Oilers Weekly Media Release – March 5, 2012
Week In Review: The Oilers went 1-2 last week, suffering setbacks against Missouri and Bloomington, and prevailing over Rapid City on Saturday.
Last Tuesday, Tulsa gained an early lead on Missouri but the Mavs responded with four unanswered goals and skated out of the BOK Center with a 4-2 victory. Mike Ullrich and David Solway provided the offense for Tulsa which outshot Missouri 34-23. The Oilers are now 0-4 this season against the Mavericks with five more meetings still to come.
Friday, the Oilers made their third and final trip to Bloomington. Just like the previous contests in U.S. Cellular Coliseum, the Blaze found a way to sneak past the Oilers with a 3-1 win. Tulsa goalie Ian Keserich stopped 41 shots as the Oilers dropped their fourth straight game and sixth in a row on the road.
The Oilers returned home Saturday night for the first of two in a row against Rapid City. Veteran forward Michel Beausoleil tallied twice for Tulsa and Keserich stood tall in net to preserve a 2-1 victory. It was the Oilers first win in four tries this season against the Rush.
Schedule Unkind: Tulsa trails Rio Grande by a single point for the final playoff spot, but has three games in hand on the Killer Bees. The Oilers will play 11 more games against teams with an average winning percentage of .563 while the Bees have 8 games remaining against opponents with an average winning percentage of .436. Quad City, at .571, is the only team on Rio Grande’s remaining schedule with a winning record.
Search For Offense Continues: The 2-1 win over Rapid City on Saturday marked just the fourth time this season the Oilers have won when scoring two goals or less. Tulsa is 2-5-1 in its last seven contests and has failed to score more than two goals in any of those games.
Health and Healing: The Oilers have been forced to skate with a depleted lineup several times over the last few weeks, but thankfully for Head Coach Bruce Ramsay, his team is getting healthy at the right time. Rookie forward Ryan Raven, who spent 46 days on the injured reserve, returned to action last Tuesday against Missouri. Toughman Tyler Sheldrake, sidelined for 13 games, also suited up against Missouri and fought in the first period. Sean Erickson, one of Tulsa’s top defensemen, was cleared to play Saturday against Rapid City and had an immediate impact by notching an assist on Michel Beausoleil’s game-winning goal.
Keserich Finding Form: Despite starting only three of the last nine games, Oilers netminder Ian Keserich still ranks fourth in the CHL in appearances (38) and is one of only six goalies in the league to log more than 2,000 minutes in net this season. In his last two outings, the fifth-year pro out of Cleveland, Ohio has 62 saves on 65 shots. Keserich is three wins shy of tying his career-high of 22 wins from last season.
Upcoming Games: The Oilers play host to Rapid City on Tuesday before beginning a home-and-home series Friday and Saturday with Quad City. The Oilers will wrap up the week with their third visit to Missouri on Sunday.
Tuesday, March 6 vs. Rapid City at 7:05 pm – Tuesday means $2 beer at the BOK Center and it’s another Papa John’s College Night. College kids who present a valid student ID at the box office will receive a ticket to the game and a coupon for a large, one-topping Papa John’s pizza for only $12. The Oilers will try to make it two straight over the Rush and jump back into a playoff spot.
Friday, March 9 vs. Quad City at 7:35 pm – Help the Oilers honor our country and our brave men and women in uniform at Military Night. The Oilers players will wear special camouflage jerseys which will be auctioned off at the ONEOK Club after the game against the Mallards. It’s an evening of patriotism and a way for the Oilers to say thank you to all of the outstanding military personnel serving around the world. Celebrate your freedom and watch the Oilers take the flight right out of the Mallards!