Training Camp Update – Monday, October 15
After a grueling week of training camp and two preseason games over the weekend, Oilers Head Coach Bruce Ramsay held an hour-long, optional practice this morning at the Oilers Ice Center.
The Oilers picked up a 4-2 victory in Wichita on Saturday night and held on for a 4-3 win over Denver in Dodge City, Kansas on Sunday to cap off a perfect preseason.
“It was a good weekend to find out which players I’m going to be keeping and which players I’m going to be letting go,” said Ramsay. “There was definitely some separation between the two groups, especially in the second game where those guys gave me a lot of information. I still have some really tough decisions to make in some key areas but I have a good idea of which direction I want to go.”
A pair of rookies, forward Jeremiah Ketts and goalie Dan Bakala, impressed Ramsay with their play over the weekend. Ketts, who centered Tulsa’s top line on Sunday alongside Ryan Menei and Ben Gordon, assisted on Gordon’s goal in the first period and later chipped in a powerplay tally to earn first star of the game honors. Bakala followed up a 19 -save performance against Wichita with 21 saves on 22 shots on Sunday against the Cutthroats. For the weekend, the Calgary, Alberta native turned aside 40 of the 42 shots he faced for a stellar .952 save percentage.
Four of Tulsa’s eight goals during the weekend were scored by defensemen. Matt Register found the net in both games while Drew Fisher and Kyle Mariani both lit the lamp against Wichita.
“With Fisher and Register I definitely expect them to contribute offensively,” Ramsay said. “Mariani has been a surprise too. He scored a nice goal against Wichita and made one good play after another during our camp scrimmages which had the intensity of a game, so it’s only going to make us a more dangerous team if we can have guys who will contribute from the blue line.”
Only five days remain until the regular season opener in Wichita on Saturday, October 20 at 7:05 p.m. Oilers fans are encouraged to attend the official Oilers watch party at Gusano’s Pizzeria located at 9999 S. Mingo Rd. in South Tulsa.
The Oilers will be back on the ice tomorrow morning from 9:00-11:15 a.m. at the Oilers Ice Center. All practices are open to the media and to the public.