Oilers rally to beat league-leading Allen
BY JOHN RITTENOURE World Correspondent
Saturday, December 01, 2012
12/01/12 at 6:28 AM
Prior to Friday night's Central Hockey League game at the BOK Center, it was expected that a near-perfect effort would be needed to beat the Allen Americans.
After all, the Americans have dominated play in the CHL, losing only three games all season, and four of their victories have come against the Oilers.
But the Oilers played their most complete game of the season and defeated the Americans 5-4 before a crowd of 4,461.
Ben Gordon scored at 10:40 of the third period to put the Oilers ahead for the second time in the game. The Oilers then used a strong defensive effort behind the goaltending of newly acquired goalie Mike Garman to seal the win.
"We have been going through a lot of adversity lately, we need a game like that to pull us out," said Oilers coach Bruce Ramsay. "I am really proud of my guys."
The win ended a five-game losing streak for the Oilers (7-9-2).
"I thought our guys stepped up to the plate," Ramsay said. "We got contributions from everybody. I saw a sense of urgency that we have been missing."
Ramsay was pleased with his new goaltender, who saw action on his first day with the team.
"Mike Garman let in a couple of soft goals early, but he really stood on his head the rest of the way," Ramsay said. "He had a great third period for us, which is awesome.
"The biggest point now is we have to build off this win and put wins together."
The BOK Center crowd came to life in the second period as the Oilers battled back from a three-goal deficit to take a brief 4-3 lead.
Ryan Menei started off the Oilers rally when he fired unassisted from the right circle at 4:54 and the Oilers were on the board, trailing 3-1. The goal extended Menei's point streak to five games.
Gary Steffes scored his fifth goal in the last three games when he flipped the puck past Allen goalie Steve Silverthorn on a power play at 8:39. With momentum going the Oilers' way, defenseman Sean Erickson scored his first goal of the season with a move from the high slot at 15:45 to tie the game at 3-3.
Drew Fisher completed the four-goal barrage at 17:43 when he skated down the left wing to give the Oilers their first lead of the game, 4-3.
But the lead was short-lived as Scotty Howes beat Garman for his third goal of the night with 13 seconds left in the second period to tie the game at 4-4.
In the first period, the Americans took a 2-0 lead on goals by 2000 NHL draft pick Darryl Bootland and Howes.
Game notes: Several player changes were made prior to Friday's game. Former Oilers goalie Mike Garman was signed to replace rookie Dan Bakala, who was waived. Garman played nine games for Tulsa last season. Forward Matt Gingera was also waived, and Troy Ofukany returned from seven-day injured reserve.
The Oilers travel to Fort Worth for a 7:30 game on Saturday before returning to the BOK Center on Sunday to take on the Arizona Sundogs at 4:05 p.m.
TULSA 5, ALLEN 4
First Period: 1, Allen, Bootland, 7 (Maiani) 4:22. 2, Allen, Howes, 11 (unassisted) 12:45. Penalties: Tulsa, Gordon (hooking) 19:42.
Second Period: 3, Allen, Howes, 12 (Maiani, Bootland) 1:13 (pp). 4, Tulsa, Menei, 6 (unassisted) 4:54. 5, Tulsa, Steffes, 12 (Beausoleil) 8:39 (pp). 6, Tulsa, Erickson, 1 (Ofukany, Cramer) 15:45. 7, Tulsa, Fisher, 2 (Erickson, Beausoleil) 17:43. 8, Allen, Howes, 13 (Skinner, Bootland) 19:47. Penalties: Allen, Tyler Ludwig (tripping) 8:00. Tulsa, Fleck (hooking) 9:13. Allen, Brennan (roughing) 20:00. Tulsa, Fleck (roughing) 20:00.
Third Period: 9, Tulsa, Gordon, 10 (Ullrich, Maraini) 10:40. Penalties: Allen, Bootland (roughing) 2:59. Tulsa, Erickson (cross checking) 2:59. Tulsa, Register (hooking) 3:46. Tulsa, Flamminio (cross checking) 19:01.
Power Plays: Allen, 1-4. Tulsa, 1-1.
Shots: Allen, 14-12-10 - 36. Tulsa, 12-15-8 - 35.
Saves: Allen, Silverthorn 12-11-7 - 30. Tulsa, Garman 12-10-10 - 32.
Referee: Zak Blazic. A: 4,461.
Oilers 5, Allen 4
At Fort Worth
7:30 p.m. Saturday
Next home game
Vs. Arizona 4:05 p.m. Sunday
Oilers defenseman Sean Erickson (center) moves the puck at the blue line while on a power play against Allen on Friday night at the BOK Center. KEVIN PYLE/For The Tulsa World
Oilers forward Mike Ullrich (left) works around Allen defenseman Trevor Ludwig on Friday night at the BOK Center. KEVIN PYLE/For The Tulsa World