TULSA, Okla. – Players who don’t often score wound up being the difference as the Tulsa Oilers defeated the Wichita Thunder 3-2, completing a four-game sweep of their oldest rival in front of 3,025 in the BOK Center on Sunday afternoon.
According to head coach Rob Murray, the Oilers last played at home in February and the extended time off between games allowed the team to bond with each other and form chemistry.
“It allowed us to get some good practice time in and bond as a team,” Murray said, “I was a little concerned coming out of the long break about how we were going to be.
“With the situation we’re in we haven’t had a whole lot of time to bond as a team and to that end, the break wound up working for us and tonight we came out with a purpose.”
Mike McKee started the scoring for Tulsa at 11:22 when he ripped a shot from the slot to score his second goal of the season unassisted. The Oilers second goal came from Tyler Kobryn in the second-period off assists from Justin Hamonic and Mckee. The two goals by players who don’t ordinarily appear on the scoresheet in the goal column were a key element to the game.
“It is little things,” Murray said. “We are playing a little more physical game and we are getting secondary, contributing scoring. You have (Toby) Kobryn scoring, McKee scoring. It is not just Danny Moynihan and Charlie Sampair every night. Everybody is chipping in now. Let’s hope it can continue. We did not have that early in the season.”
Peter Crinella and Garrett Schmitz scored the only Wichita goals, solving Oilers goaltender Devin Williams who notched his second victory in as many nights turning in a 37-save performance.
All-in-all, it was a solid performance for Tulsa, who notched their 16th win of the year. The Oilers are improving in the standings, and despite the predilection for the team to be on the penalty kill a lot (they had six penalty kills in the game on Sunday with Wichita capitalizing on the seventh), but otherwise, the team is really clicking in terms of overall chemistry.
The Oilers move forward to a four-game set with Allen, playing two games in Texas and two next weekend at home.