TULSA, OK — It’s a rarity for a score to wind up 0-0 at the end of regulation time in hockey. Soccer maybe, but not hockey, but it happened on Tuesday night at the BOK Center when the Tulsa Oilers hosted the Allen Americans.
It was the second time in as many games that the “frozen Red River rivalry” to end up in the overtime/shootout solution, and unfortunately it ended the same was as it did eight days earlier as a breakaway goal by the Americans Gregor Hanson with 1:40 left in the overtime round handed the visitors a hard-fought victory.
Hanson stole the puck from Oilers newcomer Miles Koules in the neutral zone and raced in on Tulsa goalie Colin Stevens and punched the puck into his net on the stick side, ending the game late in the extra period.
Stevens had been perfect in the game up to that point, turning aside several breakaways in both regulation time and in the overtime period, and anchoring the Oilers successful kill of a 5-on-3 penalty in the first period when referee Stephen Reneau called two separate penalties boxing Danick Gauthier for roughing and Dennis Brown for holding at the 4:33 mark.
Poor officiating in the game had Tulsa head coach Jason Christie rattled after the game.
“I thought the officiating was terrible tonight,”Christie said of the first period. “Especially that first five-on-three. We have not seen that in a long time.”
“We had chances and gave up two breakaways when a guy was getting held,” Christie said. “The other time it was a turnover. We had three in a row to the net and we don’t pass the puck. They are too good of a team to let hang around like that.”
Stevens, who was traded to Tulsa from Manchester and in his eighth game as an Oiler, was obviously disappointed with the loss after the game.
“Obviously I will take a win over that any night,” Stevens said. “But we are going to work on some things in practice and we are going to see these guys again this weekend.”
While he was up to 29 shots fired at him by the Americans, the fourth-year pro from Niskayuna, New York fell victim to the Americans puck movement and playmaking capabilities.
“It is three-on-three, so there is a lot of open ice out there and (Allen) has some skilled players out there that can make plays,” Stevens said. “Three-on-three is exciting, but that is what you will see — breakaways, odd man rushes, that is what you will see.”
The Oilers and Americans will face each other two more times, on Friday and Saturday night at the Allen Event Center.