TULSA, OK — There were a lot of storylines in the Tulsa Oilers home opener on Saturday night as they hosted the Indy Fuel for the first time ever in the BOK Center, chief among them is the emergent rookie forward Darcy Murphy.
The Oilers handed the Fuel a 6-1 drubbing on the strength of special teams goals from the rookie forward, and the first multiple point game from veteran Adam Pleskach.
The two combined for four of the club’s goals in the contest.
Pleskach got the first goal of the home side of the Oilers schedule just 70 seconds into the first period when he shoved his own rebound through Indy goaltender Jake Hildebrand, and that was answered a little over a minute later when Fuel forward Tyler Currier sent one past Tulsa goalie Jamie Phillips for the visitors only goal of the game.
The opening frame would end knotted at 1-1, and then the Oilers took command through the middle period.
Murphy, who netted a pair of goals in Wichita last Saturday night, added a goal in to give the Oilers the lead in the second and cushioned that with another to give the Oilers a 3-1 lead. Then, with the Oilers facing a four-minute 5-on-3 penalty kill, Tulsa forward Dan DeSalvo broke loose and raced in on Hildebrand, and flipped the disk over his shoulder.
Shawn Bates capped off the Oilers dominant performance late in the third period when he found the twine behind Hildebrand with 3:35 left to seal the most lop-sided home opening win in recent memory.
In addition to being a scoring vehicle for the Oilers, their special teams unit managed to kill all of Indy’s power plays giving Tulsa a perfect penalty kill percentage through two games. In his second game as a professional, Phillips stopped 21 of 22 shots while Hildebrand didn’t fare as well, making 25 saves on 31 shots.
The game was not without its physical components. Two fights occurred, the first a square-off that saw the Fuel’s Paxton Leroux and Tulsa’s Reid Halabi and the second between the Oilers Emerson Clark and Indy’s Martin Bellus.
The Oilers hope to continue their hot streak on Saturday night when they take on Atlanta for the first time ever in team history.