TUSA, Okla– The catchphrase for the Tulsa Oilers lately has been “almost but not quite” as they fell to the Kansas City Mavericks for the second straight night 1-0 in front of 2,953 in the BOK Center on Friday night.
The loss is the team’s eighth in a row dating back to January 16 and encompassed all of the home games the team played in the last two weeks. Also, with the exception of a 5-0 loss to Allen last Sunday, a 4-2 loss to Indy last Saturday night, and a 3-1 loss to Rapid City on the road January 16th, all of the losses have been by one goal.
It’s hard to see that as a “bright side” but it does show that the Oilers do have the heart to win, but a miscue or two away from going over the top and finishing the job.
Friday’s lone goal came with just 25.9 seconds left in the second period when C.J. Eick chipped the puck over Oilers goaltender Devin Williams who had been superb in net to that point. In fact, the whole team was full of spirit all night as a near-constant back-and-forth game was being played by both clubs all evening long.
In the end, though it was another case of “almost, but not quite” as time ran out on the Oilers comeback efforts in the dying minutes of the third period when head coach Rob Murray pulled Williams for the extra attacker and despite the valiant effort by his club they again fell short.
After the final horn sounded, frustration led to tempers boiling over, resulting in both benches clearing and several fights breaking out. The Mavs Corbin Baldwin and Tulsa’s Mike McKee wound up being the main event after the game, both of whom received fighting majors and game misconducts for fighting after the periods of the game. In addition, Darby Llewellyn picked up spearing major and game misconduct as well.
If anything, it makes for an interesting game on Saturday night as the teams will head to Independence for the rubber match.
Saturday’s game also kicks off a road trip that will last nearly three weeks and take them to Wheeling and Rapid City before returning to face the Mavericks on February 17.
Rich Lohman covers the Tulsa Oilers for The Sin Bin. Interact with him at @SinBinOilers