TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Oilers announced today the signing of forwards Kyle Bochek and Matt Larke for the 2015-16 season. Bochek and Larke, who will be teammates for a sixth consecutive season, are making their way back to Tulsa for a third straight year.
Bochek, 27, played the first half of last season with the Coventry Blaze in England before moving across the pond to join the Oilers for his first foray into the ECHL. In 33 games, the Port Severn, Ontario native tallied 10 goals, 10 assists, and 60 penalty minutes. He recorded four multi-point outings and appeared in all five of the Oilers’ playoff games. Bochek first arrived in Tulsa prior to the 2013-14 season and in 59 appearances, the 6-foot-0, 200-pound center posted career-highs in goals (16), assists (34), and penalty minutes (177).
Kyle Bochek enters his 7th pro season with veteran status. (photo by: Kevin Pyle – www.photopyle.com)
“I knew immediately at the end of last season that I wanted to come back to Tulsa,” said Bochek. “I’m very comfortable with the people and the organization and I just love it there. I think all of us gained so much valuable experience and knowledge last season and I don’t see any reason why we can’t pick up where we left off and make the necessary improvements to push deeper into the playoffs.”
A veteran of 282 professional games, Bochek began his career in 2009 with the Missouri Mavericks (CHL) and made stops with the Knoxville Ice Bears (SPHL), Dayton Gems (CHL), and Bloomington Blaze (CHL).
“I guess I’m considered one of the old guys now and maybe there’s a little bit of added pressure but I love the challenge of still having to go out there and earn my spot,” Bochek stated. “I’m going to push myself that much harder and embrace the role of being a leader on this team.”
Larke, 6-foot-0, 190-pounds, also started the 2014-15 season in England and appeared in 11 games for the Hull Stingrays before playing the remainder of the season with the Oilers. An injury prevented Larke from hitting the ice in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, but he registered 24 points (8 goals, 16 assists) in 54 games during the regular season. The 28-year old originally signed with the Oilers in March of 2014 and contributed three goals and two assists in the final six games of the 2013-14 regular season. Larke, who hails from Royal Oak, Michigan, continued his point production in the first round of the 2014 Central Hockey League Playoffs with a goal and three assists in the Oilers’ series against the Denver Cutthroats.
“I know we have a great core of players coming back and that’s exciting because chemistry is such a big thing in hockey and we should be able to mesh as a team right from the start,” Larke said. “Tulsa is just such a good fit for me because of the fans, the arena, and the fact that I like my role. I’m looking forward to learning from the new coach and achieving great things this season.”
Matt Larke (above) met Kyle Bochek when the two forwards played for the Dayton Gems in 2010-11. (photo by: Kevin Pyle – www.photopyle.com)
Larke won’t be the only member of his family playing hockey in Tulsa this season. Kyle Schnettler, Larke’s cousin, will be a member of the Tulsa Jr. Oilers of the Western States Hockey League.
The Oilers open their 24th consecutive season of hockey on Friday, October 16 at 7:05 p.m. against the Wichita Thunder. For information on tickets to Opening Night or season tickets, call 918-632-7825 or visit www.tulsaoilers.com.
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Below is an Excerpt from a Tulsa Oilers Game
They just announced the goal, and I still didn’t hear it. I think it was Emerson Clark. I’m refreshing trying to get the game sheet to update here, so I could tell you for sure. I believe it was Emerson Clark that got the goal. I think DeSalvo got one of the assists. Here it is. Emerson Clark with his 10th goal of the season. The goal came at 16:38 of the period, and that was a power play goal, of course, because Makowski was still in the penalty box. Clark with the power play goal, his 10th of the year, assisted by Brewer and DeSalvo. That is the official scoring on that one, and Tulsa with the 1-1 lead … Oh my god, Tulsa ties the game at 1-1 there on the goal by Emerson Clark.
Now we’ve got a penalty against the Oilers. Sova’s going to the box. I believe it was high sticking. Now the Oilers will have to kill another Rusty Roberts Bail Bonds penalty kill. Rusty Roberts Bail Bonds, call 918-592-BAIL, as Joe Sova has gone to the penalty box.
This penalty coming at 18:02 of the 2nd period, and there’ll be two seconds that’ll carry over into the next period.
I don’t know what the penalty was because the announcer said interference, but the game sheet says tripping. Anyway, Sova gets two minutes for something, and he is in the penalty box, the Americans are on the power play.
Costello with it on the right circle, shot, off the stick of Carr, it goes into the mesh. The Allen Americans on their 3rd power play of the game. They’ve changed it now on the score sheet. Sova, two minutes for interference. Two minutes for interference on Joe Sova, and the Americans with the power play opportunity here.
Face-off in the Tulsa zone, out to the blue line. They keep it in to Costello, now back out to Roy. Over on the left wing, back to Roy, top of the slot, he loses it over the blue line, and the Americans will have to reset in the neutral zone, and they do.
To Costello, cross-rink pass, far side Parker. Now they dump it off into the Tulsa end. Lutz slaps it around the boards, but it doesn’t go out. Steffes keeps it in on the near side. Gary Steffes sends it out to the point to Roy. Roy to Costello, top of the circle, down low, Steffes, into the slot. That went off of Konan, but wide of the goal, thankfully enough.
Now around on the near side, Costello. One minute remaining in the period. Shot toward the goal, now in front, slapped away, Lutz knocked it away, and now Lalancette will clear it for the Oilers up the length of the ice with 40 seconds left to go in the 2nd period, tied at one. Again, the penalty will carry over into the next period, so Sova will not come out of the penalty box here before the period ends.