Oilers Weekly News and Notes – February 4, 2013
Week In Review: The Oilers went 3-0-0 last week with victories on home ice over Denver, Missouri, and Wichita. Tulsa remains in tenth place in the CHL standings, 13 points out of the eighth and final playoff spot with 21 games remaining.
Tuesday night at the BOK Center, the first ever meeting between the Oilers and the Cutthroats ended in a 4-3 shootout win for the home side. Drew Fisher notched two goals and an assist and Ryan Menei buried the shootout winner to help the Oilers earn two points. Shane Madolora stopped 27 shots and turned away four of the five Denver shootout attempts. It was Tulsa’s first shootout win of the season.
The Missouri Mavericks rolled into town on Friday and just 13 minutes into the opening period, the Oilers found themselves trailing 3-0. The Mavs outshot Tulsa 21-6 in the first 20 minutes, but Ben Gordon’s tally at the 15:25 mark gave the Oilers the slightest bit of momentum heading into the first intermission. A powerplay goal from Drew Fisher at 2:18 of the second pulled the Oilers within one, and Ryan Menei followed up with two goals in less than five minutes to give the Oilers their first lead of the evening at 4-3. Rookie defenseman Jeff Buvinow gave Tulsa a two-goal cushion midway through the third when he blasted home his first professional goal. Sean Erickson capped off a string of six unanswered Tulsa goals and the Oilers cruised to a 6-4, come-from-behind victory. Shane Madolora made 35 saves as the Oilers won for just the second time this season when trailing after the first period. Gordon ended the night with a goal and five assists, tying the CHL mark for most points in a game this season. Menei registered four points (2 goals, 2 assists) and the Oilers scored a season-high four powerplay goals.
The Oilers sported pink sweaters for “Pink In The Rink” Night on Saturday and outlasted the Wichita Thunder for a 5-4 shootout win. Ryan Menei netted his first hat-trick of the season which included the shootout game-winner. Tulsa allowed a season-high 50 shots on net, but Shane Madolora stood tall once again by making 46 saves, his highest total as a member of the Oilers. Ben Gordon chipped in three points (1 goal, 2 assists) as the Oilers improved to 2-1 in shootouts and pushed their home record back to .500 at 10-10-3.
Upcoming Games: The Oilers will finish off this four-game home stand with a Tuesday night tilt against Rapid City. This weekend, Tulsa will travel to Wichita on Friday, pay a visit to Missouri on Saturday, and return home to host Allen on Sunday.
Tuesday, February 5 at 7:05 p.m. – vs. Rapid City Rush
- Second meeting of the season with Rapid City (Tulsa won 2-1 at the BOK Center on Nov. 7)
- $2 beer and soda, Papa John’s College Night
Friday, February 8 at 7:05 p.m. – at Wichita Thunder
- Ninth meeting of the season, Oilers are 3-5-0 vs. Wichita and 2-3-0 at Intrust Bank Arena
- Watch Party at Gusano’s Pizzeria at 101st & Mingo
Saturday, February 9 at 7:05 p.m. at Missouri Mavericks
- Eighth meeting of the season, Oilers are 3-4-0 overall against the Mavs and 1-2-0 at the Independence Event Center
- Watch Party at Gusano’s Pizzeria at 101st & Mingo
Sunday, February 10 at 4:05 p.m. vs. Allen Americans
- Sixth meeting of the season, Tulsa is 1-5-0 vs. Allen and 1-1-0 at the BOK Center)
- Papa John’s Family Day
- Post-game skate with players
Streaking…The Good Kind: Tulsa is riding a season-long, three-game winning streak. The Oilers have posted victories in four straight home games and have earned two points in four of their last five outings. With a win over Rapid City on Tuesday, the Oilers will sweep a home stand for the first time this season and win four in a row for the first time since November of 2011.
Terrific Trio: Over the last three games, the Oilers top line of Drew Fisher, Ben Gordon, and Ryan Menei, has combined for 27 of the team’s 38 total points. Gordon, who tied a career-high with a six-point effort on Friday, has climbed to third in the CHL scoring race with 58 points (23 goals, 35 assists). Menei followed up his four-point performance on Friday against Missouri by recording his first hat-trick as an Oiler on Saturday against Wichita. The 26-year old right-wing has ten goals in his last ten games and ranks fifth in the CHL with 56 points. Fisher, who has registered 13 of his 26 points in the last ten games, has vaulted up to sixth in the league in rookie scoring. The International Falls, Minnesota native has scored a powerplay goal in three straight games.
Power Surge: Tulsa has scored a powerplay goal in each of the last three games and five of its last six. Thanks to capitalizing on seven of its last 15 chances on the man-advantage, the Oilers powerplay unit, ranked eighth in the CHL before Friday’s game, jumped up to fifth in the league at 16.8 percent.
Outshot But Not Outplayed: The Oilers have been outshot in nine straight games. Despite being outgunned in those contests by a combined total of 353-250, Tulsa has found a way to post a 5-4-0 record. Interestingly, 12 of the Oilers 15 wins this season have come in games when they’ve fired fewer shots on net than their opponents.
“Mads” Gets Money’s Worth From Pads: Although he’s only made 18 appearances in net this season, Shane Madolora already ranks 12th in the CHL in saves and 15th in total minutes. The rookie from California, who has faced at least 30 shots in each of his last seven starts, saved his best stuff for shootouts on Tuesday and Friday. In those one-on-one situations, Madolora rose up to stop six of the eight shooters he faced and allowed the Oilers to earn the extra point in both games.
Fresh Face: Center Justin Fox signed with the Oilers last week and saw time on the third line in games against Missouri and Wichita. The 6-0, 190-pound Fox arrived in Tulsa after posting 22 points in 24 games with the Huntsville Havoc of the SPHL. A second-year pro out of Whitby, Ontario, Fox played college hockey at Oswego (NY) State University where he helped the Lakers reach the Division III Frozen Four in 2012.
Milestones: Jeff Buvinow recorded his first professional goal with Friday’s game-winner against Missouri…Tyler Fleck reached 1,500 career penalty minutes on Saturday against Wichita and needs just two points to reach 200 for his career…Michel Beausoleil is four points shy of 400 in the CHL…
Inspirational Visit: Eleven Tulsa Oilers players gathered at St. Francis Children’s Hospital on Wednesday and spent several hours visiting with kids and their families. The Oilers stopped in on patients on three different floors and handed out autographed mini-sticks as well as stuffed animals. The players, decked out in their jerseys, posed for pictures with kids from ages 3-16 and did their best to lift the spirits of the children, many of whom had been hospitalized for an extended period of time.