Much has transpired in the past week for the playoff-bound Tulsa Oilers hockey team.
While the NCAA second and third round men’s basketball tournament games had full control over their home arena in downtown Tulsa, the Oilers have done a lot on the road to solidify their status in the Central Hockey League’s Berry Conference as the regular season winds towards it’s conclusion.
On the ice the Oilers managed to put 4 points in the standings through a shootout loss in North Richland Hills Texas to the Brahmas on Wednesday March 16th. Chad Costello had two goals for the Oilers in his first game back from Lake Erie of the American Hockey League. John Mori had the Oilers other goal in regulation time, while Jack Combs had Tulsa’s only goal in the shootout. In the end, it was Chad Woolard’s goal in the final round of the shootout that propelled the Texas Brahmas to a 4-3 win
From there, it was on to Allen for a matchup with another potential playoff opponent, the Americans on Friday night. Oilers forward Jack Combs had two third period power play goals igniting a three goal outburst for the Tulsa Oilers en route to a 6-3 win over the Allen Americans Friday night in Allen, Texas.
Combs first goal of the night broke a 3-3 tie. Gary Steffes scored his second goal of the game three minutes later and Combs notched his team leading 37th goal of the season midway through the period.
The Oilers led 2-1 after the first period in spite of being outshot 20-8 in the opening 20 minutes. Brian McMillin got Allen off to a fast start scoring just 50 seconds into the game. Oilers goaltender Ian Keserich befuddled the Americans the rest of the period, which gave the Oilers the chance to take the lead on goals by Steffes and Braden Walls just 26 seconds apart late in the period.
Chad Costello scored his third goal in two games since returning from Lake Erie of the American Hockey League when he deflected in a shot by Derek Eastman early in the second period. But three minutes later, Eastman drew a major penalty for boarding and on the delayed penalty Allen’s Jarret Lukin cut the Oilers lead to 3-2. When Keserich took a delay of game penalty during the major to Eastman, Jonathon Zion capitalized on the two man advantage to tie the game.
The Oilers final stop would be in the Permian basin in west Texas visiting yet another potential playoff foe, the Odessa Jackalopes. It would be a pivotal contest that would decide if Tulsa would enjoy home-ice advantage in the playoffs or not.
Mike Ramsay poked in a loose puck at 2:41 of overtime to give Odessa the win. Former Oiler Kevin Seibel had both regulation time goals for Odessa. After he gave Odessa the lead in the second period, the Oilers took the lead on goals by Evan Kotsopoulos and Sean Erickson.
Gary Steffes selected to the 2010-11 CHL All-Rookie team.
Center Gary Steffes of the Tulsa Oilers has earned a spot on the Central Hockey League’s all-rookie team.
Steffes has appeared in all 61 Oiler games this season. He is tied for second among CHL rookies with 15 goals. Combined with 22 assists, his 37 points rank him third in the league rookie scoring race.
Joining Steffes as the all-rookie forwards are Adam Chorneyko of the Colorado Eagles and Aaron Lewicki of the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. The defensemen are David Strathman of the Allen Americans and Alan Mazur of the Bloomington Prairie Thunder. The all-rookie goaltender is Wayne Savage of the Texas Brahmas.
His selection is the second straight year the Oilers have had an all-rookie team representative. Defenseman Sean Erickson earned the honor last season.
Former NHL left winger Bates Battaglia joins Oilers for playoffs.
Adding to their family atmosphere, the Tulsa Oilers have signed the brother of one of their current players, who just happens to have played 580 games in the National Hockey League.
Left wing Bates Battaglia, older brother of Anthony Battaglia has signed with the Oilers and is expected to be in the line-up tonight (Wednesday) when the Oilers play at Texas.
“Bates is excited to come here and have a chance to play with his brother,” Oilers coach Bruce Ramsay said. “And for us to be able to add a player with almost 600 games of NHL experience is going to help us.”
Battaglia, 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, was most recently playing in Germany and with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. The Anaheim Mighty Ducks selected him in the sixth round (132nd overall) in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He never played for Anaheim but amassed his 580 NHL games with the Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs. He has 80 NHL goals and 118 assists for 198 points. In 42 Stanley Cup playoff games, he has five goals and 16 assists for 21 points.
“Bates’ playoff experience is a factor that’s going to be very valuable for us in this year’s playoffs Ramsay said.
Playoff tickets now on sale.
With the Tulsa Oilers having secured a berth in the Central Hockey League’s Ray Miron Presidents’ Cup playoffs, fans can now purchase tickets for the first game of the postseason.
Playoff tickets will be numbered by playoff game. The Oilers still have three games remaining in the regular season. Their opponent and the dates for the opening round games are yet to be determined. The regular season ends on Sunday March 27th and the playoff schedule will be announced shortly thereafter, with games expected to start that week.
Tickets for all Oilers home playoff games at the BOK Center range from $15 to $45. The Oilers conclude the regular with home games on Saturday March 26th against the Wichita Thunder at 7:35 p.m. and Sunday March 27th against the Allen Americans at 4:05 p.m.
Tickets for the remaining 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).