Corbeil for his first goal as a professional in his fourth game as a pro.
Tulsa struck early in the middle frame when veteran Michel Beausoleil stuffed the puck under Corbeil with just 2:10 elapsed in the second period with Todd Robinson and Nathan Lutz getting the helpers. Four minutes later Adam Pleskach shot past Corbeil from close range to give the home side a commanding 4-0 lead with nearly half the game gone. That was enough for St. Charles head coach Jaime Rivers, who pulled Corbeil in favor of Robert Moss.
In 26:46 in the St. Charles net Corbeil turned aside 14 of the Oilers 18 shots. The goalie switch seemed to spark St. Charles and the Chill began to mount a comeback. Goals from Anthony Perdicaro and Phil Bushbacher cut the Tulsa lead to 4-2 at the end of the second period. The Oilers 14-3 shot advantage dropped to an even 9 shots apiece in the middle stanza.
Bushbacher pulled the Chill to within one goal at the 4:04 mark when he banked a shot off of Oilers forward Ryan Cramer and past goalie Shane Madolora. Then, just as the 5,235 Oilers fans the arena were despairing about the possibility of the Oilers letting the lead completely evaporate Tulsa forward Kyle Bochek ricocheted a shot off Adam Pleskach with just under 3 minutes to play to restore the home side’s two goal lead.
Just 40 seconds later, on the power play, the fans in the BOK Center collectively groaned as St. Charles forward Kyle Kraemer scored to reduce the Tulsa advantage to a single goal at 18:46 of the period. Then Todd Robinson erased all hope of a full on St. Charles comeback when he slid the disc into the empty Chill net at 19:01 to seal the game for the Oilers and give them their third straight victory.
Six Oilers finished with multiple-point nights including Pleskach and Robinson who registered three points each. For the fifth straight game, each member of the Oilers second line, Pleskach, Bochek, and Brandon Coccimiglio, recorded at least one point. The Tulsa trio has combined to put up 28 points in the last five outings and has combined for +15 rating over that span.
Robinson found the net for the first time since opening night in Denver and Shane Madolora leveled his record at 3-3-0 on the season. In all, Madalora turned away 16 of 20 St. Charles shots and Moss stopped 19 Oilers shots in relief of Corbeil.
The Oilers held St. Charles to just three shots in the first period and only allowed the Chill 20 shots on net for the game. Tulsa improves to 3-5-2 with 8 points and remains in 6th place overall in the league standings. The Chill falls to 2-5-1 with 5 points and 8th place.
The two teams will go at it again on Saturday night at 7:35pm in the BOK Center.