(Photo by Kevin Pyle – www.photopyle.com)
Special teams proved to be the most critical part of Tulsa Oilers and Quad City Mallards Saturday night showdown in which the Mallards proved victorious. Six of the seven goals were scored on the power play in Quad City’s 4-3 overtime win.
During what was a scoreless first period, the Oilers tied their season-low with only two shots on goal. Quad City outshot Tulsa with 11. Fans stayed entertained by the unique sweaters worn by goaltender Kevin Carr and forward Mathieu Gagnon. Both players were voted on and selected as the ECHL Fantasy Team players for the Tulsa Oilers.
The second twenty minutes of play would add more thrill and two goals.
Within two minutes, the Oilers tripled their shot tally and one of them would go in. Connor Kucera slapped the puck that went off the pad of Brody Hoffman and found his former BGSU teammate Dan DeSalvo. The power play goal by DeSlavo inked the first for the Oilers and an eight-game point streak for the forward. Phil Brewer claimed an assist as well.
Just five minutes later — at the 7:21 mark — Axel Blomqvist extended the Oilers’ lead to two.
Mallards’ Kyle Follmer went to the box for a hooking minor and the Oilers would capitalize on the power play. Defensemen Dennis Brown took a blue line shot that Blomqvist would get a stick on to put the puck in the back of the net for the second power play goal for the Oilers and to put them up 2-0.
The third period would provide more action for both sides.
Matt Carey pulled Quad City within one goal of the Oilers when he scored a power play tally on a feed from Guillaume Gelinas.
Quad city would tie the game at two at the 11:39 mark off a goal from Raphael Bussieres.
The Mallards took their first lead of the game at the 15:44 mark of the third period. Carey sniped his second goal of the game past Carr on the power play.
Connor Kucera continued his trend of late game heroics when he scored a power play goal with 54 seconds remaining in the game to force OT.
Special teams, which was both teams bread and butter throughout the night, proved to be the Oilers ultimate downfall as Bussieres cranked his second goal of the game past Carr.
The Oilers still earned a valuable point in the standings and will look to bounce back Sunday against their Central Division rivals, the Wichita Thunder. Puck drop is at 4:05 p.m. at the BOK Center in Tulsa.
Have you checked out the Tulsa Oilers at the BOK Center yet? This year is extra special because it is the first year the Oilers have been affiliated with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL and the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. Both the Moose and the Jets call Winnipeg home. We are very grateful to join their family this season and look for a bright future together. One of the primary benefits this provides to our team is an excelled level of training. Players are shared along the lines, gaining experience at different levels of play. Those that have experienced time in a Manitoba jersey can share with their Tulsa teammates.
The Oilers face the Quad City Mallards one last time in Tulsa during the regular season this year. On Valentine’s Day Eve all sorts of people will gather. There will be singles, couples, families and friends gathering to celebrate each other. The Oilers are also hosting their second annual Valentine’s Day dinner for two nights due to the extreme popularity during the 2015 season. If you are one of the lucky people who is planning on attending one of these dinners this year, or both (we are going to be here both nights, too), we have a special treat for you. The opportunity of a wonderful meal, prepared by an extremely talented chef, paired with an excited three periods of intense hockey action, are sure going to make for great memories with the person you love most in the world.
Last we talked, Dan DeSalvo was on a hot streak. He had added points next to his name for 12 home games in a row, as well as 6 games in a row, both at home and on the road. We are proud to announce that he kept that streak at the game against Quad City on February 12th and looks to take it to 14 and 8 respectively on February 13th. Make sure you add watching Dan expand his streak to your things to do in Tulsa list!
One of the coolest things to do in tulsa is come to a game on a Sunday. After every Sunday games, the Oilers host a post game skate with the players. You and your family can get on the ice with the players, take pictures and get your favorite memorabilia signed. Don’t forget your sharpies. Skates can also be rented for only $3 per pair. This is a great experience, one you can only find on Sundays at the BOK Center.
Did you hear that Emerson Clark, Tulsa Oiler forward on loan to the Chicago Wolves of the AHL played against the Manitoba Moose. Of course, he happened to fight one of Manitoba’s players. We hope he at least said hi to another Tulsa Oiler, Aaron Harstad, who has been called up to Manitoba. It’s okay to miss us, Emerson. We miss you, too!