TULSA, OK – The Oilers took on the defending Kelly Cup Champion Allen Americans in a four game set last week and split the home-and-home four game series at two each.
Both teams enjoyed wins at home and losses on the road. The Oilers kicked the series off with a 2-0 win in the BOK Center which gifted goaltender Kevin Carr his third shutout of the 2015-16 season and helped solidify Tulsa’s scoring line of Dan DeSalvo, Emerson Clark and Phil Brewer as the Oilers primary production line in terms of scoring.
The month of January was a hot one for the the line of Dan DeSalvo, Phil Brewer and Emerson Clark. This trio finished the 13-game month with a combination of 38 points.
Brewer would contribute 12 of those points, four of them coming from one game on January 9 against the Wichita Thunder. Clark also brought 12 points to the group with a side of three Gordie Howe hat tricks (goals, assists and fights in the same game). DeSalvo, the rookie out of Bowling Green State University, would lead the group with 14 points.
On January 29th the Oilers traveled to the Dallas suburb to take on the Americans and it was decidedly a night where Tulsa was there in spirit and not on the ice. Allen handed Tulsa a 7-1 defeat, the most lopsided thus far for the Oilers this season. The only bright spot for Tulsa was a late goal from Christophe Lalancette with the help of Mathieu Brisebois and Adam Pleskach.
After that it was back to the BOK Center for the second-to-last game in the series against the defending champs and the production line of DeSalvo, Clark and Brewer led the way.
Phil Brewer turned in the lights out performance for that line of two goals on the way to a 5-2 win for the home team.
The trio gave the Oilers the first goal and indeed they owned both the first and second periods as Clark’s first period goal was followed by marks by Phil Brewer and Christophe Lalancette before the Americans woke up to make the game interesting in the final frame.
Former Oilers Chad Costello and Gary Steffes turned goals in for the visitors and pulled the game to within one goal before the Oilers’ Jordan Kremyr restored a one goal cushion with just under five minutes left in the game. Brewer tapped in an empty net goal with 28 seconds left to give the Oilers their final lead of the game.
Then it was back aboard the hound back to the Allen Event Center on Sunday for the rubber match in the four game set, and though the Oilers lost it wasn’t a seven-goal drubbing like the previous visit. In fact it was a much tighter game and the Oilers lonely lost by one goal.
Chris Crane and Nolan Descoteaux scored for Allen and Connor Kucera would tally for the Oilers, and the Oilers wound up on the light end of the scoreboard once again with a 2-1 loss.
Altogether it wasn’t a bad series. Four points out of a possible eight is about what was expected and it elevated Tulsa to a 20-16-4 record with 44 points, solidifying the third place standing. From here they move to a remarkable 7 game homestand starting on Wednesday night against Missouri.
Utah, South Carolina, Quad City, and Wichita will all visit Tulsa by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around.