(Photo by Kevin Pyle – www.photopyle.com)
Tulsa Oilers @ Utah Grizzlies 7:00 p.m.
Watch on ECHL-TV
Overall: 31-25-3-2 (67 points)
Rank: 3rd in Central Division
Overall: 34-25-3-2 (73 points)
Rank: 2nd in West Division
Goals: Phil Brewer – 21
Assists: Dennis Brown – 28
Points: Adam Pleskach – 43
+/-: Dennis Brown +15
PIM: Mathieu Gagnon – 147
Goals: Alex Krushelnyski – 23
Assists: Charles Sarault – 37
Points: Krushelnyski, Sarault – 42
+/-: Matt Berry, +11
PIM: Cody Ferriero – 70
The Oilers are in Utah to see the Grizzlies for the second time ever in the Maverick Center in West Valley City. The last time the two got together in the mountains, the Oilers were defeated 5-2. The Grizzlies are three spots above the Oilers in the Western Conference with 73 points and three extra games at hand.
ROAD TO KELLY
The Tulsa Oilers are ninth in the Western Conference Standings—just one spot out of the final playoff position. With their three wins in three nights, Tulsa has pulled within one point of the Quad City Mallards who are currently holding the last slot. Ahead this week, the Oilers have an opportunity to earn another six points against the Grizzles who are six ahead at 73.
Next week the Oilers will host the Colorado Eagles. The Eagles are seventh and only three points ahead of Tulsa with two extra games at hand. They will play next Tuesday and Wednesday for their final matchups with one another in the regular season.
When in the BOK Center, the Oilers bring it. In their own home, the Oilers are second in the ECHL on the power play. Tulsa may be in last place on the road with the man advantage but at home they have 21.1% just behind the Fort Wayne Komets. They have 19 total power play goals on 90 attempts in 33 games.
Monday the Manitoba Moose recalled forward Ben Walker. Walker, 22, returned to the Moose after skating in four games with them where he produced 4 penalty minutes. The Edina, Minnesota native has suited up in 36 contest with the Oilers–logging 11 points (7 goals and 4 assists). The Moose still have Oilers’ leading goal scorer, Dan DeSalvo, on loan. DeSalvo, on a contact with Tulsa, made his AHL debut with the Moose where he produced an assist. In his second game, DeSlavo tallied his first AHL goal against the Grand Rapids Giffins on Friday, March 11. In six games, the forward has five points.
The Oilers are fifth in the ECHL in shots against with a 27.59 percentage… Kevin Carr is tenth among goaltenders with a 2.26 goals against average and third in minutes with 2498… Phil Brewer is tied at third among rookies with 21 goals…
Fresh back in Tulsa from a stint with the Manitoba Moose is Finnish goalie, Jussi Olkinuora. Jussi likes all the special gear that goalies have the opportunity to wear, but we all know those pucks don’t exactly come floating in like butterflies. Of course goalies are the chosen ones, and by that we mean that they are designated to stay on the ice for pretty much every minute the puck is in play, with the exception being a need for an extra attacker at the end of the third period.
So what keeps Jussi going? Looking to the end of the season being able to say that we are the best. The games are fast paced in this league. There are plenty of chances to see lots of goals and fights between the teams, making it an easy sport to fall in love with.
Another Tulsa Oiler we love having here at the BOK Center is forward Mathieu Gagnon. If you want to learn how to pronounce his name, it’s probably best to head over to our Youtube channel, but being familiar with French will definitely help get all the right sounds out.
Gagnon was brought up in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. His parents searched for a release for his hyperactive behavior, and hockey was the best place for him to use up his extra energy. Not only was it a good place to expend energy, but Mathieu ended up falling in love with the game. He loves having an outlet that allows him to see how far he can get, how far he can push himself. He even loves the social aspect of meeting new people. His routine means getting in a good morning skate. He likes to keep everything simple by eat good, health food and keeping it light.
Gagnon describes himself as a good energy player, which we have definitely seen on the ice. Actually, one of the best things to do in Tulsa is watching him energize the ice. He really does whatever it takes to get a win, whether it be a good hit, a fight, or making a good play. What it comes down to is him making energy for the boys.
Hockey is such a fun game because it really is for everyone. You get the opportunity to see fighting, hitting, high skilled plays. That’s what makes an Oilers game such a good option for families looking for things to do in Tulsa.
So what gets you far in hockey, Gagnon says it is really all about work ethic. He suggests putting in the hard work because there is always a place on a team for someone that comes ready to give it their best effort.
Make sure you come catch Yussi defend the net and Mathieu crush his line in one of our remaining games this season. Who doesn’t want to catch a Manitoba Moose on skates right here in T-Town. It’s just another great one of the things to do in Tulsa! If you really want to get the most bang for your buck, make sure you grab tickets for the game on Friday, February 19th where you can snag an adult jersey to wear to upcoming games. Don’t forget about the jersey auction on Saturday, February 20th where you can grab your own game worn jersey! That’s not all, make sure to bring your jerseys and other memorabilia to the post game skate on Sunday, February 21st where you can get on the same ice the Oilers defend after the game. Many of our player will be on the ice, skating around, to take pictures and sign autographs. How many players can you get to sign your gear next weekend? You’ll want to add this to the top of your things to do list because it will be the last chance to skate with the players after the game during the regular season!
On a personal note, Brewer is especially happy when he gets the chance to sneak in a nap when he has a few extra hours to share. With that being said, after his name he makes sure to get back in that active professional-athlete lifestyle by either walking around, a good twenty minute outdoor walk to clear his head. When it comes to preparing for a game, he always takes the time to recognize the job requirements at hand so he can complete them to the best of his abilities.