MOLINE, IL—The Tulsa Oilers once again traveled to the land of Lincoln on Wednesday night to take on the Quad City Mallards for the seventh time this season. In a surprisingly tight contest with the Mallards another stellar performance by goalie Kevin Carr, who has only allowed four goals in the last five games, helped his team hold on for a 2-1 win.
The first Tulsa goal opened the scoring and the power play goal could almost be considered a fluke as defenseman Ricards Birzinsh dumped the puck in and got a lucky bounce off the corner glass that caromed out in front of Mallard goalie Parker Milner. Oilers forward Kyle Bochek lobbed the puck over Milner to give the visitors a 1-0 lead they took into the intermission.
With Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel boxed for boarding in the dying minutes of the second period, Adam Pleskach vaulted back into second place in the ECHL goal scoring race when he one-timed a Scott Macauley pass through Milner to give the Oilers a two goal cushion going into the second break.
Carr’s shutout bid was spoiled at 13:42 of the third period after a shot from Kevin Baker was deflected into the Tulsa net. The Mallards’ frantic attempt at a rally over the last six minutes of regulation was stymied by the Oilers as Carr made key saves down the stretch. The Oilers were able to survive despite a 6-on-4 advantage for Quad City over the final minute.
The Oilers are hitting a stride they really needed to reach after the relatively dismal losing streaks through January and February. Wednesday’s win was the Oilers fifth straight win and it moved them past idle Rapid City and into third place in the Central Division standings, just one point back of the Mallards. Kevin Carr made 18 saves on 19 Mallard shots and the team went 2-for-5 on the man-advantage.
The Oilers stoned the Mallards on the power play as they went 0/3. Tulsa has secured points in each of its four visits to the iWireless Center this season (3-0-1) and improved to 4-2-1 overall in the season series against the Mallards. Carr has now stopped 115 of the last 119 shots he has faced and the Oilers have tasted triumph in ten of their last 12 outings.
Next up for the Oilers is a tilt with Wichita on Saturday night in the InTrust Bank Arena. The Oilers next home game is on March 25th against the ECHL Central Division leading Allen Americans.