BRAMPTON, ONTARIO CANADA – Tulsa Oilers forward Ben Gordon’s Twitter “handle” is Flash, and the 28-year-old native of International Falls, Minnesota lived up to that nickname as he scored a natural hat trick Thursday night as he and his teammates defeated the Brampton Beast 6-4.
After the Beast took an early lead with a goal by Andrew Fournier 7 minutes into the first period, Gordon exploded for three goals in the span of three minutes, assisted by line mates Ryan Menei and Kyle Bochek. His first came when he chipped a pass from Ryan Menei over the shoulder of Kristofer Westbloom for his first tally of the night at 9:59 to even the score at 1-1.
Two and a half minutes later, Gordon scooped up a drop pass from Menei and flung a wrist shot inside the far post to give the Oilers their first lead of the contest. Gordon had to wait only 35 seconds to complete his natural hat-trick. He picked up a loose puck in front of the Brampton crease and waited until Westblom went down to hoist a backhand into the yawning cage.
Gordon recorded three goals in three minutes on three shots for his first multi-goal game as an Oiler. Westblom was lifted from the game in favor of Grant Rollheiser and Tulsa carried a 3-1 lead into the second period.
Kyle Bochek added his sixth goal of the season and Adam Pleskach added his 16th in the opening five minutes of the second period to extend the Oilers lead to 5-1. Then the Beast began to claw back to life, answering back with tallies from Tylor Michel and Calin Wild to cut the Oilers lead to 5-3 entering the third.
Brampton would pull to within a goal in the final period thanks to a 5-on-3 power play goal at 6:55 of the final frame. Michel netted his second of the game when he rifled a rebound over a sprawling Shane Madolora. From that point the Tulsa defensive corps locked down the Beast, killing off a late power play in the final 13 minutes.
Oilers leading scorer Todd Robinson slid in an empty net goal with just 7 seconds remaining to seal the win for the visitors. The Oilers, making their first ever appearance in Canada, won their fourth straight contest and improved to 2-0-0 this season against the Beast. In addition, Tulsa won their seventh road game of the season and vaulted over the Missouri Mavericks to once again assume sole possession of second place behind the Rapid City Rush in the standings.
In addition to the stellar performance of Ben Gordon on Thursday night his line mate Ryan Menei finished the night with four assists and has chipped in 11 assists in his last five games. Kyle Bochek assembled a three-point effort with a goal and two assists as the Oilers second line trio of Gordon, Menei, and Bochek combined for 12 of Tulsa’s 15 points.
The Oilers and Beast will meet again on Friday night at 6pm Tulsa time. Tune in to tulsaoilers.com for the game broadcast with Rob Loeber providing the play-by-play call.