Oilers Weekly News and Notes – November 19, 2012
Week In Review: The Oilers fell to Bloomington and Allen last week to drop to 6-7-1 for the season. Friday night at the BOK Center, Bloomington built a 4-0 lead before the Tulsa offense came to life with goals from Ryan Cramer and Gary Steffes. The Blaze, playing against the Oilers for the first of six meetings, added a late empty net tally to secure a 5-2 victory. The Oilers traveled to Allen on Saturday and suffered a 3-1 loss at the hands of the Americans. Ryan Menei snapped an eight-game goal drought with a powerplay marker in the second period but the Oilers surrendered breakaway goal late in the third period and lost to the Americans for the fourth time this season.
Next Up: The Oilers return home Tuesday night for the fourth meeting of the season with the Fort Worth Brahmas. Tulsa is 2-1-0 against Fort Worth with one victory on home ice and most recently, a 1-0 overtime win at the NYTEX Sports Centre on November 10. In the three previous contests against the Brahmas, Oilers right wing Michel Beausoleil has posted six points (3 goals, 3 assists) while Fort Worth forwards Riley Boychuk and Phil Fox have each recorded three points. Fort Worth has earned points in three of its last four outings and is coming off back-to-back road victories over Rapid City and Denver.
The Dark Night Approaches: For one night only, the Tulsa Oilers will be transformed into the Gotham City Crusaders. On Black Friday, November 23, the Oilers will wear special Batman jerseys when they battle the Bloomington Blaze at 7:35 p.m. at the BOK Center. The jerseys will be auctioned off at the ONEOK Club immediately following the game. All kids ages 12 and under are admitted into the game for free and all Crusaders fans are encouraged to wear black. Special discounts and prizes will be given to fans who dress up as Batman. The entire evening, from videos to music to Ice Girls uniforms, will have a Batman theme as the Crusaders try to rescue Gotham City from the Blaze.
Avoiding The Shootout: As of Monday, the Oilers are the only team in the Central Hockey League that has not participated in a shootout this season. Last year, Tulsa only took part in two shootouts and finished 1-1. Since 2009 when Bruce Ramsay took over as head coach, the Oilers are 9-4 in games decided by shootouts.
Sharing The Goal: Oilers goaltenders Dan Bakala and Ian Keserich have nearly identical numbers through the first 14 games of the season. Bakala, a rookie, and Keserich, a sixth-year pro, are tied for third in the CHL with eight appearances. Keserich has played 33 more minutes than his counterpart, but Bakala’s 3.41 goals against average is just slightly better than Keserich’s 3.42 mark.
Steffes Tops Star List: Center Gary Steffes sits tied atop the CHL’s 3-Star leader board. Steffes, CHL First Star of the Month for October, has 16 three-star points and has been selected as the first star of the game on three occasions. The 25-year old was also named third star of the night in Tulsa’s loss to Bloomington last Friday. Players are awarded three points for first star honors, two points for second star, and one point for third star recognition.
Bye Bye Bloomington: Tulsa’s game at Bloomington, originally scheduled for Sunday, November 25 has been cancelled. The change was made in order to make up for the Oilers trip to Wichita on opening night when they filled in as the Thunder’s opponent for the Quad City Mallards.
Roster Moves: Forward Drew Akins has been waived, and forward Troy Ofukany remains on injured reserve.
Upcoming Games: Tulsa plays three games this week (2 home, 1 away) with a brief Thanksgiving break in between.
Tuesday, November 20 at 7:05 pm vs. Fort Worth Brahmas
Friday, November 23 at 7:35 pm vs. Bloomington Blaze – “Batman” Night, jersey auction after the game, kids 12 and under admitted free, dress up as Batman for special prizes
Saturday, November 24 at 7:05 pm at Quad City Mallards