(Photo by Dianne Webster)
The Tulsa Oilers were defeated by the Allen Americans 7-1, evening up the week-long series 1-1 (Oilers 5-4 over the Americans this season). Friday night lights in Texas usually see seven on the board, but in hockey? Seven straight goals by Allen stopped Tulsa from collecting the coveted two points in this division match-up.
Kevin Carr was unstoppable in the first period of play between the Tulsa Oilers and the Allen Americans. With two early power play opportunities for the opposing squad, the Tulsa penalty kill would say no. The Americans put 16 pucks on net and none of them would be allowed by the fourth ranked goaltender in the ECHL.
The motto? Take shots and one is bound to go in. That is what the Americans did in the second period and it worked. Four times. In their first meeting of the week series on Tuesday night against the Oilers, the Allen team would take a total of 25 shots. Only halfway through 60 minutes they were at 24.
The players in red would kill a penalty and then they would score. With bodies everywhere in front of the Tulsa net, Greger Hanson jammed one in on a rebound for the point.
Because 16 goals on the season is not enough, Chad Costello at 8:29 then faked a pass before ripping one over Carr to double Allen’s score 2-0.
At the 5:34 mark the Americans’ David Makowski would take a wrist shot from the point, 3-0. Aaron Gens and Jean-Paul LaFontaine would own the assists.
With a lot of pressure on Carr and even more scoring opportunities, Allen struck again. Tristan King, recently back in the Americans lineup, would be gifted with a breakaway that no one could stop the backhander of.
Having just three minutes left the Americans would hold a 4-0 lead on the Oilers and a goaltending change would be made.
Matt Grogan was the third period starting goaltender for the Oilers.
Hanson to Costello to Hanson. A beautiful power play goal for the Americans would make the board read 5-0 three minutes into the third.
Their sixth red light of the night came for Allen less than a minute later and it would come from Lativa native, Nikita Jevpalovs—a good welcome for the center who has played 37 games with the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League this season.
The touchdown came. Seven goals for the Americans courtesy of the Justin Courtnall tally with help from Costello (1 goal, two assists) and Hanson (2 goals, one assist).
The lone Oilers goal came late in the third period from Christophe Lalancette with the help of Mathieu Brisebois and Adam Pleskach.
Revenge will be sought tomorrow night for the Tulsa Oilers as they return to home ice in the BOK Center for their third out of four games against the Americans this week. The Oilers are again 11 points below Allen in the standings with a 19-15-2-2 record.
The Allen suffered their second shutout of the year and the Oilers were able to hand them on of them.
The Americans were in the red jerseys and the Oilers in their white. The team will now wear their blue sweaters for the remainder of the season at home (with the exception of specialty jersey nights). This is a common switch up midway through a team’s season where the ‘away’ jersey becomes the ‘home’ jersey and vise versa. So when you come to the BOK Center for an Oilers game you can except to the Tulsa team wearing their navy sweaters with maroon trim.
On the topic of jerseys, tonight there are two Allen American players wearing a special one—the same special jerseys that two Oilers players can be found wearing on February 13, 2016. Each yeah the East Coast Hockey League facilitates a “fantasy hockey team.” Mei Gray once again is the sponsor of this hockey jersey. Each team’s roster is available for votes where the fans get to decided who they want to see in these unique threads during a given (02/16) home game. For Tulsa, when the votes came in for one goalie and one skater the results revealed that Kevin Carr would wear the grey shielded sweater and skater forward Mathieu Gagnon would wear the other. Gagnon’s jersey will appear as an Oilers home jersey but sport a special East Coast Hockey League logo on front instead of Tulsa’s.
The first period provided Allen skaters playing around in front of the Oilers net like an angry hornets nest. With big shots coming from left and coming from right, #4 in the ECHL goaltender Kevin Carr would not allow it. Carr would face two early on short hand battles and stand tall in defense for his team in Texas. Tulsa’s Justin Mansfield was the first to the box for hooking and then leading goal scorer, Adam Pleskach, would soon follow. The Americans played two very strong power plays but neither would able to get past Carr—or the two posts that they hit. There’s no question who the MVP of the first ten minutes of the period would belong to. Carr would not even give up a rebound. “He has a lot of confidence against Allen,” spoke Tommy Daniels—Allen American’s broadcaster.
When you come to a Tulsa Oilers hockey game, hopefully tomorrow night, January 30th (the last of four home games for the Oilers in January) you will want to watch the physical play between these two division rivals. Also, the January 30th game will be a unique one in itself for kids 12 and under as the first 1,000 of them will receive a youth jersey upon entry thanks to York Plumbing. York Plumbing of Tulsa is a big sponsor of the Oilers as they not only take part in the sponsorship of the youth jerseys but from the logos on the nice to the logos on the boards to the adoption of some of our very own Oilers’ players (this year Mathieu Gagnon and Adam Pleskach). Their role in the community is huge for Tulsa and the Oilers are proud to partner with Bobby York and York Plumbing. Their sponsorship of the Tulsa Oilers Power Play could very well be the reason the team is the 7th best power play at home in the East Coast Hockey League if that is possible.