TULSA, OK—It took three tries but the Tulsa Oilers finally got the job done, taking on the Allen Americans, the defending Kelly Cup Champions in the BOK Center and handing them a 3-1 defeat in front of 5,370 in the BOK Center on Sunday afternoon. The Oilers got a goal in each period to hand the Americans their second loss of the young season.
The Oilers struck first at 8:35 of the first period when defenseman Matt Konan sent a rocket from the top of the left circle through traffic and Americans goalie Joel Rumpel and into the Allen net. The Americans knotted the score at the 14:35 mark when last season’s points leader (and former Tulsa Oiler), Chad Costello chipped home a rebound behing Oilers goalie Jussi Olkinuora.
Tulsa retook the lead soon after the drop of the puck in the middle frame when Brandon Wong slid the disc past Rumpel to give the home team a 2-1 advantage.
One of the key points of the game was the penalty killing abilities of the Oilers after Allen forward Casey Pierro-Zabotel embellished a collision with Konan into a five minute boarding major penalty. The Oilers special teams managed to foil every attempt the Americans made to even the score during the extended penalty kill that spanned the end of the second period and the first four minutes of the third.
In the dying minutes of the game, the Americans pulled Rumpel in favor of an extra attacker, and during gthe ensuing play in the Oilers zone Tulsa’s Brady Ramsay intercepted a pass and slung the puck the length of the ice and into the net for the insurance goal with 51 seconds remaining in the game. Ramsay now leads the Oilers in points with two goals and an assist in three games.
Tulsa is still searching for its’ first power play goal of the season after going 0-for-2 on the man-advantage on Sunday, but the Oilers’ penalty kill was reliable once again with a 3-for-3 performance on Sunday to improve to 13-for-14 on the season.
Needless to say, head coach Jason Christie was happier than he was on Friday night.
“We’ve got a good group of guys and it just was a matter of getting going.” Christie said, “It was a tough break here at home the other night and they were some good teams. We just need to keep getting better.”
The Oilers have a few days off before packing up the bus and heading to Illinois where they will play a two-game set against the Quad City Mallards this weekend in Moline.
The next home game for the Oilers will be on October 30 when the Missouri Mavericks make their first visit to Tulsa.