Oilers Weekly News and Notes – January 14, 2013

Week In Review:  The Oilers went 1-2-0 last weekend with a road victory at Missouri on Friday and home losses on Saturday and Sunday to Bloomington and Fort Worth.  Tulsa ended the week with a record of 10-24-3 and remains in tenth place in the CHL standings.

The Oilers 12-game road losing streak was finally snapped in Missouri on Friday with a 4-1 win over the Mavericks.  Thanks to goals from Patrick Schafer and Ryan Menei, Tulsa carried a 2-0 lead into the third period.  The Mavs were able to cut the lead in half, but the Oilers sealed the victory with a pair of empty net goals from Kyle Mariani and Ben Gordon.  Goalie Shane Madolora stopped 31 shots to earn his second win of the season as the Oilers prevailed away from home for the first time since November 10.  For only the sixth time this season, the Oilers led after two periods and improved to 6-0-0 in those contests.

Oilers right wing Ryan Cramer reaches for the puck in front of Mavericks goalie Mike Clemente during Tulsa’s 4-1 win on Friday night at the Independence Events Center (photo courtesy: Scott Thomas)

The Oilers returned to the BOK Center on Saturday but came up short in a 4-2 loss to Bloomington.  The Oilers outshot the Blaze 38-24 but Bloomington was able to break the game open in the second period with a pair of goals in the span of 28 seconds.  Ben Gordon and Drew Fisher scored for the Oilers who dropped to 0-5-0 this season against the Blaze.

The weekend finished with a 6-2 setback at the hands of the Fort Worth Brahmas.  Down 3-2 in the third period and on the powerplay, the Oilers surrendered a shorthanded goal which promptly put an end to any hopes of a comeback.  The Brahmas scored three times in less than three minutes to put the game out of reach and handed the Oilers a third straight loss on home ice.  Tulsa has lost six straight times to Fort Worth and fell to 2-6-1 overall against the Brahmas this season.

Home Sweet Home: The upcoming schedule is favorable for the Oilers as they try to climb back into postseason contention.  Tulsa will play 11 of its next 15 games at the BOK Center.

Schafer Shines In Debut:  The Oilers signed forward Patrick Schafer on Friday and he wasted no time providing an offensive boost.  Schafer, who played 36 games for Missouri last season, scored a first period goal against his former team in Tulsa’s 4-1 victory.  The 25-year old arrived in Tulsa after playing the first 25 games of the season with the Augusta Riverhawks (SPHL).  A Hilliard, Ohio native, Schafer started his pro career in 2010 with the Arizona Sundogs after four years of college hockey at Ohio State University.

Point Machine: Despite having his four-game point streak snapped on Sunday, Oilers center Ben Gordon still has points in 10 of his last 13 games.  In his first season in Tulsa, Gordon has been a consistent presence on the Oilers top line.  The 27-year old, who recorded his 100th career goal on Friday, leads Tulsa in goals (20) and points (41) and ranks fifth in the CHL in overall scoring.  Gordon added a goal and an assist on Saturday against Bloomington to give him 11 multiple-point games this season, more than any other player on the Tulsa roster.

Ben Gordon recently moved from left wing to center and continues to lead the Oilers in goals and points (photo courtesy: Kevin Pyle – www.photopyle.com)

Mariani Strikes: Second year pro Kyle Mariani played in his 100th career game on Friday night and registered his first goal as a member of the Oilers.  With less than a minute remaining in the third period and Tulsa nursing a 2-1 lead, Mariani stepped out of the penalty box and charged up the ice to retrieve a pass from Ryan Cramer.  The Mississauga, Ontario product sped past everybody and shoveled the puck into an empty net to the seal the win for the Oilers.

Steffes Called Up: Center and leading goal scorer Gary Steffes was called up to the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL this week. Lake Erie is the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.  In 34 games for the Oilers this season, Steffes posted 33 points and 19 goals.  The 25-year old anchored Tulsa’s top line and recorded ten multiple-point games.  Steffes, 6-2, 210 pounds, was named the CHL First Star of the Month for October and is the first Oilers player to be called up this season.

Milestones: Oilers Head Coach Bruce Ramsay is one win shy of 300 for his career…defenseman Gio Flamminio played in his 100th game as an Oiler on Sunday vs. Fort Worth…rookie blue-liner Ryan Barlock recorded his first professional assist and first pro fight on Friday at Missouri…forward Ben Gordon scored on an empty net in Missouri on Friday for his 100th career goal.

Upcoming Games:  The Oilers have another busy weekend ahead with three straight games against the rival Wichita Thunder.

Friday, Jan. 18 at 7:05 p.m. – at Wichita Thunder

-          Oilers are 1-3-0 at Intrust Bank Arena this season

-          Watch party at Gusano’s Chicago-Style Pizzeria at 101st & Mingo

Saturday, Jan. 19 at 7:35 p.m. – vs. Wichita Thunder

-          Thunder making first visit to BOK Center this season

-          Season Ticket Holder party

-          Door giveaway courtesy of Warren Clinic Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine

Sunday, Jan. 20 at 4:05 p.m. – vs. Wichita Thunder

-          Post-game skate with the Oilers players

-          Papa John’s Family Fun Day, ticket packs start as low as $49

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