TULSA, OK—It’s as if the Missouri Mavericks have an invincibility spell cast on the Tulsa Oilers this season.
Only two Central Hockey League teams have yet to lose when they have played Tulsa and one of them is the Mavericks who worked their sorcery once again on the ice at the BOK Center as 4,770 fans saw the Oilers drop yet another game to the team from Independence on Friday night. Just over three minutes into the contest, rookie forward Adam Pleskach slapped a puck toward the Missouri net that bounced between the legs of Suomalainen to give the Oilers a 1-0 advantage.
But the optimism of Tulsa’s first goal on their very first shot was short lived.
Andrew Courtney tied the game at 5:32 on the power play after Tulsa veteran Michel Beausoleil was sent off for interference. Courtney’s mark was the beginning of a string of what would be four unanswered goals in the first 20 minutes. Colt King scored at 13:09, then Anders Franzon stole the puck from Cody Dion and scored on a short breakaway to make the score 3-1 Missouri at 14:17. Rob Kleebaum capped off the scoring spree with less than a minute remaining in the period when he rifled a shot over the glove of Shane Madolora for his ninth goal of the season.
When the horn sounded for the game’s first break the Oilers were staring a 4-1 Maverick lead, with Missouri scoring four goals on 11 shots in the first.
Tulsa narrowed the deficit to two goals when team captain Nathan Lutz scored on a slap shot just short of 12 minutes into the second, and his team outshot the Mavericks 8-6 in the middle frame. The Maverick’s two-goal lead held until the closing minutes when Oilers rookie Blair Macaulay squeezed a snap shot past the blocker of Suomalainen with only 67 seconds left in regulation. Tulsa had closed the gap to 4-3 but was unable to net the equalizer. John-Scott Dickson capped off the Mavs’ victory with an empty net goal at 19:55 as Missouri improved to 12-4-0 on the road and 3-0-0 at the BOK Center this season.
Overall, though they lost by only two goals the Oilers turned in a flat performance. They failed to capitalize on three power play opportunities and they only fired 20 shots at the Mavericks net, a new season low for Tulsa. It was also the first time the Oiler had lost two concecutive games since early November. Missouri has won all three games they have played in Tulsa thus far this season.
The Oilers fall back to .500 on the season at 19-19-2 with 40 points, and slip into 6th place overall in the CHL standings.
The Oilers will try to get it together on Tuesday night when they host the Wichita Thunder at 7:05pm.