Hulak shines with 2 goals and an assist in overtime thriller.
TULSA, OK– The Tulsa Oilers are in the middle of a quiet recovery period of late. A slow start through October and the first part of November has turned into a string of wins that head coach Bruce Ramsay and the team can be proud of. Last night’s shootout victory over the Mississippi Riverkings was the Oilers fourth victory in their last five games and for the first time all season, the team appears to be in sync with one another.
A highlight of last nights game was an unusually long shootout series, with the two teams going 12 rounds deep into the tiebreaker before Mike Beausoleil sent the puck whistling past Riverkings goalie Larry Sterling to end the game. Sterling and Oilers goalie Ian Keserich had each stopped 11 shooters before Beausoleil’s mark ended the contest.
Another highlight of the game was the first professional goal by Oilers rookie forward Derek Hulak. Hulak, a native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan played junior hockey with the Regina Pats and the Saskatoon Blades scored his first point in the Oilers win over the Evansville Icemen with an assist and his first goal last night. In his last two seasons in Saskatoon Hulak had posted back-to-back 30 goal seasons.
Saturday night saw the return of the Missouri Mavericks to the BOK Center, and they bring a 10-6-2 record into the game with three of those victories coming against the Oilers. The last time they visited Tulsa they handed the Oilers a 5-2 loss, a nearly identical one to a visit to Independence in early November that began with the now infamous bus fire.
Missouri opened the scoring with just two minutes elapsed on the BOK Center scoreboard when Walker Wintoneak caught Oilers goalie Ian Keserich out of position on a rebound of a Toby Lafrance shot. Another assist on the goal went to Olivier Filion and the Mavericks were up 1-0.
The Oilers answered at 12:44 when rookie Derek Hulak scored his second professional goal, sliding the puck past Missouri goalie Gary Festa off assists from Gary Steffes and RJ Linder. Tulsa would assume their first lead of the game with a power play goal with a little more than 30 seconds remaining in the first period when Derek Eastman found the back of the net while on his back in front of Festa. Assisting on the goal was Harrison Reed.
The Maverick would tie the game at 14:11 of the second when Derek Pallardy put the puck behind a sprawling Keserich with Wintoneak and Ray DiLauro assisting. With just 50 seconds remaining Derek Hulak scored his second goal of the night on the power play with Steffes and Sean Erickson. With that goal the Oilers would take a 3-2 lead into the final period. Hulak’s second goal gave the Oilers their 13th two-goal performance by a Tulsa player this season.
At 15:17 of the 3rd the Mavericks would tie the game once again with a goal from Carlyle Lewis who got the puck past Ian Keserich with a rising wrist shot from the blue line. The assist on the goal came from Mike Wakita. Regulation time would end as it did on Friday night, with the score tied and an overtime period ahead.
After peppering the Missouri net with four shots in less a minute, at 1:26 of the overtime session Gary Steffes shoved the puck underneath a diving Festa to win the game for the Oilers. Assisting on the goal was the Tulsa Oiler on a hot streak, Derek Hulak.
Photos by: Kevin Pyle
The win gave the Oilers their 5th win in six games and a three game wins streak at home for the first time this season, and their first win against the Mavericks this season. The win elevated Tulsa’s overall points total to 17 points, tying them with Odessa in the CHL’s Berry Conference. In the end that Oilers went 2-for-6 on the power play and the Mavericks 0-for-3. Ian Keserich stopped 27 of the Mavericks 30 shots, while Gary Festa turned aside 31 of the Oilers 35 shots on goal.
The Oilers return to the amazing BOK Center on Tuesday, December 7th against the Rapid City Rush at 7:05pm. Tickets for all Oiler games are available at the BOK Center Box Office, tickets.com, Tulsa area Reasor’s stores, and by calling 1-866-7BOK-CTR
(866-725-5287). More information is available by calling the Oilers office at 918-632-PUCK (7825).