(Photo by John Howe)
Independence, MO (January 23, 2016)– First Missouri’s 14-game win streak, then their 14-game home streak.
On Saturday night the Oilers took down the ECHL’s top team in a 6-3 battle, becoming the first squad this season to beat the Mavericks at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. Tulsa would not only own three of Missouri’s seven losses, but be the team who has scored on them most.
The Oilers handed the Mavericks four powerplay opportunities in the first period. Fortunately for the Oilers, Missouri only produced on one. On what was a perfect pass from Tyler Barnes, Rocco Carzo (recently returned from the AHL’s Bridgeport Soundtigers) got to the net before Kevin Carr even had a chance.
Frame two provided a pair of goals, a fight and even shattered glass.
A chance came for Tyler Barnes, 42 points on the season, at the 5:04 mark when he was caught standing alone in the right spot at the right time and took the back door option past Carr.
With the Mavericks holding a 2-0 lead, Oilers’ Emerson Clark would spice things up when he dropped the gloves against Eric Neilson. The question remains, was it the battle of strength or battle of hair flow?
Each received five minutes.
Spice was exactly what the Clark fight gave as shortly after the Oilers would cut the score in half and get on the board.
Adam Pleskach got a stick on the loose puck in front of Stephon Williams and it would go in.
Both squads would get a breather when the collision of Phil Brewer’s skate and the glass created a mess and a game delay.
The second period would end 2-1, in favor of the Mavericks.
In the final 20 minutes, the Oilers would only take nine shots but five of them would go in—a season high for Tulsa in one period.
Mavericks would secure confidence early in the third with a 3-1 lead. Neilson, with maybe the league’s most confusing celebration, got the puck in on a facedown Carr. His first goal of the season, the forward was all-smiles.
Clark rocketed one past Williams to put the Oilers within reach at 14 minutes left. He would then do it again and tie up the contest 3-3.
A little over a minute later, Tulsa would score for a third consecutive time. A slap shot from Dennis Brown, just under the blue line, with 8:46 left in the period gave the Oilers their first lead of the night. The assist from Clark would ink his third Gordie Howe hat trick (2 goals, 1 assist, 1 fight) in just two weeks.
One goal has decided each of the last six meetings between the Oilers and the Mavericks. A stellar Mathieu Briseboisrebound would change that. Through traffic and three Mavericks skaters, Brisebois caught his own rebound off the stick of Williams and upped his team’s lead. Aaron Harstad and Pleskach would be the helpers, earning their second points each of the night.
With what could have been a disastrous Mavericks three-man advantage, was the final touches on a four point game forDan DeSalvo. Having two minutes left on the clock, two Oilers in the bin and a pulled netminder, DeSalvo notched the empty net goal that sealed the 6-3 Tulsa victory.
After two weeks on the road, the Oilers will return to the BOK Center on Tuesday, January 26th with their 18-14-2-2 record.