TULSA, OK —To say it was brutal would have been an understatement.
The Colorado Eagles darkened the door of the BOK Center for the first time since both were members of the Central Hockey League and handed Tulsa their third straight loss, one that may have consequences when it comes to Tulsa’s playoff future.
Historically, when the Eagles visited Tulsa, wins for the home team were few and far between. In fact, beyond a wild playoff game 10 years ago in the Central Hockey League 11 years ago and a few games in 2003 when the Eagles entered the CHL, by and large Tulsa would not emerge victorious from many games that they played against Colorado.
On Tuesday night in the BOK Center, the Eagles posted a six-goal lead before the Oilers found the back of the net. It was particularly disturbing in the second period, when a two goal lead was extended into a five goal lead in the span of just a few minutes as the Eagles took advantage of an ridiculously out of sync defensive effort from the Oilers. There were many instances where Oilers goalie Kevin Carr — returning from a seven-game injury break and playing in his 100th professional game — was hung out to dry.
By the time the Oilers woke up and started playing hockey, five Eagles had scored goals. Trent Daavettlia (2), Curt Gogol, Channing Boe, Everett Sheen and Kyle Kraemer all had goals on the board and they are listed without description because quite frankly some of the goals happened so fast that this reporter did not catch them as they happened.
In all, 57 and a half minutes of Colorado Eagles dominance had elapsed before Oilers captain Nathan Lutz scored to ruin the Eagles shutout bid. An apparent goal by Brady Ramsay was waved off by referee Chris Pontes and then Connor Kucera punched the puck in for the Oilers final goal of the game, if only to save the pride if any was left.
When the final horn sounded the Oilers had suffered their third straight loss and worst loss at home this season.
It was also the Oilers second worst loss overall for the 2015-16 regular season, the worst being a 7-1 loss in Allen on January 29th.
“It’s one of the hardest losses we’ve had here,” Tulsa head coach Jason Christie said, ”Pride has got to step in at some point and we have to start making plays. The best part is this one is over and we have to get ready for tomorrow night.”
Needless to say the Oilers didn’t improve their playoff position, but they didn’t lose any ground either. In the playoff chase between Tulsa and Quad City, the Wichita Thunder shut out the Mallards in regulation time on Tuesday night so the Oilers playoff hopes are still alive but they need to start winning.
Tulsa and Colorado will close out their season series in the BOK Center tonight with the puck drop at 7:05pm.