TULSA, OK — The Tulsa Oilers (4-3-1-1) hosted the Utah Grizzlies (5-5-0-0) in the BOK Center on Friday night, and despite coming back to tie the game twice the Grizzlies netted an overtime goal to top the Oilers 3-2.
On an overtime power play, Taylor Richart blasted a one-timer over Williams’ glove to win the game for Utah, giving the Grizzlies their second straight victory. Tulsa suffered their first home OT loss of the season but earned one point in the process.
“We got what we deserved tonight,” Oilers head coach Rob Murray said after the game, “We came out and we didn’t play well. I don’t think we played nearly as good as we could in the first period, but as the game went along I think we were better.”
Utah jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Sam Windle was left all alone in the left circle and rang a wrist shot off the post and in behind ECHL Goaltender of the Month, Devin Williams.
The Oilers evened the score on a Grizzlies turnover, when Dmitrii Sergeev set up Tommy Vannelli on a 2-on-1 for a tap-in goal.
The Grizzlies again took the lead early in the second period, when Kyle Thomas buried a rebound on a power play to make it 2-1, and former Tulsa goaltender Kevin Carr stopped all 18 Oilers shots in the frame to keep Utah in front heading into the third.
Fifteen seconds off the puck drop that begun the third period Evan Richardson scored a nearly impossible wraparound goal to even the score at 2-all and force overtime.
Late in the third period, Tulsa had a scary moment after Williams made a save in his goal crease and remained down on the ice after the whistle blew. After a few minutes to recover under the care of the Oilers trainer, he rose to his feet and finished regulation time.
Williams stopped 35 of 38 Grizzlies shots in the game while Carr saw his second straight win against Tulsa since leaving the team in 2016 by stopping 39 out of 41 Oilers shots.
Coach Murray saw a lot of good in the game despite the loss but saw things the Oilers need to work on going forward.
“It was a hard-fought point in a game where I didn’t think we were as good as we can be.” Murray said. “We were standing around, you know, waiting to see what we’d see out of the opponent and for that reason we kind of get behind the 8-ball early on.” Murray said, “But one of the biggest things I think I need to address is that we’re taking too many offensive zone penalties. We can’t afford to be taking too many of those and it cost us tonight.”
The Oilers will take on the Grizzlies again Saturday night and then head out on a season-long, 14-game road trip that won’t see the team back in the BOK Center until December 15, when the defending champion Colorado Eagles come to town.