TULSA, OK—The Tulsa Oilers (3-3-0) returned to the BOK Center on Friday night, looking to reach .500 for the young season and score a big win against a key ECHL Central Division opponent.
That opponent would be the Missouri Mavericks (5-1-1) and as any seasoned Oilers fan will tell you, their record against the team from Independence in recent years has been less than extraordinary.
In all the win-loss record for Tulsa all time against Missouri prior to Fr4iday’s game is 15-36-4 and 7-15-4 at home in the mothership. If one would ask that seasoned Oilers fan, that fan would doubtlessly say that the Mavs have their number.
The Oilers seized control of the scoreboard on the power play at 15:57 when Brandon Wong ripped a shot through the Mavericks defense that abruptly changed directions and beat Mavs goalie Josh Robinson through his legs to give the home team their second power play goal of the 2015-16 season.
With just under 9 minutes elapsed in the second period Dennis Brown gave the home team a two goal lead when he slammed a rebound past Robinson. The second year pro who is a relatively new acquisition for the Oilers, has now registered four points in his first three games in Tulsa colors. It was shortly after the home team scored its second mark that the Missouri team woke up, and in dramatic fashion.
The Mavericks started a surge at 10:55 as Jesse Root whipped a wrist shot past Jussi Olkinuora at 10:55 for a power play goal to cut the Oilers’ edge in half. Only 82 seconds later, Andrew Courtney, one of only three returning Mavericks from the 2014-15 squad, deflected a puck through Olkinuora to even the affair at 2-2.
The Oilers vaulted into the lead again early on in the final period when a flurry of shots in front of Robinson resulted in the puck working loose to an open Darian Dziurzynski, who tapped the puck into the Missouri net to make the tally 3-2, but the lead was brief. A little under four minute later the Mavericks knotted the score at 3 when he roofed a shot past Olkinuora to stalemate the score to end regulation time.
A scoreless overtime followed, the first 3-on-3 overtime in BOK Center history that featured quality chances and brilliant, stand-on-your-head saves from both Olkinuora and Robinson, and gave way to the three shooter, NHL-style shootout.
The shootout would last four rounds, with Brandon Wong scoring the lone goal on a neat dangle where he waited for Robinson to commit, and then slipped the disc into the Missouri net. It set up a save-and-win situation for Olkinuora. The Helsinki native was up to the task, slamming the door on his net to the oncoming shot by Mavericks forward Rocco Carzo, giving the Oilers their second straight win at home and returning them to an even 3-3 record.
Brandon Wong recorded his first multi-point game of the season and extended his point streak to four games. Darian Dziurzynski finished the night with a pair of points and Ben Walker chipped in two assists to help lead the Oilers’ attack. Tulsa was perfect on the power play, 2-for-2, while Missouri settled for a 1-for-5 mark with the man-advantage.
Jussi Olkinuora made 24 saves on 27 Missouri shots, while at the other end of the ice Josh Robinson turned aside 29 of the Oilers 32 shots.
The Oilers will return to the BOK Center ice on Tuesday, November 3rd when the Allen Americans come to town for a 7:05pm puck drop.