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OILERS FALL IN FIRST OF NINE MATCHUPS WITH THUNDER

Tulsa can’t overcome Gillam’s great play; lose 3-1 to Wichita in the first matchup of the nine-game season series.

Box Score

WICHITA, KS — The Oilers outshot Wichita 37-20, but couldn’t overcome great goaltending, falling to the Wichita Thunder 3-1 at INTRUST Bank Arena on Friday.  

Stefan Fournier scored the opening goal, batting his fourth tally of the season out of the air past Evan Fitzpatrick for a power play goal at the 3:02 mark of the frame. Mitch Gillam may have been the star of the period for the Thunder, stopping all 12 of Tulsa’s attempts in front of the Wichita net.

The Oilers answered emphatically in the middle frame, outshooting the Thunder

13-5 in the second period, finally cracking Mitch Gillam thanks to a power play blast from Josh Wesley 12:47 into the period.

Three veterans linked up for the go-ahead goal for the Thunder. Crane tapped in a back-door pass from Jack Combs on a two-on-one orchestrated by defenseman Riley Wesloski. The goal was Crane’s 100th career ECHL goal. Fournier attempted to add a second goal to his nightly resume via a penalty shot, but was denied by St. Louis Blues prospect Evan Fitzpatrick. Crane successfully added a second goal, this one a power play empty netter scored all the way from the left-wing circle of his own end.

Tulsa will look to bounce back in a rematch at INTRUST Bank Arena Saturday before returning home for Friday and Saturday matchups against the Rapid City Rush. Saturday’s night is Autism Awareness Night, and the team will wear specialty jerseys sponsored by Safelite.

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