Independence, Missouri is turning out to be one of the least favorite places for the Tulsa Oilers to play, as they fell for the fourth straight time to the Missouri Mavericks at the Independence Events Center. The loss sets the Oilers back to a 27-25-1-3 record (58 points), while the Mavericks improve to 22-28-3-2 (49 points).
The game started out well for the Oilers, as they took a 1-0 lead midway through the first when Drew Fisher sent a pass to Adam Pleskach for an easy tap-in to give Pleskach his 30th goal of the season. Later in the first, Missouri tied the game while on the power play as a point shot from Martin Lee found the net behind Brandon Anderson. Missouri took advantage of the momentum, taking just 77 seconds for Andrew Courtney’s shot to get past Anderson and make it a 2-1 Missouri lead.
Momentum comes in waves, and it was certainly a big one for the Mavericks as they continued to ride it into the second period. Andrew Courtney added his second tally of the contest 46 seconds into the period to make it a 3-1 Missouri lead.
The scoring came fast and furious around the five-minute mark of the period, as Tulsa tried to fight their way back. at 4:27, the Oilers scored a power play goal off the stick of T.J. Caig. It took only 33 seconds for Missouri to jump right back to their two-goal lead at 5:02 as Andrew Courtney completed his hat trick to make it a 4-2 Mavs lead. The Oilers weren’t going away though, as it took 25 seconds for Adam Pleskach to bring Tulsa back to within one, scoring his second goal of the game and making it 4-3.
The teams battled back and forth for the next nine minutes, and Missouri found the net one more time at the 14:05 mark when Jack Downing picked up a juicy rebound and fired it past Anderson to make it a 5-3 game, and chased Anderson out of the game. Anderson made 12 saves in the game on 17 shots.
Kevin Carr finished out the game, stopping all 15 shots that he faced. The final nail for the Mavericks came from Sebastien Thinel, scoring his 15th goal of the season into the empty net and closing out the game with a 6-3 win for the Mavericks.
Josh Robinson, making his first start against the Oilers this season, turned aside 36 of the 39 shots against him as he improved to 3-6-0 on the season. Brandon Anderson took the loss, falling to 4-4-0.
Tulsa is now tied in a dead heat for the third-seed with the Rapid City Rush, with both teams having a 27-25-1-3 record. Rapid City however, owns the tiebreak over Tulsa with 24 regulation/overtime wins to Tulsa’s 22. Wichita sits one point back of both teams, but with three games in hand, making them a big threat to both teams playoff hopes.
Tomorrow will conclude the Oilers’ eight-game road trip as they take on the Quad City Mallards. Meanwhile, the Rush and the Thunder meet tomorrow night as well, making it a big night for the Central Division standings. Both games will start at 7:05 Central Time.