AMERICANS TOP OILERS IN SHOOTOUT
Tulsa claws back from three deficits to force overtime, but falls 5-4 in a skills competition at Allen Event Center.
ALLEN, TX – Three different times, the Tulsa Oilers battled back from deficits to eventually force overtime Friday at the Allen Event Center, before falling to the Allen Americans 5-4 in a shootout. With the loss, the Oilers were officially eliminated from playoff contention.
The Oilers were unsuccessful on two first period power plays, while Allen broke a scoreless tie with 5:45 to play in the frame when Tyler Barnes circled the Tulsa net and banked a pass off the skate of Gary Steffes. It was Steffes’ sixth goal against his former team this season as the Americans led 1-0 after one.
Barnes scored a pair of power play goals in the second period for the Americans. The first one came in the opening minute of the stanza on a shot that trickled through the legs of Oilers goaltender P.J. Musico. Tulsa’s Tyson Wilson banked in a centering pass from the corner off of an Allen skate to cut the deficit to one. Then Eric Drapluk snuck a shot through a screen past Allen goalie Riley Gill to tie the score at 2-2. Barnes bookended the second period scoring with another quick power play tally on a rebound with 2:07 left in the frame.
Darcy Murphy tied the game at 3-3 with a long shot from the blue line that snuck under the crossbar 32 seconds into the third period. Allen again moved back in front, when Alex Krushelnyski finished off a tic-tac-toe passing play, but Danick Gauthier answered back 1:07 later when he buried his own rebound to force overtime.
Tulsa failed to convert on a 4-on-3 power play in the extra session, and Barnes scored the only shootout goal from either side in securing the two points for the Americans.
UP NEXT: The Oilers and Americans face-off again Saturday night at 7:05pm at the Allen Event Center. The game can be heard on www.tulsaoilers.com (Listen Live), or viewed on ECHL.TV, with coverage starting at 6:50pm. Then Tulsa returns home to prepare for the Wichita Thunder next Friday, March 31 at the BOK Center.