Oilers split weekend road trip

The Oilers took to the road this past weekend heading first to South Dakota to take on the Rapid City Rush on Friday night and then to Loveland, Colorado to take on the Colorado Eagles on Saturday. For the first time in 6 years the Oilers were in the company of playoff teams as the 2010-11 Central Hockey League season heads toward the finish line.

Controversial call at the buzzer leads to Oilers loss to Rapid City.alt

In hockey, you don’t always get the right call and that statement rang true for the Oilers on Friday night in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Arena.

Tulsa traveled to Rapid City on their first road trip after clinching a berth in the 2011 CHL Playoffs to take on the Rush, whom they had defeated on March 1 in the BOK Center 4-2. The Rush would get on the board first on a goal by Konrad Reeder at 10:51 of the first period, assisted by Ryan Menai and Riley Weselowski.

John Mori of Tulsa would answer two minutes later with a goal assisted by Gary Steffes and Anthony Battaglia at 12:43. Reeder got his sex goal of the night at the five minute mark of the second period with Weselowski assisting. Then, in the 3rd period, the Oilers thought they had tied the game with a last second goal, but referee Brent Coulombe ruled time expired before the puck crossed the line, and the goal light never came on.

After a tense couple of minutes as Coulombe conferred with the linesmen and the goal judge. He emerged and repeated his signal of waving off the goal igniting a a fierce protest from Oilers coach Bruce Ramsay. Both coach Ramsay and Oilers captain Tyler Fleck earned an abuse of officials game misconduct after the ruling.

In the game Trevor Cann of the Oilers stopped 31- of 33 Rush shots while Danny Battochio stopped 37 Tulsa shots. The game was one of the rare occasions where the Oilers outshot their opponents this season.

Tulsa wins big in Colorado 5-1.

A balanced attack and solid goaltending by Ian Keserich gave the Tulsa Oilers a decisive 5-1 win over the Colorado Eagles on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd in the Budweiser Events Center.

After Brett Thurston of the Eagles scored at 2:15 of the first period it was all Tulsa, with Mike Beausoleil, Sean Erickson, Gary Steffes, Braden Walls and Anthony Battaglia all scoring goals. Oilers goalie Ian Keserich stopped all but one of the Eagles 36 shots while Colorado goalie Andrew Penner turned aside 22 of the Oilers 27 shots.

The Oilers continue their final road trip of the season in Allen, Texas on March 18th against the Americans and then move on to Odessa in March 19th. Then the Oilers travel to Wichita for the start of a home-and-home set with the Thunder on March 25th and 26th before wrapping up the regular season at home against Allen on Sunday, March 27th.

Photo by Kevin Pyle.