TULSA, OK – Wichita and Tulsa have played some low-scoring, tight defense games this season. Such was not the case Saturday night at the BOK Center.
Each team found the back of the net in the first period. Christian Isackson opened the scoring at 7:29 of the opening period, giving Wichita a 1-0 lead when he wristed a shot by Oilers goaltender Matt Grogan. Just 28 seconds later, Oilers forward Dan DeSalvo answered, burying a feed from Emerson Clark to even the game at 1.
Wichita wasted no time regaining the lead in the second period. An Adam Pleskach cross-checking minor provided the Thunder a power play and Landon Oslanski buried a shot just 38 seconds into the period that gave the Thunder a 2-1 advantage. But again, Wichita could not hold the lead. DeSalvo scored his second of the night just 41 seconds later. DeSalvo roofed a rebound from goalie Grant Rollheiser to give him eight on the season.
Minutes later, Oilers defenseman Dennis Brown gave Tulsa its first lead of the night, when he put a net-mouth rebound by Rollheiser for his third goal of the season. Just 90 seconds later, Christophe Lalancette added another at 6:32 to give Tulsa a 4-2 lead.
Wichita fought back into the contest with a pair of third-period goals. Kale Kerbashian scored from the top of the left circle to make it 4-3. At 12:29, defenseman Dalton Reum blasted one through Grogan from the right circle and tied it at four. The Oilers regained the lead just over two minutes later as Emerson Clark got open down the left seam and beat Rollheiser to make it 5-4. Phil Brewer tacked on an empty-netter at 18:19 that finished the scoring with Tulsa taking a 6-4 victory.
The line of DeSalvo-Brewer-Clark combined for 11 points on the night (4G, 7A). Ian Lowe (2A) and Kale Kerbashian (1G, 1A) were the high-point scorers for the Thunder.
Wichita is now 13 points behind Tulsa in the division, and are 12 points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The two teams will meet again on Valentine’s Day at the BOK Center for a 4:05 pm matinee.