TULSA, Okla. – It just keeps getting worse for the Tulsa Oilers.
Despite getting several players back from the league’s exempt list and head coach Rob Murray back behind the bench, the Tulsa Oilers fell to the Kansas City Mavericks 3-2 in front of 2,296 in the BOK Center on Thursday night. The loss gives the Oilers their seventh straight loss dating back to January 16.
The Oilers appear to be more competitive than on Sunday afternoon when they lost 5-0 to the Allen Americans, but only just as the first goal saw Brodie Reid dupe Oilers goalie Roman Durny just far enough off the right post to stuff the puck into his net to jump out to a 1-0 lead in the game’s third minute.
That was followed by a goal that rang in off some iron as the familiar clang of the goalpost preceded raised Maverick arms when Marcus Crawford scored his first goal of the season to give Kansas City a 2-0 advantage. The Oilers avoided being shut out twice in a row when in the third period when Justin Taylor found the net for the first time in a Tulsa jersey to cut the lead to a goal at the first intermission
The lone mark in the second period came when Rob Bordson added a goal to his two assists on the previous Mavericks goals that gave his club a 3-1 advantage going into the second intermission. In the second period, Mavericks defenseman Justin Woods went down behind the Kansas City goal and after a brief time on the ice was assisted to the dressing room after suffering an apparent right leg injury.
The Oiler Nation had hope spring briefly in the third period when Garret Cockerill punched in a power-play goal at 15:54 of the final period to set the mad scramble in the final five minutes to include the obligatory goalie pull, but ultimately there was too little time to right the ship and the Oilers saw the game end on the light side of the scoreboard.
Despite the loss, the Oilers appeared much more rested than they did over the weekend, which was visible in their game on Thursday night, but even with the extra rest they chased the puck a lot and the usually sharp Durny had trouble recovering from the Mavs first goal where a quick deke pulled him off the post. The Oilers have to address that and get back on track as another game with Kansas City on Friday night.
Before the game, the Oilers announced the signing Conlon Keenan. Keenan, a rookie from SUNY-Geneseo, averaged 20-goals per season for the last four seasons, and will hopefully strengthen a Tulsa offense that has become light in the goal-scoring department recently.
Rich Lohman covers the Tulsa Oilers for The Sin Bin. Interact with him at @SinBinOilers.