OILERS RIDE WARD HAT TRICK TOVICTORY OVER THUNDER
Ahat trick from newcomer Cory Ward and a dominant third period lead Tulsa to a5-3 victory.
TULSA, OK— The Oilers dominated the final frame,outshooting Wichita 22-4 in the final frame, defeating the Thunder 5-3 at theBOK Center on Sunday.
Wichita score in the opening minute for thesecond-straight night when Beau Starrett stuffed the puck under OlleEriksson Ek’s pad on the short side. Tulsa newcomer Cory Ward scoredhis first with the team, a top shelf bomb created off a hustle play by J.J.Piccinich.
Peter Crinella broke the deadlock in the secondperiod, ripping the puck over the blocker of Eriksson Ek 5:39 into themiddle frame. Tulsa answered quickly with Mike McKee finding CharlieSampair alone beneath the right-wing circle, allowing the forward to walkto the front of the net before roofing the puck in close. Crinella notched hissecond of the game off a one-time feed from the corner from Patrick Parkkonen with1:20 remaining in the middle frame.
The Oilers entered the final frame trailing by agoal, something they haven’t been able to overcome this season. Wardjumped on the Thunder early, pulling the puck from the end boards beforesqueezing it through Mitch Gillam, squaring the game up at 3-3 1:06 into thefinal frame. Exactly eight minutes later, Charlie Sampair ripped a puckfrom the slot that was gloved down by Gillam, but the puck slid to Ward whocompleted his hat trick by sliding the puck inside the post, giving the Oilerstheir first and final lead of the night. Jack Kopacka gave Tulsa someinsurance, closing out the game at the 19:45 mark with an empty-net tally, hisfourth goal in his five games in Tulsa.
Tulsa will host Utah on Thursday before traveling toWichita on Friday and Kansas City on Saturday.