ALLEN, TX.—The Tulsa Oilers traveled to the Dallas suburb for the first time this season to play last season’s defending champions for the third straight game Wednesday night with two new players in the lineup.
On Wednesday afternoon it was announced that the Oilers had waived forward Charles LaChance and signed Alexandre Beauregard, who joined another rookie, Preston Shupe in the lineup, and Ryan Barlock was activated from injured reserve.
It only took 90 seconds from the first puck drop for Allen to light the lamp when Daryl Bootland tallied his fifth goal in six games past Tulsa goalie Ross MacKinnon, who was seeing his first start since October 19th in Denver. Then at the 10:27 mark of the first period Americans captain Mike Berube’s slap shot found its way past a screened MacKinnon and into the Oilers net to give the home side a two goal lead.
Michel Beausoleil, with help from accurate, tape-to-tape passing in the Allen zone from line mates Todd Robinson and Ben Gordon to give Tulsa its first goal of the game and cut Allen’s lead to 2-1 at the end of the first period.
Corey Tamblyn gave the Americans a 3-1 lead at the 14:37 mark of the second period as an airborne shot fluttered over MacKinnon’s shoulder and into the cage. Oilers forward Ben Gordon pulled his side to 3-2 when he stole a pass in the Americans zone and punched the puck through Allen goaltender Bryan Pitton to cut the score to 3-2.
Speaking of punching, the Oilers and Americans squared off in fisticuffs for the first time at the end of the first period with Tulsa’s Erik Tallent and Allen’s Garret Klotz duking it out, and in the second period, with Ryan Barlock and Kyle Bochek from Tulsa and Daniel Tetrault and Jonathan Lessard from Allen as the combatants to open and close the middle frame of the contest.
In all both teams went 0-for-8 on power play opportunities and if anything the altercations helped intensify a growing rivalry between the Oilers and Americans that the somewhat ridiculous frequest pairing of the teams early on in the season.
With only 64 seconds elapsed in the third period, and with the Oilers on the penalty kill, Ryan Cramer sent a wrist shot in on Pitton the worked its way inside the post to knot the game at three all. Tulsa was gifted with a pair of 4-on-3 power play opportunities during the 5-minute sudden death overtime that went scoreless, so the game moved to the shootout.
The closest the Oilers came to scoring in the shootout was a Thomas Beauregard shot that rang off of the Americans crossbar, and after that Pitton managed to stop every other Tulsa shooter. Tyler Ludwig, son of 17-year NHL veteran Craig Ludwig, scored on MacKinnon and that was enough to allow the home side to gain the victory and improve to 5-0-1.
Tulsa drops to 0-3-2 with two standings points through 5 games. In all Ross MacKinnon stopped 21-of-24 Allen shots while Bryan Pitton turned away 42 of a season high 45 shots from Tulsa. The two teams are set to clash again on Saturday night when the Americans travel to the BOK Center for their fourth straight tilt with the Oilers. On Friday night Tulsa will entertain a different team for the first time at home this season, when they meet the undefeated Missouri Mavericks for the first time this season.
Tickets to this weekend’s games, and all remaining Oilers home games are available at the Oilers office located at 9128 E. 46th st (between Memorial and Mingo on 46th street) or at the BOK Center Box Office at 2nd and Denver in downtown Tulsa.