TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Oilers traveled north to Independence, Missouri to take on the Missouri Mavericks this weekend to conclude a two-week mostly western road trip. The trip is at its end now, and the Oilers will be at home in the BOK Center for most of the next two-to-three weeks.
It was a Friday-Saturday home stand for the Mavericks, who have had a remarkable win streak working in their building. Prior to the two games with Tulsa this weekend the Mavericks have posted 14 straight wins in the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. The Mavericks fourteenth victory came in the form of a 2-1 squeaker over Tulsa on Friday night.
The hero for the Mavs on Friday night was Jesse Root, who scored the home team’s two goals while Phil Brewer got the lone goal for the Oilers. Brewer opened the scoring in the first period when he top shelfed a goal over Mavericks goaltender Josh Robinson. About three minutes later Root did the same thing over Kevin Carr to knot the game even.
The 1-1 stalemate lasted until the third period when Root found twine behind Carr a second time when Carr poke checked the puck out of his crease onto Root’s stick and he tapped it in.
The 2-1 win continued a rather curious statistic between Tulsa and Missouri. Through Friday night, the two teams had met six times in all and in each game the winner won the game by one goal.
That would change in the rubber match on Saturday night.
When two teams play two games in successive nights like the Oilers and the Mavericks did on Friday and Saturday night, it’s almost a given that there will be fireworks on the ice and that was certainly true of the second game between the two teams.
The home team dented the scoreboard in the Sliverstein Eye Centers Arena on Saturday when Rocco Carza knocked one past Oilers net minder Kevin Carr to give the home side the advantage going into the first break. The second frame would provide the fireworks as it featured another goal by the Mavericks, a fight and broken glass.
Tyler Barnes provided the second mark for the home team as he punched the puck home at 5:04 to give the Mavs a two goal lead. Emerson Clark, who has assumed a tough guy role for the Oilers of late, dropped the gloves with Eric Neilson and did the familiar dances with punches that resulted in a five minute time out for both players.
The by-product of fighting in hockey usually pumps up the team that is behind, and in this case it did exactly that as Adam Pleskach knocked one in to cut the Mavericks lead to one goal. Missouri’s C.J. Ludwig appeared to send Phil Brewer through the glass along the far side and the resulting mess provided a much needed break for both teams.
When it was all over, the horn sounded on the middle frame with the Mavericks ahead 2-1.
The Mavericks would retake a two goal lead when Erik Neilson would score early. It would be the only goal for the home team because the Oilers took ownership of the Missouri net for the remainder of the third period.
Emerson Clark (twice), Mathieu Briesbois, Dennis Brown and Dan DeSalvo erupted for five unanswered goals in the remainder of the third period to hand the Mavericks something other than a one goal loss and simultaneously end the home winning streak for the best team in the ECHL at 14.
The win elevates Tulsa to an 18-14-2-2 record (40 points) and a 3-2-1-1 record against the Mavericks this season. The Oilers return home for four games in a row with the Allen Americans, with two at home and two on the road beginning with a 7:05 faceoff in the BOK Center Tuesday night.