Oilers Weekly News and Notes – October 29, 2012
Weekend Recap: The Oilers went 2-0-1 over the weekend and picked up five out of a possible six points. In Friday’s home opener against Quad City, the Oilers were able to tie the game at 3-3 early in the third period but the Mallards had the last laugh. Mickey Lang scored with just 32 seconds remaining in overtime to give Quad City a 4-3 victory and force Tulsa to settle for a single point. The Oilers didn’t have to wait long to payback the Mallards. Saturday night in Quad City, Michel Beausoleil and Gary Steffes provided Tulsa with an early 2-0 lead and Ian Keserich made 27 saves as the Oilers rolled to a 4-1 triumph. Ryan Menei chipped in his first goal as an Oiler and was one of five Tulsa players to finish the night with multiple points. Back in the BOK Center for a Sunday afternoon face off with the Fort Worth Brahmas, the Oilers capped off a successful three-game stretch with a 4-2 win. Each member of Tulsa’s top line (Menei, Drew Akins, Ben Gordon) found the back of the net while Keserich turned in his second straight outstanding performance in goal. The Oilers netminder turned aside 30 Brahmas shots to record his second win of the season and push Tulsa to the top of the CHL standings.
Off To A Good Start: With a 3-1-1 record and seven points in their first five games, the Oilers are off to their best start since the 2003-04 season. Despite a -1 overall goal differential, Tulsa sits in first place in the CHL standings with a one point edge over Allen, Bloomington, and Rapid City. Tulsa has chipped in 17 goals, the team’s highest five game total to open a season since the 2009-10 campaign when they scored 19 times. Third year center Gary Steffes is tied for second in the league with 7 points while Steffes and linemate Michel Beausoleil are tied atop the CHL with a +5 rating.
Mike Likes The Shorties: Right wing Michel Beausoleil scored the Oilers first shorthanded goal of the season in Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Brahmas. Beausoleil, who had two of Tulsa’s four shorthanded goals last season, now has a shorthanded tally in each of the last five seasons. The Montreal native, one of the Oilers most reliable penalty killers, also has a powerplay goal and an even strength goal to go along with his shorthanded marker.
Keserich Bounces Back: After surrendering five goals in less than two periods in his first start of the season, Oilers goaltender Ian Keserich responded with a pair of outstanding performances. Over the course of his two weekend starts, Keserich saved 57 of the 60 shots he faced and earned his first two victories of the season. In just two games, the 26-year old Ohio native lowered his goals against average from 8.82 to 3.12 and raised his save percentage from .815 to .908.
Akins Impact: Signed by Tulsa just two days before the home opener, center Drew Akins didn’t waste any time making his presence felt in the Oilers lineup. Akins was elevated to the Oilers top line prior to Saturday’s game in Quad City and finished the contest with an assist and a fight. The University of Minnesota-Duluth product followed up on Sunday with an empty net goal and another assist to give him three points in his first three games as an Oiler. Akins, who started his career in 2010 with the Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL), played one game this season for the Trenton Titans (ECHL) before landing in Tulsa.
Roster Moves: The Oilers have signed Jake Trask, a 21-year old forward from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Trask was in training camp with the Toledo Walleye (ECHL) before being released and picked up by the Oilers. In five seasons of the junior hockey in the WHL, Trask recorded 161 points (76 goals, 85 assists) while playing for the Kamloops Blazers and Saskatoon Blades. Trask is the youngest player on the Tulsa roster and the only player born in the 1990’s.
Upcoming Games: The Oilers will play three straight games against the Allen Americans with the first two contests on Wednesday and Friday in Allen and the series finale in Tulsa on Saturday. The Oilers and Americans will meet a total of nine times this season. Tulsa went 4-3 against Allen last season and is 7-8-2 all time against the Americans.
Wed. Oct. 31 – at Allen 7:05 p.m.
Fri. Nov. 2 – at Allen 7:05 p.m.
Sat. Nov. 3 – vs. Allen 7:35 p.m.