TULSA, OK—Nothing went right for the Tulsa Oilers on Friday night, and it started even before the first puck dropped.
A mechanical failure in the BOK Center’s physical plant caused a partial melt of the ice surface, threatening to cancel their game with the Allen Americans. Given the final result, after the rink was determined to be playable, the Oilers probably wished it had.
The Americans showed 9,582 fans in the BOK Center why they have been the talk of the ECHL as they shellacked the hapless Oilers 9-1, handing Tulsa their sixth loss in the month of February with one game remaining this month.
The scoring for the Americans began in the first period with Spencer Asuchak, saw former Oilers players Gary Steffes and Chad Costello both score, Costello turning in a hat trick, and ended in the 12th minute of the third period with Josh Brittain.
The only bright spot for Tulsa was a goal in the first period from Christophe Lalancette that caromed off the post past Americans goalie Riley Gill in the first period, and that was when the game was somewhat close.
Unfortunately, it was lost in an onslaught of Allen goals and was almost an afterthought when the final horn sounded.
Five Allen goals against saw Tulsa goaltender Colin Stevens give way to backup Jay Williams, but the Americans lit him up for four more markers. Tulsa nonexistent power play went 0-4, and the penalty kill surrendered two in the four power plays the Oilers gifted the visitors.
When it was all said and done the Oilers showed little effort and energy, a fact not lost on head coach Jason Christie.
“I wish we had more in us, but obviously not tonight,” Christie said. “They (Allen) have a lot of skill, get up and down the ice and make those plays. It is an easy game for them,” christie said.
He gave his team a very long talk after Friday’s game in the locker room.
“There has to be that enthusiasm and energy,” Christie said. “We can’t allow that many goals against that team.”
The biggest problem the Oilers are having during the season-long home stand has been poor shooting, which while abundant (tonight’s game the Oilers outshot the Americans 37-21), were poorly placed and coming from the outside and just off the dasherboards.
“We had perimeter stuff,” Christie said. “Nobody was going to the net. You can’t play the game from the outside. Everybody wants to score from there. Nobody wants to go to those areas to score them.
“We have to be ready to go on Sunday.”
Christie refers to Sunday’s upcoming game with the Missouri Mavericks, who defeated the Oilers 4-3 in overtime on February 11th. Tulsa fell to 25-27-5-0 with 55 points, which still has them in the fourth and final playoff spot in the ECHL Central Division, but the Kalamazoo Wings closed the gap to one point with a 4-2 victory over Quad City. The Wings might overtake the Oilers with a win over the Mallards on Saturday in Moline.