(Photo by Melissa Warren)
Warm weather was the only thing the Oilers enjoyed in Allen, Texas on Sunday afternoon when they were defeated in a one-goal game by the Americans, 2-1. Connor Kucera was the lone Oilers scorer.
The opening period would supply the Americans with an early two goal lead.
The first power play and first goal would both belong to Allen. One right after the other.
Moments after Adam Pleskach returned to ice for the Oilers after a tripping call, Chris Crane notched his 20th point, sneaking the puck between Kevin Carr’s glove and the pipe.
The 8:46 mark would be when Americans’ stellar point producer, Chad Costello, would bring the puck from behind the net for Nolan Descoteaux who scored on an open slap-in shot.
Tulsa recorded a season-low of one shot on goal in the first 20 minutes of play.
It was all Oilers in the second period. Outshooting the American’s 14-6 led to the Oilers goal that cut the Allen lead in half, 2-1. Defenseman Kucera scored his first professional goal alongside his Bowling Green State University teammate Dan DeSalvo, who had the assist.
With back and forth action in the third period neither team produced. The Oilers would come close on an extra attacker advantage due to an empty Tulsa net, but Peter DiSalvo would make the save of the game.
After four consecutive meetings in one week, the two Central Division teams each walked away with four points.
The Oilers are back in the BOK Center on Wednesday night against the league-leading Missouri Mavericks for the first of 11 home games in February.
The Oilers and Americans have clashed on the ice three times this week and will close their four-game series in Allen soil today. Each team has walked away with home victories—two for Tulsa and one for Allen. This afternoon the two will meet up for a matinée showdown in the Allen Event Center to determine whether they will split the series in half or the Oilers will walk away with a coveted six points.
Shots have proven a key component between these two and whoever is taking the most is most likely to take the win.
Delete: Earlier this week Aaron Harstad was recalled by the Manitoba Moose, the American Hockey League Affiliate of the Tulsa Oilers. Harstad notched eight points in 14 games with the Oilers.
Add: Yesterday, the Moose assigned center forward Jimmy Lodge to Tulsa. Today against the Americans will be his Oilers debut. Axel Blomqvist is back. Earlier today the Moose reassigned the 6’7” Swedish forward to Tulsa. Blomqvist has produced four points and seven penalty minutes during his 12 appearances with the Oilers
Below is an Excerpt from a Tulsa Oilers Game. These games are called by two different broadcasters. Particularly, this game was called by Rob Loeber Other times the games are called by Jeff Buccerleri. The broadcasters will travel on the road and stay with the teams when they go on road games as well. This is from one of the Wichita Thunder games. The Thunder are a long time divisional rival–Tulsa’s greatest rival actually.
Jeff: 2:45 remaining. First period of play. The puck is in the Wichita zone. Oilers with it now out to the point. Slapped it down low. DeSalvo left it in the corner board. Now the Thunder get it, clear it out in the neutral ice. Picked up by Konan. Konan sends it back into the Wichita zone. Behind the goal. The goaltender will leave it there for a teammate as both teams making a change. Back come the Thunder with it up on the right wing. Over the blue line is Huff. He has it in the corner. Huff toward the goal. It gets deflected in front. Now cleared to the boards of the near side. Miller’s still with it for Wichita. He has it broken up by Lalancette. Lalancette puts it back into the corner board. Coming over to help out is Brown.
Lalancette now sends it around to the far side, Harstead. Aaron Harstead with it. Skates away and clears the puck up the length of the ice. No icing. It touched a couple of players through the neutral zone, so they waived off the icing with a minute 50 remaining, first period of play. 1 nothing. Tulsa with the lead here in this one. Wichita gets it in their own zone. They bring it through the red line. Intercepted by the Oilers’ Pleskach. He sends it to Lalancette. He has the puck checked away back in the neutral zone. Puck going back and forth. Now it’s slapped into the Tulsa zone. Wichita sends it in there they try to skate after it, but it’s intercepted. Cleared away by the Oilers’ Brisebois. Now slapped back in by the Thunder. Behind the goal, Carr will stop it, send it out on the left side. Got a delayed penalty coming up. It’s against Wichita.
Wichita’s going to get called for a penalty back behind the play. I think somebody bumped Carr. Oilers coming with it in the Thunder zone. Now it’s slapped by a Thunder player. The whistle blows. I believe we’ve got an interference penalty call as somebody interfered with Kevin Carr as he played the puck from behind the goal. A few of the players gathered together out there. The linesman will have to step in to break it up as Michael Neal goes to the penalty box for Wichita. Neal gets called for the penalty. It is interference as the referee now indicates. 1:08 remaining here in the first period. The Tulsa Oilers will have their third power play opportunity of the game. Tulsa’s 1 for 2 on the power play so far. At 18:52 of the period, Wichita takes a interference penalty to Michael Neal.
This concludes the play by play action from a former Oilers game. Tonight’s loss to the Americans was tough. In the midst of playoffs, these points were worth more than two really, but four rather a piece. With four games, each team took two wins and each got four points. The Americans didn’t need the points as much as they just needed to make sure the Oilers did not get them as Tulsa is only one spot away from the team in red. After a back and forth change-up, the Oilers are again 11 points below the Allen team.