WICHITA, KS — Darcy Murphy scored twice and goalie Jamie Phillips made 31 of 34 saves to help the Tulsa Oilers nab an opening night win on the road in Wichita on Saturday night.
Murphy netted a pair of goals that bridged the first and second period for Tulsa, with Shawn Bates and Adam Pleskach adding a goal each in the third period to give the Oilers their first two standing points of the season.
Phillips, who was assigned to the Oilers by the Manitoba Moose just before the end of training camp, looked poised and calm in a 31-save effort.
Wichita got on the board a little under three minutes elapsed in the opening period when Alex Krushelnyski scored on a breakaway, beating Phillips over his left should to give the Thunder the early lead.
It would be the only lead the Thunder would see in the contest as Murphy got his first mark for the visitors just shy of the halfway point of the first, knocking in a backhand past Thunder goaltender Scott Greenham to knot the game up at one goal each.
Murphy made it a pair 93 seconds into the middle frame to give the Oilers their first lead, and then Shawn Bates opened the lead to two goals when he snuck in a backhand shot to give Tulsa a 3-1 advantage.
Landon Oslanski cut the Oilers lead to one with a Thunder goal midway through the third period, and that was answered with a goal from Tulsa’s four-year veteran Adam Pleskach who tucked the disc under Greenham with about 8 minutes left.
With Greenham on the bench and the Thunder enjoying a 6-on-5 advantage, the Thunder got a late goal when Jack Rodewald buried a rebound behind Phillips to close the home team to within a goal, but a solid prevent defense by the Oilers in the final 2 minutes prevented the Thunder from netting an equalizer.
All seven goals scored were even-strength goals and Tulsa outshot the Thunder 36-34. Though both goalies let in more than two goals, it was a solid effort from both Phillips and Greenham.
The Oilers will celebrate their 25th consecutive home opener next Friday night at the BOK Center when they face the Indy Fuel for the first time at home, followed by a pair of games against the Atlanta Gladiators on Saturday and Sunday. Puck drop is slated for 7:05pm Tulsa time on Saturday and 4:05pm on Sunday.