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2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs

Grizzlies Pound Oilers in Crucial Game 5

The Tulsa Oilers brought a lot of momentum into game five with the Utah Grizzlies, winning game four in the waning minutes of regulation just one night prior.

Grizzlies Pound Oilers in Crucial Game 5

TULSA, Okla.The Tulsa Oilers brought a lot of momentum into game five with the Utah Grizzlies, winning game four in the waning minutes of regulation just one night prior. But, four unanswered goals in the third period by the visitors destroyed that momentum and put the Oilers on the brink of elimination, as Tulsa fell 5-1.

The lone goal for the home side was scored by Jackson Leef in the first period, and as the saying goes, from there it was all Utah.

The Grizzlies got the equalizer in the middle period when Mason Mannek found the twine behind Tulsa goaltender Daniel Mannella on the power play, and that’s where it all fell apart for Tulsa.

The Grizzlies pounced on the tired goaltender and his defense for four unanswered goals in the third period, Trey Bradley scored a pair of goals, Connor McDonald and Kyle Betts rounded out the scoring spree for Utah by game’s end.

The quality of the officiating in the game was somewhat substandard in the purview of the fans, but the Oilers seem to have a problem staying out of the penalty box and that hurt them when it came to special teams.

Tulsa was once again scoreless on the power play, coming up empty on six man-advantage opportunities. Utah scored twice on their four power-play chances.

Before Mannella was chased from the Tulsa net late in the contest, he stopped 26 of 30 Utah shots. His replacement, Ryan Ruck, who entered the game with a little over ten minutes to play, failed to make a save on the only shot he faced.

The series shifts back to Utah, and the Oilers have four days to get things figured out because they are now most decidedly behind the eight ball in terms of the series. It goes without saying that changes in the game for Tulsa need to be made as now they’re heading into unfriendly territory to try and pull out a win on the road.  It’s not impossible, as Tulsa did manage to take a win in Utah in game two but it’s going to be an uphill battle with the Grizzlies on the brink of eliminating the Oilers in the “if necessary” games in the series.

The next game in the series will take place Monday and if necessary, game seven will be in Utah on Wednesday, May 4.

Download the Field Pass Hockey app from the iTunes or Google Play stores or follow @FieldPassHockey on Twitter for the latest news on the AHL, ECHL, and SPHL throughout the 2021 season!

    Rich Lohman covers the Tulsa Oilers for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHOilers.

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