History was made on Thursday night at the BOK Center when the Oilers beat the Idaho Steelheads 4-2 in their first ever match-up. The inaugural meeting between these two franchises was not the only event inked in the books as Head Coach Jason Christie set a new ECHL record for most wins coached at 492 victories.
Tulsa was granted an early power play in the first period on a hooking call against Idaho but were unable to produce. After 20 minutes of hockey, the board was left blank—the Oilers were outshot 7 to 5.
Rookie defenseman Aaron Harstad hadn’t even been in Tulsa, OK 24 hours before he scored the first goal of the contest during his Oilers debut. The 23 year-old took a high pass from Phil Brewer under the blue line where he slapped one in and gave his new team the lead 33 seconds into frame two. At the 10:35 mark the Oilers planted another puck in the net from the point when Ben Walker sauced in a threw-traffic goal assisted by Mathieu Brisebois and Brady Ramsay. Walker then struck again and gave the Oilers a three blank lead to finish out the second period.
The Steelheads edited the board four minutes into the third when Jerfferson Dalh scored Idaho’s first ever goal in the BOK Center. A response from the Oilers came 17 minutes and 38 seconds into the final frame after forward Dan DeSalvo posted his fourth netter of the season. Minutes away from a Tulsa victory, Steelhead Andrew Panzarella drifted in from the slot and tapped in the second goal for Idaho and the final of the game. Time ran out and the Oilers then became the proud owner’s of the ECHL’s most victorious coach as Jason Christie broke a record with 492 wins.
Tulsa’s record advances 9-9-1-1 overall and 6-5-1-0 at home. The Oilers return to the BOK Center tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. in downtown Tulsa to face the Steelheads during the Oilers’ annual Teddy Bear Toss game.
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Below is an Excerpt from a Tulsa Oilers Game
Jeff: Parker in the penalty box and Tulsa will have their first power play of the night.
At 3:47 of the 1st period, Parker with the penalty for high sticking, and Tulsa’s on the man advantage. Here come the Oilers out of their own zone with the puck into the neutral ice. Cross rink pass to the nearside, Clark. Emerson Clark with it in the circle, takes it into the corner, backhands it behind the goal, around to the far side. At the point, stopped there by the Oilers’ Harstad. Now, slapped away and all the way back into the Tulsa zone.
1:19 left to go in the penalty to Parker. Oilers on the man advantage. This is a York Plumbing power play opportunity for the Tulsa Oilers. York Plumbing at 918-833-3200. Shot by DeSalvo, glove save, and he’ll hold on. Gill with the glove save, he’ll hang onto that puck, we’ll get a face-off in the Americans’ end.
The draw will come to the left of the goaltender, Gill. Puck goes behind the goal, around to the far side. Now, slapped all the way back into the Tulsa zone once again. Oilers after it, send it out on the left wing, now in the middle. Bringing it across the blue line was Brisebois, into the Americans’ zone. Puck goes ahead, now it’s slapped away into the air. It went over Lalancette. He couldn’t catch it, and it went over his head, back into the Tulsa zone with 30 seconds left in the power play for the Oilers.
Oilers try again, they bring it up over the blue line. That went off the stick on Wong, tried to get it over to Lalancette, but he had it broken up and cleared away again by the Americans. They steal it in the Tulsa zone, on the shorthand, we’ve got a delayed penalty. Shot on goal, saved by Carr, another try, and it goes in! The referee points to the goal. Wow.
The puck was stolen by, I believe, Gary Steffes. Not exactly sure who stole the puck to begin with, but then I believe it was Steffes who put it in the goal. Let’s see, number 12, that stole the puck to begin with. That is Steffes, and then 26 is going to get credit, I believe, Stevenson. The Americans score shorthanded, and there was only about, I think, eight seconds left in the power play for the Oilers at that point.
Americans are back to full strength, puck goes into the Americans’ end. Behind the goal, off the glass to the near side, Costello slaps it into the Tulsa end. Cleared to the blue line, but not out. They send it back, cross rink to the near side. It deflected off a stick out of play. Excuse me. I apologize folks, but I am still suffering with this crud that I’ve caught.
We’ve got a stoppage of play here, a timeout. The Oilers did not score on that York Plumbing power play opportunity, but instead, gave up a shorthanded goal to the Allen Americans on that play where Steffes stole the puck away in front of the goal, and then Stevenson ends up putting it in. It was quite a pileup in front of the goal, so it was hard to see who actually slapped at it. There were more Oiler players there in the crease than there were Americans.
Nonetheless, the Americans take an early 1-0 lead here in this one on the goal by Stevenson, assisted by Steffes on the shorthanded in, and that came … Excuse me. That came at 5:37 of the 1st period.
All right. After the timeout, face-off coming up to the right of Kevin Carr in the Tulsa zone. They flip the puck in the air into the Americans’ zone. Gill will play it over to the far side. Puck along the boards, still in the Americans’ zone. Out to the point, here’s a shot from Lutz, stick save by Gill. Oilers keep it there.
Lutz with it, pass over on the right side to Brisebois. Broken up, stolen away. Back comes Parker with it, he takes the shot, and Carr will hang on. We’ll get a face-off in the Tulsa end.