Oilers cool off St. Charles

OilersStCharlesST. CHARLES, MO.—The Tulsa Oilers have hit their stride.  After starting the 2013-14 Central Hockey League season with a dismal 0-5-2 last place record, the team has doubled the number of wins and is knocking on the door of the league’s top five after a 4-3 shootout win over the St. Charles Chill in the Family Arena on Wednesday night.

The Oilers opened the scoring with a little over half of the first period gone when Blair Macauley got the puck past Chill goalie Robert Moss.  Tulsa held the lead until 18:31 of the period when they gave up a shorthanded goal to the home team.  Martin Hlinka wrapped a shot into the net around the post after Oilers goalie Ross MacKinnon left the disc behind his net.  The Oilers regained the advantage just a couple of minutes into the second period when Drew Fisher fed Ryan Cramer from behind the Chill net.  Cramer’s quick snap shot buzzed past Moss to give the visitors a 2-1 edge.

At 7:44 of the frame, St. Charles evened the score once again.  Steve Makway’s blast from the point created a big rebound and Anthony Perdicaro pounced to fire home his fourth goal of the season.  The Chill took its first and only lead of the evening at 13:35 when Martin Hlinka cleaned up another Makway rebound by lifting a backhand over MacKinnon.  St. Charles carried a 3-2 lead into the third period.

Coming into the contest, veteran Oilers forward Michle Beausoleil had posted six goals in six games.  With seve minutes remaining in the game the Montreal native took a fantastic feeder pass from Todd Robinson at the Chill blue line.  The veteran winger moved in one-on-one against Moss and tapped in the game-tying goal.  The goal extended his goal scoring streak to seven in seven games and he leads the team with 13 goals so far this season.

A scoreless overtime session gave way to the shootout and the Oilers dominated the Chil posting goals from Robinson, Ben Gordon, and Ryan Menei, who was reactivated after being injured in the Tulsa home opener back in October.  The only Chill player to find the twine was Jordan Fox.  The win pushed Tulsa to 10-7-2 with 22 points and into a tie for second place with the Missouri Mavericks, who defeated Quad City tonight at home.

The Mavericks and Oilers trail the first place Rapid City Rush by two points, but both Rapid City and Missouri have played fewer game that Tulsa, with the Rush having 6 games in hand (13 GP) and the Mavericks having 5 (14 GP).  As of Wednesday night the Oilers have won 10 of their last 12 games and have three straight wins, two of those on the road.

From St. Charles the Oilers will travel across the state of Missouri to Independence for a Black Friday tilt with the Mavericks, then they hop the Show-me State into the Land Of Lincoln for a Saturday night matchup with the Quad City Mallards in Moline, IL.  It will be the Oilers second game with Missouri and their first with the Flock.

The next home game for Tulsa will be on Friday December 6th when they take on the Arizona Sundogs for the first time.