Oilers Fall 8-2 As Thunder Offense Explodes
WICHITA, KS – Once the Wichita offense got rolling, there was nothing the Oilers could do to stop the onslaught of goals.
The Thunder earned a split of the weekend series with a one-sided 8-2 victory in front of 6,554 at Intrust Bank Arena on Saturday night. The eight goals were the most scored against Tulsa since the Oilers suffered an 8-2 defeat to the Dayton Gems on March 3, 2011.
The game started with a heavyweight bout right off the opening faceoff as Oilers forward Cody Esposito (6’4″ 230 pounds) went toe to toe with Thunder enforcer Aaron Boogaard (6’1″ 215 pounds). Fired up by their teammates, Oilers center Troy Ofukany and Wichita center Dustin Donaghy decided to drop the gloves off the very next face off.
Once the gloves and helmets were picked up, the Oilers took an early lead on Matt Register’s first goal of the season. The Oilers momentum was short lived as the floodgates opened for Wichita and the Thunder answered with eight consecutive goals including five tallies in the second period to leave little doubt about the outcome.
With a 2-1 lead early in the middle frame, the Thunder capitalized on a pair of powerplays with goals from Matt Summers and RG Flath. David Inman’s goal at the 14:04 mark of the second pushed the Wichita lead to 5-1 and signaled the end of the end for Oilers goaltender Ian Keserich who was replaced in net by rookie Dan Bakala. The goalie change did little to turn the tide in Tulsa’s favor. The Thunder’s relentless attack led to two more goals before the end of the period and left the Oilers staring at a 7-1 hole going into the third. Tulsa was outshot 19-7 in the second period and 37-26 for the game.
Jarred Mohr, one of four Wichita players to finish the game with multiple points, scored the Thunder’s eighth and final goal of the evening at 4:59 of the third. Oilers forward Troy Ofukany redirected a Ryan Menei pass to close the scoring as the Oilers fell to 1-1 on the young season after posting a 4-3 win over Wichita on Friday night.
The Thunder line of Gregor Hanson, Summers, and Flath, combined for five goals and accounted for 12 total points.
The Oilers have a few days off before their home opener on Friday, October 26 at 7:35 p.m. against the Quad City Mallards.