Oilers down Quad City
BY JOHN RITTENOURE World Correspondent
Saturday, December 29, 2012
12/29/12 at 6:45 AM
Friday's Central Hockey League game between the Tulsa Oilers and the Quad City Mallards was the kind of stuff Hollywood movies are made of. It had excitement, moments of despair and a feel-good ending.
The Oilers roared out to a 3-0 lead, allowed the Mallards to tie the game in the third period, them came back to take the lead to defeat the Mallards 5-3 at the BOK Center for their first victory in nine games.
"It does not make it easy on a coach," said Oilers coach Bruce Ramsay of watching his team give up a three-goal lead. "We played a great game for about 57 minutes, then we had a couple of breakdowns and let them back in the game."
Oilers rookie goaltender Shane Madolora was working on a shutout when the bottom fell out just 1:31 into the third period. The Mallards scored three times in the span of 1:01, and suddenly it was anyone's game.
"When they tied the game they had all the momentum, but we did not let ourselves down as we have in the past," said Ramsay. "The first goal was an odd-man rush and we did not have a fourth guy. The second goal was a rebound goal where we did not clear the front of the net, and the third was a mistake by one of our defensemen who turned the puck over."
The Oilers regrouped and Ryan Menei scored the game-winner for the Oilers at 9:28 to put Tulsa up 4-3. It was his second goal of the night and his 16th point in the past 11 games. Michel Beausoleil scored an empty net goal with 30 seconds remaining for the final margin of victory.
With 6:58 left, Drew Fisher cross checked Mallards defenseman Mitch McColm. McColm went down hard into the boards, and Fisher was given a five-minute penalty and a game misconduct. The Oilers had to kill off a five-minute power play to save the win.
"Ryan Menei getting that goal to put us up 4-3 was huge," Ramsay said. "I have to give us credit for killing off the five-minute penalty. Your most important penalty-killer is your goaltender, and he made some big stops for us. I thought he played solid tonight.
"We played strong defensively most of the game."
Ryan Barlock picked up his first Oilers goal at 18:19 with a shot from near the side wall in the first period to put the Oilers ahead 1-0.
In the second period, Gary Steffes backhanded a shot past Mallards goaltender John Murray at 5:43, then Menei fired from the right circle at 19:27 for a power-play goal and a 3-0 Tulsa lead.
Game notes: Prior to Friday's game, forward Troy Ofukany was waived and Jason Weeks was signed. Weeks played in 23 games for the Oilers last season. ... The Oilers return to action Saturday against Missouri. Their retro "Turn Back the Clock" jerseys will be auctioned off after the game.
OILERS 5, MALLARDS 3
First Period: 1, Tulsa, Barlock, 1 (Fisher) 18:19. Penalties: Quad City, Aduba (tripping) :05. Tulsa, Amesbury (elbowing) 2:31.
Second Period: 2, Tulsa, Steffes, 16 (Gordon) 5:43. 3, Tulsa, Menei, 10 (Buvinow) 19:27 (pp). Penalties: Quad City, Stinziana (hooking) :15. Tulsa, Fleck (holding) 3:34. Tulsa, Weeks (high sticking) 9:27. Quad City, Preece (tripping) 11:23. Quad City, Stinziani (hooking) 13:50. Quad City, Kostadine (fighting) 17:16. Tulsa, Amesbury (elbowing, fighting) 17:16. Quad City, Preece (interference) 17:48.
Third Period: 4, Quad City, Stinziani, 8 (Perdicaro) 1:31. 5, Quad City, Dixon, 2 (Mathewson) 2:15. 6, Quad City, Hellyer, 8 (Lang) 2:32. 7, Tulsa, Menei, 11 (Gordon) 9:28. 8, Tulsa, Beausoleil, 13 (Cramer, Steffes, empty net) 19:30. Penalties: Tulsa, Fisher (cross checking major, game misconduct) 13:01.
Power Plays: Quad City, 0-5. Tulsa, 1-5.
Shots: Quad City, 6-9-17 - 32. Tulsa, 8-8-7 - 23.
Saves: Quad City, Murray 7-6-5 - 18. Tulsa, Madolora 6-9-14 - 29.
Referee: Brent Coulombe. A: 4,160.
Mallard Obi Aduba tries to steal as Oiler Kyle Mariani drives the puck past him in the first period. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World