TULSA, OK—At the risk of sounding un-original, the game between the Tulsa Oilers (27-23-3) and the Quad City Mallards on Friday night was all about Tulsa forward Ben Gordon, and with good reason.
Gordon scored his third hat trick of the month and his fifth of the season on Friday night in a game that he and his line mates Adam Pleskach and Ryan Menei claimed ownership. Menei assisted on three of the four goals the Oilers scored Friday night, and Pleskach scored the game winner in the third period and had assists on two goals. Though the two teams were separated by one goal when the final horn sounded, Tulsa had full control of the game and never let it get away from them.
Ben Gordon scored his first goal at 4:39 of the first period when he took a pass from Pleskach and held the puck on his stick until Mallards goalie Thomas Heemskerk exposed the five-hole and zipped it through into the net. Then in the second period, during an Oilers power play, Gordon found twine behind Heemskerk to give the home team a two-goal lead. Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel sent a rocket over Oilers goalie Brad Fogal glove to cut the Tulsa lead to a goal at 5:56 of the second period. Then at the 10:41 mark, Nathan Lutz fired a slap shot towards the Quad City net that Gordon used a quick stick to redirect the puck into the Mallards net, completing the hat trick.
The Mallards came back to within a goal with just 25 seconds left in the second when Jeff Lee deftly skated around the Tulsa net and put the puck behind Fogal to end the middle act of the game with the Oilers leading 3-2.
Quad City tied the game with nearly 11 minutes elapsed in the third period when Justin Fox rifled a wrist shot past Fogal on a Mallards power play. The tie did not last very long as Adam Pleskach shoved in a rebound of a Ryan Menei shot to give Tulsa their final lead of the night. Tulsa had several attempts at the Mallards open net but could not find a purchase, and Brad Fogal made several key saves for Tulsa to maintain the lead as the final horn sounded.
Tulsa earned their third win in a row and their eighth win in their last nine games. Gordon finished the night with four points and the Oilers vaulted past the Mallards to take over fifth place overall in the standings. Something else that is significant is that Tulsa, who has been hovering around or just at the .500 mark for most of the season, improved to four games above it to 27-23-3 with 57 points. The Oilers win also evens the season series between the teams at two games apiece and the Oilers now hold a 5-0-2 lead over Quad City on BOK Center ice.
The Oilers travel to Wichita for a game with the Thunder next Friday night and then it’s on to St. Charles for their final game this season with the Chill next Saturday. The next home game for the Oilers will be on March 7 when they host the Rapid City Rush for the first of a two-game set with the Rapid City Rush.