(Photo by Josie Books)
In their second meeting of the season, first meeting in the Maverick Center, Tulsa would lose to the Grizzlies 5-2 and split the season series at one a piece (1-1-0-0). Seven goals would be scored by only four skaters as Utah’s Barry Almeida would claim over half over of them. Goaltender Kevin Carr, back in Tulsa’s lineup after a three-game suspension, faced 31 shots.
A fast paced first period of action in Utah resulted in a tie at one after 20 minutes. The Grizzlies put themselves on the board at the 4:59 mark when an assist from Marc Cantin gave Jon Puskar his fifth goal of the season and Utah a one-goal lead. The advantage didn’t last long as Adam Pleskach blasted his thirteenth goal of the 2015-16 campaign less than a minute after the Grizzly goal.
The score board would see less excitement in the second frame. Neither team would produce points but a fight would get fans on their feet. Returning to the Oilers lineup, not even 24 hours after being re-assigned to Tulsa from the AHL Manitoba Moose,Aaron Harstad threw punches. With both hands. Harstad and Kenton Helgesen would both go to the bin, five for fighting.
Five goals were netted in the final period, only one belonging to Tulsa. The lone Oilers goal would be a good one. The intercepted pass in Utah’s zone by rookie Dan Deslavo led to an unassisted goal and gave Tulsa their first lead of the night at 2-1. 1, 2, 3 and 4–all unanswered. Almedia would earn a natural hat trick, plus some. One power play goal, one even-strength and two empty-netters gave this guy first star of the night status and his team a 5-2 victory.
Coach Christie will look to achieve his 500th career coaching win as the Oilers continue their road trip Friday and Saturday night in Boise, Idaho against the Steelheads.
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Below is an Excerpt for a Tulsa Oilers Game
Jeff: Both teams making a line change here. We’ve played 2 and a half minutes into this first period of hockey. No score. Neal loses control of the puck. The Oilers steal it in the neutral zone. Now they set it out on the left wing off one of the players. That’s Lalancette. It goes into the Wichita zone. Wichita recovers the puck. They’ll bring it away to the right side. Slapped away and into the corner boards. Couple of players collide there. One of the Oilers, it looks like Sova, slid down to the ice as he was checked from behind into the boards. Here’s a shot toward the goal. A blocker pad save by Carr. It was deflected coming in, and all he could do was get his arm up there. The puck goes out of play into the mesh.
Quick start here in this first period of play. 17:03 left to go in the first period. No score here in the first 3 minutes or so of this one. Tulsa Oilers and the Wichita Thunder no strangers to one another. They’ve played each other already 6 times this year. Just like in the old league, they will play each other a ton being in the same division. There’s a lot of knowledge between the two teams, which can also breed a lot of bad blood, too, at times. Face off in the Tulsa zone comes to the side of the goal. Now Carr will smother it. We get another face off in the Tulsa end … We’ve got a face off coming to the left of Kevin Carr in the Tulsa Oilers end. On the draw, the Oilers win it to the far side. Phil Brewer will take it out of the zone. Here comes Brewer over the blue line into the Wichita zone. He gets bumped there on the way in.
The puck goes behind the goal. They send it out in front of the slot. Intercepted by the Thunder. Back comes Wichita with the puck. It goes into the Tulsa end. Slapped away from Baptista. It stays in the Tulsa zone around the boards by Harstead to the far side. Phil Brewer now helping out is DeSalvo, who gets it over to Harstead. Crossover on the right wing for Brewer. He’ll slap it into the Wichita zone. We get a line change here for both teams.
Puck set up the ice into the neutral zone. Recovered by the Oilers. Now back into their own end being chased there was Ramsey. He has to go with the puck. He gets some help from Brisebois. Mathieu Brisebois sends it around to the right side. Now, it’s in the circle on the far side, still in the Tulsa zone. Slapped out finally by Brandon Wong and into the neutral zone. Wichita will reset the neutral zone with the puck. Cross rink pass to the far side. They bring it back into the Tulsa end in the corner. Oilers get there first. Pass over on the near side to Nathan Lutz. Lutz with it bumped down to the ice now. As Lutz is bothered there by Neal. Lutz gives Neal a shot with his stick as he comes away. The referee saw it but didn’t call it.
Back come the Thunder in their own end with it, and they’ll reset from there as the Oilers go for a line change. Here come the Thunder out of their line zone with the puck. When the player’s getting toward me, I can’t see his numbers, so I apologize. It’s an odd angle that we’re at in the corner. Back on the Oilers here goes the Oilers’ Bloomquist with it over the blue line. A shot to the left of the goal as it’s sticked away by the goaltender Shantz. Now sent back toward the net by the Oilers’ Konan and off the boards to the far side. Kept in their by Tulsa. Intercepted on the way back in. Joey Sides takes it away for Wichita. Flips it into the air.
A head pass. Nice play. Little move around Carr, and a shot on goal by Huff. He doesn’t score it. As Carr makes a nice sprawling save there as Huff tried to get around him, Carr did a great job of following along with Huff as he made a move. Now in front again a backhander. Carr on another save of Miller. Miller tries on the rebound, and Carr smothers it this time. We’ll get a face off coming in the Tulsa end.