RAPID CITY, SD.— It was like last week never happened.
The Tulsa Oilers began a seven-game, intercontinental road trip in stunning fashion as they erupted for six unanswered goals with the solid backing goalie Kevin Carr to roll to a 6-0 blowout of the Rapid City Rush on their home ice on Tuesday night.
Carr made 21 saves on all 21 shots he faced Tuesday night, registering his first professional career shutout against a team what had won two out of three contests last week against Tulsa.
Just ten minutes in, Scott Macauley scored the first goal for the Oilers when he slammed a rebound past Rush goalie Danny Battochio to begin what would be a four goal onslaught in the first period. Battochio did not last past the Oilers second goal, which was a Jon Booras slider that went right through him at 13:47 and as he did in the game a week ago, Rapid City head coach Joe Ferras pulled him in favor of Raphael Girard in the hopes of stopping the goal hemorrhaging and send the game back in the Rush’s favor.
It was not meant to be. On Tuesday night the Rapid City net belonged to the Tulsa Oilers.
Two quick Oilers goals put any idea of a goalie change momentum killer to rest. Jeff Jubinville set up Drew Fisher for a one-timer goal at 15:33 and Pleskach deflected a loose puck past Girard at 16:54 to put the Oilers up 4-0. That prompted Ferras to pull Girard and put Battochio BACK in the Rapid City crease, but by that point the rout was in full motion. The Oilers had put up four goals in a single period for the second time this season and for the first time since opening night in Allen on October 24, and they were by no means done.
Pleskach already had three points on the night, and he got his fourth on a wraparound shot the sailed through the legs of Battochio to put the visitors up 5-0 with less than a minute elapsed in the second period. The second-year winger became the third Oiler this season to register four points in a single game and posted his 11th multi-point outing of the 2014-15 campaign.
The Oilers locked the game down defensively and Carr made sure nothing got past him in the game’s final 20 minutes of the game. Then Scott Macauley, the player who started the Oilers off on the rout finished it by scoring a power play goal with 21 seconds left and sealed the win for the visitors. The goal snapped a three-game power play drought for the Oilers and gave Macaulay his first multiple goal appearance of the season.
The blowout win for Tulsa is something that has been sorely needed after they limped through the final month of 2014 with a record of 4-10 in the 14 games they played. Tulsa will face Rapid City two more times this week, continuing the brutal scheduling of multiple games against the same opponent that they’ve had to deal with this season.
In addition the Carr’s superb performance in the Oilers net, Drew Fisher ended the night with a goal and two assists and extended his season-long point streak to nine games. The trio of Fisher, Pleskach, and Jubinville contributed 10 of the Oilers’ 18 points on the evening and over the last six games, the three forwards have combined for 35 points and a collective +36 rating. The Oilers held Rapid City to just 21 shots on goal, a new season low for shots against in a single game.
The Oilers and Rush will return to the ice on Friday night at 8:05pm in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.