Oilers sneak shootout win past Denver
BY JOHN RITTENOURE World Correspondent
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
1/30/13 at 5:28 AM
It was the Ryan Menei and Drew Fisher show in Central Hockey League action at the BOK Center on Tuesday night.
Menei sandwiched a pair of Fisher goals with the game's first goal and the game winner in a shootout to lift Tulsa (13-27-3) to a 4-3 victory over the Denver Cutthroats (21-17-5) before a crowd of 3,181.
Fisher ended the night with two goals and an assist as did Menei. Fisher has been on fire lately, helping the Oilers with six goals and three assists in the last six games.
"I am playing with great players, and they are giving me great opportunities," said Fisher. "I have been fortunate enough to capitalize lately, so it has been fun.
"The game was ours to lose, and we battled back and won."
It was the second straight home victory for the Oilers, who nearly gave the game away in the third period after leading 3-1.
"It was great to come out with two points after we did not come out and play well in the third period," said Oilers coach Bruce Ramsay, whose team was outshot 13-2 in the final period. "The guys looked tired once again, which is disappointing. I had to play certain players more than I would have liked to and it showed during the end.
"But we preserved with some great goaltending from Shane Madolora at the end and took advantage of it in the shootout. This time we got the two points. Life is good."
Ramsay has been pleased with the play of Menei, Fisher and Madolora as of late.
"Drew Fisher really stood out tonight with two goals and showed once again he is a good up-and-coming young player," Ramsay said.
It was the first time the Oilers have played the Cutthroats this year.
"Their top two lines are highly skilled," Ramsay said. "They have two guys that played in the NHL and three guys in the top 10 in league scoring."
Menei opened the scoring for Tulsa at 5:45 of the first period when he fired the puck over the glove hand of Cutthroats goalie Kent Patterson, catching the top of the net to put the Oilers up 1-0. But it only took 51 seconds for the Cutthroats to answer on a shot by the CHL's second leading scorer, AJ Gale, at 6:36. It was his 26th goal of the year.
Fisher took over at the point with back-to-back goals to put the Oilers up 3-1. At 15:19, Fisher rifled a shot that went between the legs of Patterson, then two minutes later Fisher picked up the puck, skated in front and just past Patterson and fired into the side of the net for his second goal of the night.
Tulsa averted what would have been a second Cutthroats goal with 20 seconds left in the period when a Denver shot from near the blueline got past Madolora but was waved off by referee Brent Coulombe.
Game notes: Friday night the Oilers host Missouri followed by Wichita on Saturday. Game time is 7:35 each night.
OILERS 4, CUTTHROATS 3 (SO)
First Period: 1, Tulsa, Menei, 16 (Fisher) 5:45. 2, Denver, Gale, 26 (Smyth) 6:36. 3, Tulsa, Fisher, 10 (Barlock, Gordon) 15:19. 4, Tulsa, Fisher, 11 (Menei), 17:18 (pp). Penalties: Denver, Towns (fighting) 2:13. Tulsa, Amesbury (fighting) 2:13. Denver, Fulghum (tripping) 16:55. Tulsa, Maraini (slashing) 18:01.
Second Period: No scoring. Penalties: Tulsa, O'Kane (hooking) 2:57. Tulsa, Maraini (hooking) 16:00. Denver, Schwab (unsportsmanlike conduct) 16:20. Tulsa, Beausoleil (unsportsmanlike conduct) 16:20. Denver, Gauthier (tripping) 16:25.
Third Period: 5, Denver, Schwab, 14 (Zimmerman, Gale) :39. 6, Denver, Smyth, 18 (Cacao, Vossberg) 13:16. Penalties: Tulsa, Gordon (tripping) 8:03.
Overtime: No scoring. Penalties: None.
Shootout: 7, Tulsa, Menei, 17.
Power Plays: Denver, 0-4. Tulsa, 1-2.
Shots: Denver, 7-6-13-4-0--30. Tulsa, 14-9-2-3-1--29.
Saves: Denver, Patterson 11-9-2-3--25. Tulsa, Madolora 6-6-11-4--27.
Referee: Brent Coulombe. A: 3,181.
Original Print Headline: Oilers hold on, win in shootout
Tulsa forward Drew Fisher (20) tries to keep the puck away from Denver's Ben Wilson (15) and Troy Schwab (9) during their hockey game at the BOK Center on Tuesday. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World