Oilers drop home opener in OT
BY JOHN RITTENOURE World Correspondent
Saturday, October 27, 2012
10/27/12 at 7:07 AM
Quad City came to the BOK Center on Friday night with something to prove. Unfortunately for the Tulsa Oilers, they succeeded.
Mickey Lang skated wide from behind the Oilers net to the right side of rookie goaltender Dan Bakala and fired into the net with 32 seconds remaining in overtime, and the Mallards went home with a 4-3 victory before an opening-night crowd of 5,460.
"We did not make a lot of mistakes but when we did they capitalized on them, Oilers coach Bruce Ramsay said. "That last goal, Bakala has to have that. That was a save to be made."
It was the first game of the season for the Mallards, who did not play last weekend due to management issues. The Central Hockey League has taken over management of the team until a new owner is found and first-year coach Terry Ruskowski scrambled to pull a team together in time to play this weekend.
They have proven they are ready to play.
"They earned their two points and for what they have gone through, give them credit," Ramsay said.
Tulsa outshot Quad City 38-28 but fell behind 2-1 in the first period, then tied the game at 2 goals apiece, only to fall behind 3-2 in the second period. Gary Steffes picked up a rebound off a breakaway miss by Michel Beausoleil for a 3-3 tie in the third period to send the game into overtime.
Former Oiler Patrik Levesque was a thorn in the Oilers' side all night as he scored the first Quad City goal, made several key plays and assisted on the game-winning goal.
"I thought we outplayed them, but we still are not as good as we need to be," Ramsay said. "We made some bad mistakes that cost us goals early-on. We had plenty of opportunities to score goals and we either hit cross bars, missed the net or were not finding the back of the twine.
"We need better goaltending for one, and two, we need to eliminate good scoring opportunities by playing stronger in our defensive zone."
Notes: The Oilers travel to Quad City on Saturday for the Mallards' home opener, then return for a 4:05 game on Sunday with the Fort Worth Brahmas at the BOK Center.
Drew Akins was signed on Wednesday and suited up for his first game on Friday. Akins played the last two seasons with the Trenton Titans of the ECHL.
QUAD CITY 4, TULSA 3 (OT)
First Period: 1, Tulsa, Fisher, 1 (Gordon, Menei) 7:44. 2, Quad City, Levesque, 1 (unassisted) 11:56. 3, Quad City, Aduba, 1 (Dixon) 13:48. Penalties: Tulsa, Erickson (charging) 3:29. Quad City, McGillis (elbowing) 14:49.
Second Period: 4, Tulsa, Beauregard, 1 (Steffes) 17:10. 5, Quad City, Effinger, 1 (Toporowski) 17:42. Penalties: Quad City, Duffy (hooking) 5:53. Quad City, Lang (hooking) 9:51. Tulsa, Fleck (hooking) 12:48.
Third Period: 6, Tulsa, Steffes, 2 (Beausoleil) 2:50. Penalties: Tulsa, Beauregard (holding) :44.
Overtime: 7, Lang, 1 (Levesque, Lavender) :32. Penalties: None.
Power Plays: Quad City, 0-3. Tulsa, 0-3.
Shots: Quad City, 8-8-8-4--28. Tulsa, 12-12-14-0--38.
Saves: Quad City, Palmer 11-11-13-0--35. Tulsa, Bakala 6-7-8-3--24.
Referee: Kevin Curtis. A. 5,460.