TULSA, OK—The sleepy power play unit of the Tulsa Oilers hockey club came alive on Wednesday night against the Wichita Thunder as the home team scored three power play goals against their oldest rival from the Central Hockey League in route to a 7-4 victory in front of 3,026 in the BOK Center.
It was a game that hearkened back to the older days of the rivalry in that it was physical, with brutal hits being dished out on both sides. The Oilers came into the game off of a 2-1 loss to Missouri last Saturday night while the Thunder ventured outside of the ECHL Central division for a game against the Elmira Jackals where they handed them a 5-1 loss in a penalty-riddled game where there were many fights, including a goalie fight.
Drew Fisher got the home team on the board on their second man-advantage opportunity at the six minute mark of the first period when he lifted the puck over the left shoulder of Wichita goaltender Tim Boron to give the Oilers the 1-0 lead.
Forty-nine seconds later, Kyle O’Kane gave Tulsa a two-goal advantage when he slid a backhand past Boron to make the score 2-0 Oilers. Wichita spoiled the Oilers shutout bid at 18:41 of the first period when Wichita winger Ian Lowe cut the Tulsa lead in half when his shot from below the Oilers’ end line banked into the net off of rookie goaltender Kevin Carr. The first 20 minutes ended with Tulsa leading 2-1.
The Thunder pulled the game into its only tie barely three minutes elapsed in the second period when they were afforded a power play opportunity. Danick Gauthier batted a loose puck past Carr at 2:48 to level the game at 2-2 with his 12th goal of the season. Three minutes later a two goal burst from Jon Booras at 5:30 and Steve Mele at 5:49 restored the Oilers two goal cushion.
Ian Lowe got his second goal of the game at 11:34 to pull the Thunder to within a goal, but Scott Macauley restored the two-goal lead yet again when he blasted a slap shot through Boron that gave Tulsa a 5-3 edge going into the second break. The Thunder peppered Car with 19 shots in second period compared to only nine from Tulsa.
The Thunders fourth and final goal happened at the 5:44 mark of the third period when Mike Wilson buried a power play pass from Nikita Kashirsky. Then an even strength goal by Adam Pleskach at the 10:45 mark of the third followed up by a power play goal by Pleskach at 18:05 sealed the deal for the Oilers, who saw 10 Oilers players earned at least a point while Macaulay (1g, 2a), Fisher (1g, 2a), and T.J. Caig (3a) led the offensive onslaught with three points apiece.
Tulsa posted its second-highest goal total of the season and its largest margin of victory over Wichita. Carr made 37 saves to earn his 12th win of the season and the Oilers stayed within four points of the first place Allen Americans in the Central Division.
The Oilers are set for two games this weekend, the first one being the first meeting with the Brampton Beats on Friday night and the Quad City Mallards on Saturday night. Face off for both games is at 7:35pm in the BOK Center.