Gelinas superb in debut for Thunder.
TULSA, OK– One of the more sobering aspects about the early season for the Tulsa Oilers has been the fact that since October 16th, they haven’t won. Tulsa has gone 0-4-1 in the last five games and their only point in that stretch was in the overtime loss to the Bloomington Prairie Thunder on October 23rd.
The story has been a similar one for the Wichita Thunder. Winless through four games, including a pair of losses on the opening weekend against Tulsa, they started a win streak on the 29th with a win over the Rio Grande Killer Bees and a 4-2 loss over the Oilers last night.
In the past two games it has been very clear that the Wichita team of the opening weekend was very different than the one that took the ice in the amazing BOK Center on Sunday afternoon. Wichita came out fast, solving Oilers goalie Tyler Sims at the 2:55 mark of the first when Troy Schwab sent the disc past Sims in a flurry of activity in front of the net.
At the 4:04 Chris Falloon scooped up the puck after an odd bounce off the end boards. Tyler Sims was caught looking the other way and Falloon punched it into an open net.
There beginneth the deluge.
The first period ended with the Oilers down by two goals, and the game still arguably within reach but the middle period of the game would turn into an embarrassment as Kevin McClelland’s Wichita Thunder would score 6 more unanswered goals. Tulsa played uninspired hockey, with players running into one another, and lacking any form of spark in their play. In the second period 4 different Thunder players scored goals, with Fallon getting his second and Chris Moran would score two.
On the other end of the ice the Thunder played lights out hockey. Sparked by near supernatural play by new goalie Marc-Antoine Gelinas in his first start with Wichita stopped all of the 27 shots the Oilers threw at him. Sims played 29:31 and surrendered six goals to the Thunder, stopping 15-of-20. In relief new Oilers goalie Archie Henderson would give up a pair of goals and stop six of nine shots.
Photos by: Kevin Pyle
The Oilers drop to 2-5-1 with 5 points in the Berry Conference standings while Wichita improves to 3-4 with 6 points in the Turner Conference. The Oilers will now hit the road for games in Missouri, Mississippi, Colorad and Rapid City over the next two weekends, and thanks to the oddest schedule in several years will not play again on home ice until November 18th against the Allen Americans.
Tickets for that home game and all of the Oilers home games are available at the BOK Center box office or by calling the Oilers office at 918-632-PUCK (7825).