TULSA,OK—Prior to Tuesday night’s 3-1 victory by the Tulsa Oilers over the Allen Americans, forward Jordan Kremyr was a journeyman player on the team. His number weren’t too impressive with six penalty minutes and a -6 rating, but he was set to make a big impact as the season moved forward.
Tuesday night, the 29-year old native of Cloverdale, British Columbia made his mark in a big way. The fifth year pro got the game’s first goal 11 seconds after the drop of the puck at the beginning of the game. Kremyr fired in a rebound of an Adam Pleskach shot past Allen goalie Riley Gill to give the Oilers the lead right off the opening faceoff.
Kremyr then contributed an assist to the Oilers second goal by dishing the puck to Joe Sova who uncorked a slap shot that was redirected by Phil Brewer to give the home team a comfortable 2-0 lead. The Oilers defensive unit was on point for most of the game, with the only lapse in the effort coming in the first two minutes of the middle period when Allen defenseman Justin Baker found open ice near the bottom of the right faceoff circle and snapped a shot past Tulsa goalie Kevin Carr. The Oilers resumed a two goal lead in the second period’s seventh minute when Kremyr ripped a shot through traffic that was initially turned aside by Gill, but in doing so sent the puck onto the waiting stick of Tulsa captain Nathan Lutz, who buried the puck in the Allen net a split-second later.
All that lifted Kremyr into the positive column in terms of points with three for the night, (1G, 2A), which was good enough to earn him the game’s first star.
“He needed that,” Tulsa head coach Jason Christie said after the game, “I’ve coached him for years; I know what he’s got.”
For the first time at home this season the toughness of the Oilers, particularly in the art of fisticuffs took place on two separate occasions. Forwards Ben Walker and Mathieu Gagnon each squared off and dropped the gloves with bouts in the first and second period respectively. Gagnon’s bout in the second period was particularly memorable as he managed to fire off 10 strong punches as he took his opponent to the ice.
Carr closed his net in the third period and turned away all seven Allen shots. In all, the second year pro from Unionville, Ontario stopped 17 of 18 shots in the game. The Oilers now hold a 2-1 advantage over the ECHL’s defending champions thus far this season. The win Tuesday night was also the Oilers third in their last four as they improved to 4-3-0 with 8 points, tying them with the Wichita Thunder for third place in the ECHL Central Division.
Tulsa head coach Jason Christie had his characteristic low key praise for his team after the game.
“They (Allen) came out in the third period and kind of had us on our heels, but Carrsy made some big saves,” Christie said. “The guys were consistent. Overall the guys battled hard. They played with energy tonight and you have to against a team like that.”
Ahead for Tulsa are two games this weekend against a former Central Hockey League opponent, the Colorado Eagles.
The Eagles and the Oilers squared off in the CHL for eight years before Colorado bolted for the ECHL in 2011. Colorado made it to the CHL finals three times, winning twice (2005, 2007). Currently the Eagles are having a less-than-ideal season to date with a record of 1-6-0 with 2 points, making them fifth in the ECHL West.
Tulsa will be without the services of forward Ben Walker this weekend as the Oilers AHL partner Manitoba has called him up. Walker, 22, recorded three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in seven appearances for the Oilers this season. The Edina, Minnesota native scored Tulsa’s first goal of the season against Wichita on October 16 and posted the first multi-point game of his career with two assists in a 4-3 shootout victory over Missouri on October 30.
Walker, who participated in training camp with Manitoba, is the first Oilers’ player called up to the AHL this season. He will join the Moose in North Carolina as they prepare to face off against the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday, November 7 and Sunday, November 8.
The next home game for the Oilers will be next Friday night when the Americans return to the BOK Center for a 7:05pm faceoff.
Photos by Kevin Pyle, Tulsa Today.