TULSA, OK–It’s hard to say what has gone wrong with the Tulsa Oilers.
The Oilers came into this afternoon’s game more than willing to forget a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of the defending champion Texas Brahmas to take on the Arizona Sundogs in the first meeting ever between the two teams. The Sundogs have been a fairly dominant team in the CHL South in recent years, though this year they have struggled for the most part. Their record was 7-12-3, good enough for last in division. Tulsa, on the other hand, somehow maintains an third place posting in the CHL North, posting a 12-9-1 record good enough for 25 points and a 1 point lead over the Mississippi Riverkings.
The Sundogs scored first on a goal by Jon Landry at the 8:33 mark with Konrad Reeder and Jason Reese assisting. Arizona would strike again and close out the scoring in the first with a goal by Matt Hanson assisted by Linus Fagemo. The Oilers used to make being on their heels work for them at the beginning of the season, and at the start of the 2nd period fans in the amazing BOK Center had high hopes that they would turn the tide.
Those hopes took root at the hands of Aaron Davis who netted a goal at 3:38 with Troy Riddle and Michel Beausoleil. That would be the only goal in the period and it put Tulsa within striking distance at period’s end with the score at 2-1. Arizona struck quickly at the beginning of the 3rd, with Rob Lehtenen taking but 32 seconds to solve Oilers goalie Kevin Armstrong with Torren Delforte and Kim Karsberg assisting. Tulsa would narrow the gap to 3-2 when Dan Riedel would find a patch of daylight behind Sundogs goaltender Kyle McNulty at 6:48, with Derek Eastman and Derek Merlini assisting.
The Dogs would respond 6 minutes later with the only power play goal of the game at 12:04 by Linus Fagemo, with Jon Landry and Konrad Reeder getting the helpers. 8 minutes of furious, desperation-laden hockey from the Oilers followed to no avail as the game would end with Arizona on top 4-2.
So for now, based on the fact that the Riverkings lost last night to Bossier Shreveport and did not play today, Tulsa remains in 3rd place in the CHL North. They remain a point ahead of Mississippi and some 6 points behind the second place Rapid City Rush who have 31 points. Colorado sits atop the North with 33 points. Tulsa does not play again until December 18th when they take on the Amarillo Gorillas at home, a team they have not yet faced this season.
Tickets for next Friday’s match and all Oilers home games are available at the BOK Center box office, tulsaoilers.com and all Reasors locations.
Photos: Kevin Pyle
GAME LENGTH: 2:32
REFEREE: Dan Dreger
1ST STAR: Landry, Jon (ARZ)
2ND STAR: McNulty, Kyle (ARZ)
3RD STAR: Fagemo, Linus (ARZ)