Oilers Complete Preseason With Close Losses In Wichita
TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Oilers wrapped up the first week of training camp with a pair of exhibition games against the Wichita Thunder. The Oilers dropped a 2-1 decision in a shootout on Friday night, and came up just short again on Saturday, falling 5-4 in front of a packed house at the Wichita Ice Center.
“These two games were very valuable for us because we got to play so many guys,” said Oilers head coach Bruce Ramsay. “Even though we didn’t get a win, I appreciate the effort I saw out of all these players and I’m extremely satisfied with the core group we have moving forward.”
In Friday’s tilt, Tulsa netminder Ian Keserich turned aside 41 of the 42 shots he faced and Matt Robertson, who played five games for the Oilers last season, scored the lone goal for Tulsa. 22-year old rookie Gerome Giudice had the highlight of the weekend for the Oilers in Saturday’s game when he came streaking out of the penalty box, put a beautiful move on Thunder goalie Ryan MacDonald, and backhanded the puck into the upper corner of the net. Tulsa took a 3-2 lead into the third period, but Wichita’s Alex Bourret caught fire and scored three goals in the span of eight minutes to lead the Thunder comeback.
“There’s always things we can improve upon and there are things we definitely need to get shored up,” Ramsay said. “I know I have to start narrowing down my roster, but I also know these players are making my decisions extremely tough. I thought all our guys battled hard for two nights against a very good Wichita team.”
The Oilers will continue training camp in Oklahoma City with three practices next week before the regular season opener at Allen on Friday.
“I’m excited for this next week of camp to see if we can build off of the good things we did this weekend,” said Oilers defenseman Luke Lucyk. “We’ll continue to come together as a team and I know everyone in that locker room is anxious to get the season started.”
The Tulsa Oilers play their home opener at 7:35pm on October 28th against the Wichita Thunder at the BOK Center.
Tickets: Season tickets for the Oilers 20th season in the CHL are now on sale. More information is available by calling the Oilers office at (918) 632-PUCK (7825) or by visiting www.tulsaoilers.com.