Photo by Kevin Pyle – www.photopyle.com
A season-high 45 shots helped the Tulsa Oilers defeat the Wichita Thunder 6-4. The line of Dan DeSalvo, Phil Brewer and Emerson Clark was on fire as they scored five of the Oilers’ season-high six goals.
Wichita’s Christian Isackson shot a rocket from the high slot 7:29 into the game to give him his fourth goal of the season and Wichita a one-goal lead.
The score would stay the same until the final seconds of the first period when DeSalvo buried a feed from Emerson Clark. Phil Brewer had the second assist on the goal. The play led to the first three points for the trio on an 11-point night.
The Thunder wasted no time regaining the lead. Landon Olanski scored a power play goal from the point just 38 seconds into the second period. Olanski’s sixth goal of the season gives him the most among Thunder defensemen this season.
Tulsa answered just as quickly when DeSalvo scored his second of the night just 41 seconds later. DeSalvo roofed a juicy rebound from goalie Grant Rollheiser to give him eight on the season.
Dennis Brown would give Tulsa their first lead of the game 5:02 in the second period. Brown netted his third of the season off of another net-mouth rebound.
Cristophe Lalancette’s fifth goal of the season gave the Oilers a 4-2 lead 6:32 into the second period. Lalancette’s tally came off a two-man breakaway feed from Adam Pleskach. The goal also extended Lalancette’s point streak to five games.
Wichita would cut the lead to one when Kale Kerbashian’s snapshot zipped past goaltender Matt Grogan 3:12 into the final frame. The goal was Kerbashian’s first goal since being traded to the Thunder from the Rapid City Rush.
The Thunder had no plans on going away as they scored the tying goal 12:29 into the third period. Oilers goaltender Matt Grogan managed to get his glove on a blast from Dalton Reum, but the shot was too powerful and it deflected into the Oilers net.
Emerson Clark, the man of the night, answered at the 14:43 mark of the third period. The goal gives Clark 11 on the season and was the third of his four points on the night.
Rookie Phil Brewer potted an empty-net goal with 1:51 left in the game to put the Thunder away. The goal was Brewer’s eighth of the season.
Emerson Clark was awarded first-star honors for his Gordie Howe hat trick.
Goaltender Matt Grogan now has five points in three starts for the Oilers. Coach Christie will have the option of both goalies next game as Kevin Carr has now served his three-game suspension.
The Oilers don’t play at home again until January 26, but will look to earn coach Christie his 500th career win on January 13 when the Oilers travel to Utah to take on the Grizzlies.
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Below is an Excerpt from a Tulsa Oilers Game
Jeff: Shantz made the save, then he flipped the puck up with the stick into the air. Then he caught it. Dangerous play when you got players around you. You never know who’s that going to bounce off of and go into the goal, but he got away with it this time. We got a face off to the left of the goaltender, David Shantz in the Wichita end. 9:16 remaining, first period. Scoreless here. Out to the point it comes. Kept in by Dennis Brown. Now behind the goal, the Oilers recover it there. Getting it is Phil Brewer. Now DeSalvo sends it down low behind the net. Slapped away to the nearest side. Kept in at the point. Down to the corner, a couple of players after it. Who’s going to get it? It’s going to be Brewer dropping it off. Here’s the shot by Brown. Goes wide to the goal to the far side. DeSalvo keeps it in there for Tulsa. Now he gets bumped. Puck comes away.
Wichita recovers in the neutral zone. Nice play broken up by the Oilers’ Aaron Harstead, who intercepted that through the neutral ice back into the Wichita end. Oilers made a line change. Lutz comes on now to play defense. Lutz in the corner centering pass. Here’s the deflection toward the goal and Shantz lands on it. He’ll smother it for a face off. Little pushing and shoving down there. Oslansky shoving with Emerson Clark of Tulsa down low behind the goal, but the line’s been stepped in to break it up. They both go to the bench. Face off will come to the left of the goaltender Shantz. 8:26 remaining. First period. Scoreless first period thus far. What goes behind the goal on the draw. Now over to the near side off the boards. They whack it ahead into the Tulsa end. After it for the Oilers is Brisebois with it behind the net. Brisebois bothered by Miller sends it off the boards up the length of the ice. They wave off the icing.
All the way back to the Wichita end, they race for the puck there. Now they clear around to the near side played by the goalie out to the neutral zone. Back come the Thunder with it over the blue line into the corner in the Tulsa end. Gottier gets bumped. Brisebois clears it away on the right wing. Now a cross-ranked pass. Cross-rank pass to the near side with Bloomquist. Axel Bloomquist dumps it off into the Wichita zone for the Oilers. Now he comes in to help out. They get pushed along the boards on the near side. Puck underneath 4 players. Now it comes free for Neal. Excuse me, that’s Harris. Donny Harries for Wichita sends it off to the far side. It comes out of the zone. Tulsa will reset the neutral ice, and they do. They send it back in. Lalancette will let it go into the zone as he goes to the bench for a line change.
The Thunder will have the puck behind the goal. They set the play from there. Now clearing off the board to the nearest side. It went off the stick of Joey’s sides. Into the Tulsa end. Oilers recover in their own end. Oilers with the puck up pass ahead. Here comes the Oilers’ Nugent with it over the blue line into the zone. He gets bumped, loses his stick as it got tied up in the skates of his and the other player there that was chasing him. Now they come away with it. Here come the Thunder back into the Tulsa end into the corner on the near side. Off the boards. Sent out in front, sides, drop pass. Shot from the point goes over the goal. Stays in play off the glass.
Now down low behind the goal again on the near side. Neal gets bumped. It goes to the point. Kept in at the point there by Oslansky. Now around to the far side. DeSalvo breaks it up for the Oilers. Clears it but not [out 00:31:23]. Stopped at the blue line. However, now the Oilers get it again and now it’s cleared by Brandon Wong out of the zone, which sets in the neutral ice. That puck is deflected on a cross rink pass. It goes into the Tulsa bench. Face off will be in the neutral ice. Should be right in front of the Tulsa bench. That is where they’re going to take it. A scoreless first period thus far. 6:22 remaining. 6:22 left to play in the first.