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Photo by Kevin Pyle – www.photopyle.com

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP
Tulsa Oilers vs Missouri Mavericks – 7:05 p.m. BOK Center
Watch on ECHL-TV
Listen on Ustream

PREVIOUS MEETINGS
2-1-1-0

TEAM CAPSULES
Tulsa Oilers
Overall: 14-11-2-1 (31 points)
Home: 8-6-2-0
Road: 6-5-0-1
Rank: 3rd in Central Division

Missouri Mavericks
Overall: 26-3-0-1 (53 points)
Home: 13-0-0-0
Road: 13-3-0-1
Rank: 1st in Central Division

OILERS LEADERS
Goals:  Emerson Clark, Adam Pleskach – 10
Assists:  Dennis Brown – 15
Points: Adam Pleskach – 22
+/-: Dennis Brown +14
PIM: Mathieu Gagnon – 92

MAVERICKS LEADERS
Goals:  Tyler Barnes, Jesse Root – 13
Assists:  Tyler Barnes – 19
Points:  Tyler Barnes – 32
+/-:  Patrick Cullity, +21
PIM:  Andrew Courtney – 34

TULSA VS. MISSOURI ALL-TIME
Overall: 17-37-5
Home: 9-16-5
Road: 8-21-0

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP
Back at the BOK Center after two weeks on the road, the Oilers return home tonight to meet up with Central Division foes, the Missouri Mavericks. The last time these two teams met the Oilers put a strike through the Mav’s streak and sent them home with a loss. Presently on a seven-game winning streak, this singular loss on December 13, 2015 has been Missouri’s only in their last 22 games.

MINUTE MEN
The Oilers were able to work their way up the ECHL’s leading penalty minute record to third with 501 minutes on the season—109 from just one game. On Saturday, January 2, Tulsa participated in a battle against the Rapid City Rush that resulted in a total of 216 penalty minutes (109 Oilers, 107 Rush). Of these Oiler minutes, seven were majors and six were game misconducts. See Final Box Score.

TIME OUT
As a result of Saturday’s scrap against the Rush, three Oilers skaters were suspended.

VIA ECHL
Forward Mathieu Gagnon:
Tulsa’s Mathieu Gagnon has been suspended for eight games – five games for leaving the players’ bench under Rules 70.3 /70.10 to begin an altercation at the conclusion of the game and an additional three games under Rule 28 – Supplemental Discipline for continuing an altercation at the conclusion of the game. He will miss Tulsa’s games vs. Missouri (Jan. 5), at Wichita (Jan. 8), vs. Wichita (Jan. 9), at Utah (Jan. 13), at Idaho (Jan. 15 and Jan. 16) and at Missouri (Jan. 22 and Jan. 23).

Goaltender Kevin Carr:
Tulsa’s Kevin Carr has been suspended for three games – two games for being the second player to leave the players’ bench to join an altercation under Rules 70.3/70.10 and one game for continuing an altercation at the conclusion of the game under Rule 28 – Supplemental Discipline. He will miss Tulsa’s games vs. Missouri (Jan. 5), at Wichita (Jan. 8) and vs. Wichita (Jan. 9). 

Forward Emerson Clark:
Tulsa’s Emerson Clark has been suspended for one game for instigating a fight in the final five minutes of regulation. Clark was originally assessed a game misconduct for aggressor, but after review of the incident, he is deemed to be an instigator of an altercation. An instigator or aggressor in the last five minutes of a game is an automatic one game suspension under Rules 46.12/ 46.22. He will miss Tulsa’s game vs. Missouri on Jan. 5. 

MOOSE ON THE MOVE
Friday, Tulsa Oilers defenseman, Aaron Harstad, was recalled to the Manitoba Moose—Oilers’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate. Harstad, signed to an American Hockey League contact with the Moose, produced six points (2 goals, 4 assists) in eight games with the Oilers. The Oilers’ first transaction of 2016, Harstad returns to the Moose having played in seven games the northern squad and racking up 12 penalty minutes.

EXTRA DROPS
Mathieu Gagnon’s individual game penalty minute high is 30… Tulsa is fourth with 26.89 shots-against per game… Phil Brewer is ranked first among rookies in shootout goals… Kevin Carr ranks fifth in the ECHL with a 1.95 goals against average and second for penalty minutes at 1259…This Saturday the Oilers will host Retro Jersey Night, first 1,000 fans at the door will receive Oilers pennants…

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Below is an Excerpt for a Tulsa Oilers Game – Includes Interview with hockey player Matt Konan

Jeff: Back with you here in the first intermission is defenseman Matt Konan joining us from the Tulsa Oilers. Matt, this is your fourth year pro in pro hockey out of California. How’s a guy from, where’s Tustin? I guess that’s north of L.A. area, right? Or no?

Matt: It’s an hour south of L.A.

Jeff: South of L.A.

Matt: Yeah, my parents played, and they put me in when I was younger. I fell I love with it. Didn’t really play any other sports, but just kept with hockey and I kept getting better. It’s been a long ride, but it’s a been a great ride.

Jeff: You say your parents played?

Matt: Yeah.

Jeff: Both your mom and your dad?

Matt: Yeah. They played in a red league just for fun and just for exercise like that. They put me into it. I just fell in love with it at a young age and kept playing and kept progressing. I stuck with it and just fell in love, like i said, and just kept getting better and better.

Jeff: Were your parents native Californians?

Matt: Yeah.

Jeff: Wow.

Matt: Grew up there. Gretzky came over on the trade and got that started.

Jeff: I guess that goes back to that. That may be the roots, when Gretzky went down to Los Angeles and played with the Kings. Hockey all of a sudden became big in the L.A. area. Then, of course, they got the Anaheim Ducks, too. Now they got two teams in that area. Who’d a thunk they’d have two teams in Southern California? Although the Kings have been there since the late ’60s.

Matt: Exactly. That was a moment that I got it. It all started in California. A lot of great hockey players growing up, watching hockey [inaudible 00:57:31] fell in love with it in that era. It’s getting bigger and bigger every year, so it’s exciting to see.

Jeff: Which was your favorite team then?

Matt: I liked the Ducks. I was closer, but I do like the L.A. Kings, too. I’m a fan of both. Growing up, my dad was a Kings fan. Probably more of a Kings fan. Now that I’m living closer to Anaheim, I’m probably both. Either way, it’s great to see great hockey at a young age.

Jeff: You didn’t play college hockey. Did you play juniors coming up, then?

Matt: I played major juniors up in Canada for 5 years.

Jeff: Where?

Matt: Alberta. Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Jeff: Oh yeah?

Matt: Yeah. That was a great 5 years. Not many kids leave home when they’re 15 from California to go play sports somewhere, so I was pretty fortunate to do that. I had the best 5 years of my life there.

Jeff: To leave Southern California, end up in Medicine Hat, Alberta, it’s got to be a bit of a culture shock for you.

Matt: Yeah. The first year going from 70 degrees to minus 20 or minus 10, whatever it was. A huge change for me. I loved it up there. It was a great experience. If I could go it over again, I would.