Three games left in the season.
The Tulsa Oilers need four points to clinch a playoff spot.
The Oilers play two of their last three games against the fifth-place team, Wichita.
We’ll go over the scenarios for the final week of the ECHL regular season, but first, last night’s recap.
The Missouri Mavericks have been a huge thorn in the side of the Oilers this entire season, and Tulsa is sure to be happy that the season series is over between these two teams.
The first period last night seemed like it might be a different story, with the Oilers overcoming an early goal by Missouri’s Andrew Courtney getting by Tulsa goaltender Brandon Anderson. A lucky bounce from a Jeff Jubinville shot and a shorthanded tally by Jon Booras gave the Oilers a 2-1 lead after the first period.
Andrew Courtney leveled the game midway through the second period, getting his stick on a bouncing puck to make a it a 2-2 game with his second goal of the game. Three minutes later, the Mavericks added a shorthanded goal of their own from Tyler Currier to put the Mavs ahead 3-2. Missouri goalie Brandon Jaeger stayed perfect in the second frame, making 12 saves against the Oilers.
The third period started with Missouri gaining a two-goal lead off the stick of Ludwig Karlsson. The Mavericks kept it that way until the final minute of regulation when Jeff Jubinville added his second goal of the game – shorthanded – and brought the Oilers to within one with 42 seconds remaining on the clock. Tulsa went with the empty net to try and find the equalizer, but the Mavericks closed it out with a goal by Sebastien Thinel to beat the Oilers 5-3.
That brings us to the final week of the season, with Tulsa battling for the final playoff spot with the Wichita Thunder. In the most theatrical way of ending the season, two of the last three games are against the Thunder. For the Oilers to make the playoffs, here’s what need’s to happen:
Easy scenario: Win one of two games in regulation.
Medium scenario: Win both games in either OT or a shootout.
Hard scenario: Lose both games in OT or a shootout, beat Quad City in final game.
Expert scenario: Lose both games in regulation, beat Quad City in final game, and hope Allen beats Wichita in final game.
The Oilers do have one thing working their favor however. This season, the Oilers have gone 10-2-0-0 against the Thunder. All they need to do, is keep that up.