TULSA, OK — The Tulsa Oilers traveled north to Kansas and Missouri this past weekend for the first three games of a nine-game road swing this month and nabbed three out of a possible six points against the Wichita Thunder and the Missouri Mavericks.
First up was a two-game set with the Oilers oldest rivals in Wichita and those games resulted in points. Game one on Friday night saw Tulsa leap out to a three-goal lead, which was all they would need even though the Thunder were threatening at game’s end.
Goals from Danick Paquette, Adam Pleskach and Darcy Murphy during the game’s opening 11 minutes sustained the Oilers in the game.
Wichita’s Louick Marcotte ruined Tulsa goalie Colin Stevens bid for a shutout with two goals in the third period, but he and the Oilers defense held to give the Oilers their first regulation win since defeating the Thunder at home two weeks ago.
Saturday night brought forth a second game with the Thunder, and it was a game with two remarkable firsts, one good and one not so good.
The good “first” was a goal from Oilers newcomer Dylan Hubbs, who scored on a power play less than a minute into the third period to know the score at 1-1. Wichita jumped back into the driver’s seat with a little under three minutes to play, but that ended when Oilers defenseman Dennis Brown ripped in a goal to knot the game at two and send it into an overtime/shootout solution.
Thunder goalie Drew Owsley turned aside every shot in overtime, including a 2:50 four-on-three power play during the extra session, and all three Tulsa shooters in the shootout to hand Tulsa it’s first shootout loss of the 2016-17 season and one standings point for a total of three out of a potential four with the Thunder in their barn.
Sunday saw the Oilers travel up to the Kansas City suburb of Independence to take on the Missouri Mavericks.
The Oilers traded goals with the Mavericks in the game’s opening period, with Eric Drapluk tucking his first goal of the season under the crossbar of the Mavericks net to knot the score at 1-1, and after the Mavs regained the lead, Danick Paquette pulled Tulsa back to an even 2-2 at period’s end.
Three unanswered Missouri goals that spanned the second and third periods were the backbreaker for the Oilers, though Hubbs scored his second goal in as many nights to bisect the third period that ended with an empty net goal from the home team and a 6-3 victory for the Mavericks on the scoreboard.
Though not pertinent to the outcome, Paquette managed to pull off the “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” of a goal, assist and fisticuffs in Sunday’s contest.
P.J. Musico, claimed by Tulsa off waivers from Greenville made 17 saves on 22 Missouri shots on his first start in the Tulsa net.
As of right now, the Oilers are out of the ECHL Central Division’s playoff picture, sitting fifth in the standings behind Kalamazoo with 58 points to the Wings’ 64. Tulsa will continue their March road trip next weekend with another game with the Mavericks next Sunday.