Military Night commenced at the BOK Center with the Tulsa Oilers looking to keep pace in the standings, and with any luck, move back into a playoff spot. Coming off of a hard-fought win against the Wichita Thunder the night before, the Kevin Carr and the Oilers looked to keep that success rolling as they took on the Brampton Beast and Ryan DeMelo.
Both teams traded a power play chance in the first period, but the first goal of the game came late in the frame on even strength. Dalton Thrower opened up the scoring for the Beast at 18:55, finding the loose puck and skating into the slot, finding space between Carr and the post to make it a 1-0 game.
Taking a goal against in the last two minutes of a period can oftentimes deflate a team’s will, but the Oilers didn’t let that happen this time. On the first shift of the second period, Tulsa tied the game on the stick of T.J. Caig as he found a rebound and scored his 20th goal of the season. With that goal, Caig became the fifth player on the Oilers to surpass the 20-goal mark so far this season. Caig’s goal was assisted by Tommy Mele and Kevin Noble.
Tulsa grabbed the lead just a few minutes later with Kyle Bochek ripping a slap shot past DeMelo, pushing the score to a 2-1 Oilers lead. Bochek’s goal was his fifth of the season, assisted by Dave Pszenyczny and Nathan Lutz.
Neither team could break through on the power play for the remainder of the game, with the Tulsa penalty kill going 6-for-6 on the night, and Brampton’s going 5-for-5.
Brampton pulled DeMelo late in the game, looking for the equalizer, but the Oilers put the final nail into the net at 19:56 with Tommy Mele potting the empty netter, giving the Oilers the 3-1 win over the Beast.
The win gives the Oilers a perfect 7-0-0-0 record against the Beast this season, outscoring them 31-12 combined this season.
Kevin Carr made 31 saves in the win, improving his record to 24-15-2. Ryan DeMelo made 31 saves as well as he took the loss, dropping him to a 2-2-0 record this season.
With the win over Brampton coupled with Wichita falling to the Quad City Mallards, the Oilers have tied the Thunder for the fourth playoff spot with 64 points. Following the ECHL tiebreak rules, the Oilers would earn the tiebreak over Wichita under the second tiebreak option.
First tiebreak: Regulation and overtime wins – both teams have 25 regulation and overtime wins.
Second tiebreak: Goal differential – The Oilers have a 0 goal differential, the Thunder have a -14.
The Oilers get back to action Sunday against the Brampton Beast once again, looking to gain some ground on idle Wichita and Rapid City in the standings. Puck drops in the BOK Center at 4:05 Central time.