ALLEN, TX—Nathan Lutz and T.J. Caig had two goals and new goaltender Kevin Carr made 38 saves on 44 shots as the Tulsa Oilers began the ECHL era with a big win over the former Central Hockey League Champion Allen Americans 9-6 in front of 5,008 in the Allen Event Center.
The Oilers took charge of the game early. Caig got the first goal for the Tulsa Oilers in the ECHL at 9:21 of the first period when he punched home a rebound off Americans goalie Aaron Dell to put the Oilers up 1-0. Drew Fisher extended the Tulsa lead less than 90 seconds lated when he sent a backhand shot over Dell to give the visitors a 2-0 cushion they would take into the intermission. They also edged the Americans in shots 11-10 at period’s end.
In the second period, with a little over two minutes gone Greger Hanson put Allen on the board and the Oilers responded when team captain Nathan Lutz netted his first at the end of an odd man rush. Jake Obermeyer rifled a slap shot past Dell at the 4:49 mark of the second period to give Tulsa a commanding 4-1 advantage. On a Tulsa power play at 7:22, Adam Pleskach redirected a shot past Dell to extend the Oilers lead to 5-1.
The Americans would score their second mark 19 seconds later when Brett Lyon found the twine behind Carr, and that was quickly answered by Charles Lachance, who gave Tulsa a 6-2 lead by taking a Kyle O’Kane pass and weaving his way around Dell at 7:46.
A lull in the Oilers defense in the final few minutes of the second period allowed former Tulsa Oiler Jack Combs as well as Ian Schultz and Hanson to bring the Americans to within a goal of Tulsa, but that was as close as the defending champions of the former Central Hockey League would get as the second period gave way to the third.
Scott Macauley scored on the power play at 10:51 of the period, the Caig netted his second goal unassisted twenty seconds later at 11:11. Greger Hanson scored his third goal of the night for the Americans at 17:25 before Lutz slid home an empty-netter with a little over two minutes remaining to spoil the home team’s opening night.
Both teams combined to fire 75 shots on goal in the game, with Allen outshooting Tulsa 44-31. 21 of the Americans shots came in the second period, where they outshot Tulsa 21-10.
Tulsa goalie Kevin Carr, in his first ECHL start and just his fifth professional game, turned aside 38 shots to earn his first victory as an Oiler. Aaron Dell made 20 saves on 27 shots and Raphael Girard made two saves off three shots in relief for Allen.
Tulsa finished 2-for-4 on the power play while Allen capitalized three times on five power play opportunities. Each player on Tulsa’s top line, Jon Booras, Adam Pleskach, and Drew Fisher, ended the night with a +4 rating and six Oilers – Caig, Lutz, Macaulay, Obermeyer, Pleskach, and Booras – recorded multi-point performances.
The Oilers will bring their undefeated record home to the BOK Center for their first home game in the ECHL on Sunday afternoon at 4:05pm.