Four power play goals ruin Oilers upset bid; Costello’s point streak reaches 17 games.
ALLEN, TX– The Tulsa Oilers traveled to Texas on Tuesday night to face the Allen Americans, the best team in the Central Hockey League. The 32-8-1 Americans have more points than any other team in either the Berry or Turner Conference of the CHL and are the odds-on favorite to capture the regular season championship trophy this season.
That said, the Tulsa Oilers are their closest pursuer in the Berry Conference, and are in the midst of their best season since 2005 with a 24-20-2 record with 50 standing points, which is good enough to hold onto second place with a two-point cushion over third place Bossier Shreveport. The remarkable fact about that statistic is that Tulsa began the year with a dismal 3-12-1 record in October.
The Oilers started out fast, with CHL points leader Chad Costello scoring at 3:29 of the first period, reinforcing his lead in the CHL scoring race and extending his points-per-game streak to 17 games where he has scored a goal or recorded an assist. Defenseman R.J. Linder got the assist. On the season, Costello so far has 72 points, a combination of 28 goals and 44 assists.
Later in the period, Bruce Graham then notched the first of four power play goals for the Americans at 16:44 of the period, after Sean Erickson was boxed for hooking. The second period saw the teams exchange goals with Mike Wirrl scoring twice for the Oilers, while David Strathman, Colton Yellow Horn and Kip Brennan scoring for Allen.
Derek Eastman tied it 4-4 for the Oilers early in the third period on a two man advantage. But that tie lasted just 1:14 until Scott Langdon scored from the right point for Allen. Mike Beausoleil again tied it for the Oilers on a power play deflecting in Eastman’s shot from the left point.
Allen’s power play provided the winning margin as David Nimmo scored at 10:18 and Graham got his second goal of the night at 12:05 both on the power play.
The Oilers return to the friendly confines of the amazing BOK Center for a four-game home stand beginning with the Texas Brahmaa this Friday night. On Saturday, the Mississippi Riverkings will be the opponent. Face off for both games is at 7:35pm.
A Tuesday night game with Missouri on February 15th and Evansville on February 18th will close out the home stand next week. Tickets for all Oilers games are available at the BOK 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).