INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The Kansas City Mavericks and Tulsa Oilers have gotten to know each other quite well through the regular season. Eleven matchups have shown Tulsa to be the better team on paper, but a recent regular series finale went to Kansas City by a score of 4-3 and showed that the fourth seed Mavericks are still able to find a way to win against the Mountain Division Champions.
Individually, there are some players to note going into this series. Adam Pleskach of the Oilers lead his team in scoring with 38 goals and 37 assists leading to 75 points. Next in line, Jared Thomas scored 21 goals and assisted on 44 to account for 65 points in the regular season. Compared to Kansas City’s highest scorers, Rocco Carzo leads the way with 20 goals and 39 assists for 59 points, with Greg Betzold coming after him with 25 goals and 31 assists for 56 points.
The goaltending matchups have Mason McDonald of the Mavericks with 23 wins, 2.54 goals against average and .917 save percentage through the regular season. For the Oilers, Devin Williams with 20 wins, 2.12 goals against average and .916 save percentage.
Statistically, they are much closer of a team than the standings reflect. The Oilers scored only two more goals in the regular season. They have both been successful in one shootout and Kansas City holds an edge in shorthanded goals 11-7. The Mavericks power play percentage (18%) was 2% more effective than the Oilers but the Oilers were 3% more effective on the penalty kill. (83%) The regular season proved to be a battle for the Mountain Division and Tulsa came out victorious.
Final Regular Season Records:
Tulsa Oilers: 42-24-4-2 (1st in Mountain Division, 2nd in Western Conference)
Kansas City Mavericks: 36-30-4-2 (4th in Mountain Division, 7th in Western Conference)
Series Schedule (Home team in BOLD CAPS and all times local):
Game 1 – Thursday, April 11 – KANSAS CITY at TULSA 7:05 pm CT
Game 2 – Sunday, April 14 – KANSAS CITY at TULSA 4:05 pm CT
Game 3- Wednesday, April 17 – TULSA at KANSAS CITY 7:05 pm CT
Game 4- Friday, April 19 – TULSA at KANSAS CITY 7:05 pm CT
*Game 5- Saturday, April 20 – TULSA at KANSAS CITY 7:05 pm CT
*Game 6 – Tuesday, April 23 – KANSAS CITY at TULSA 7:05 pm CT
*Game 7- Wednesday, April 24 – KANSAS CITY at TULSA 7:05 pm CT
*=> If Necessary
Tulsa’s Keys to Success:
- High number of shots on goals
- Capitalizing on Kansas City’s mistakes
- Strong forecheck
- Defensive pressure
- Scoring first and continuing to score unanswered goals
- Prevent the comeback in the third period
Kansas City’s Keys to Success:
- Keeping the game close
- Strong goaltending performance
- Offensive players stepping up
- Battling through all three periods
- Blocking shots