GLADIATORS STOP TULSA COMEBACK AGAIN
Oilers rebound from 3-0 deficit to pull within a goal, but fall 5-3 in Atlanta for third straight loss to start road trip.
DULUTH, GA – The Tulsa Oilers battled back from a 3-0 deficit to pull within a goal in the third period, but fell 5-3 to the Atlanta GladiatorsFriday at Infinite Energy Arena.
Tulsa outshot Atlanta 13-4 in the opening frame, but Justin Buzzeo gave the Gladiators the lead, when he lifted a shot over Oilers goaltender Jamie Phillips after receiving a pass from Brock Higgs in the slot.
The Gladiators added two more goals quickly in the second period to increase their lead to 3-0. Cason Hohmann tapped in a Derek Nesbitt centering pass 1:08 into the stanza for the second Atlanta goal. Trevor Mingoia then scooped up a loose puck at the side of the net and shoveled it into the open cage at 5:59.
The Oilers cut into the lead on a late second period power play, when Miles Koules deflected a slap pass from Wes Cunningham up into the top of the net from slot for a goal against his former team. Atlanta led 3-1 after two.
Tulsa cut the deficit to one, when Danick Paquette set up Christophe Lalancette for a one-timer that beat Gladiators goaltender Dan Vladar between the legs, but Atlanta captain Derek Nesbitt had an answer bringing the score to 4-2 just 1:39 later. The Oilers were not done yet, as Garrett Ladd snuck in a shot from the left point through a screen, but Tulsa’s comeback bid came up short for the second straight night. Brock Higgs, who had a three point night, added an empty net goal to seal Atlanta’s 5-3 win.
The Oilers continue their season-long eight game road trip Sunday with a 2pm CST matinee in Greenville against the Swamp Rabbits at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. It will be the only meeting of the season between the two teams. Catch the action on www.tulsaoilers.com or ECHL.TV, with coverage starting at 1:45. Tulsa then travels up to Kalamazoo for their only meeting with the Wings Wednesday night at 6pm CST at the Wings Event Center.
Photo: Atlanta Gladiators / Taylor Trebotte