Tulsa Caps Off Perfect Preseason with 4-3 Victory Over Cutthroats
DODGE CITY, KS – Twenty-four hours after posting a win over Wichita, the Tulsa Oilers capped off a perfect preseason weekend in the Sunflower State with a 4-3 win over the Denver Cutthroats on Sunday night at Dodge City’s United Wireless Arena.
The Oilers jumped out front early thanks to a pair of goals from forwards Ben Gordon and Ryan Cramer. Gordon, starting his fifth season of professional hockey and first with the Oilers, opened the scoring at the 5:37 mark of the first period. Just 20 seconds later Cramer found the back of the net to give Tulsa a two-goal edge. With Tulsa on the powerplay later in the period, rookie forward Jeremiah Ketts, a product of Johnson & Wales University, scored to provide the Oilers with a sizeable 3-0 advantage. A.J. Gale put Denver on the board at 15:09 in the first to cut Tulsa’s lead back to two heading into the first intermission.
In the middle frame, Oilers defenseman Matt Register recorded his second goal of the weekend and Tulsa’s three-goal cushion was restored. Denver’s Will Laporte capitalize on an Oilers offensive zone turnover with five minutes remaining in the period and the two sides headed to the third with Tulsa on top 4-2.
Gale chipped in his second goal of the game at the 7:54 mark of the third, but the Cutthroats comeback bid came up short as the Oilers were able to hang on down the stretch for a 4-3 victory.
Tulsa’s goaltending play which was outstanding in Wichita on Saturday, was steady yet again on Sunday. Rookie Dan Bakala stopped 21 of the 22 shots he faced while veteran Larry Sterling, who took over halfway through the game, turned aside 13 of 15 shots fired by the Cutthroats.
Ketts, who finished the night with a goal and an assist, was named the first star of the game while Bakala took home third star honors.
The Oilers will have one more week of training camp before traveling to Wichita on Saturday for the regular season opener against the Thunder. Tulsa’s home opener is set for Friday, October 26 at 7:35 p.m. against the Quad City Mallards.