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