Oilers Shutdown By Sundogs
TULSA, OK – A shot at redemption took a sharp turn in the wrong direction on Wednesday night for the Tulsa Oilers.
Twenty-four hours after being dominated on their home ice by the Arizona Sundogs, the Oilers attempt at payback fell flat in a 5-0 loss to the Sundogs in front of 3,155 at the BOK Center. For the second straight night, Sundogs forward Kevin Baker recorded two goals and two assists as Arizona won its fourth straight game over Tulsa and claimed the season series by a 4-3 margin.
Late in the first period it was Baker who put the visitors on the board. Set up by a cross-ice feed from Derek LeBlanc, the newly acquired Baker ripped a one-timer past Dan Clarke for a powerplay tally. The Sundogs carried a 1-0 lead into the second frame.
The powerplay continued to click for Arizona as Chad Nehring and Matt McCready each found the back of the net with the man advantage to push the Sundogs edge to 3-0 after two.
A nifty move and sensational finish by Baker early in third put the contest out of reach. Baker dragged the puck around the Oilers defense at the attacking blue line and roofed a backhand past Clarke for his second score of the evening. Mario Larocque scored Arizona’s only even-strength goal of the game at 12:37 of the final period.
Arizona goalie Adam Russo stopped 22 shots and the Oilers were kept off the scoreboard for the fifth time this season.
The Sundogs, who had scored only five powerplay goals on the road through their first 56 games, exploded for six powerplay goals in the two games in Tulsa including a 4-for-7 effort on Wednesday night.
Clarke made his third start of the season for Tulsa after Shane Madolora suffered an eye injury during warmups. The rookie performed admirably, stopping 35 of the 40 shots he faced.
The Oilers, 20-34-4 overall, have dropped six of their last seven games and remain 12 points out of the final playoff spot with eight games to play.
Tulsa is back in action on Friday night to host the Bloomington Blaze at 7:35 p.m. on Military Night presented by Budweiser. The Oilers will wear special camouflaged jerseys which will be auctioned off after the game to raise money for the Folds of Honor foundation.