TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa Oilers did not bring their “A” game into game 3 of their Mountain Division Semifinal series and fell to the Utah Grizzlies2-1 on Tuesday night.
All of the scoring occurred in the second period of Tuesday’s game.
Jimmy Soper netted the Oilers’ only goal on Tuesday night, punching the puck through Grizzlies goaltender Trent Miner at 5;25 of the middle frame. Then, Charle-Edouard D’Astous continued his goal-scoring binge, scoring both of the Grizzlies’ goals, with one of those tallies coming on the power play. D’Astous now has five goals in three games this series and has clearly been the best player on the ice for either team.
Tulsa head coach Rob Murray was not impressed by the effort by both teams on Tuesday night.
“That was a bad hockey game by both teams,” Murray said. “It was so lackluster you’d never know it was a playoff game. There was no energy in the building and no energy in [either] team. If each team had five quality chances I’d be surprised.”
The Oilers head coach theorized how the outcome of the game could have changed: ”If we had scored in the first period maybe it might have been a different story but tonight we didn’t have any jump,” he said.
Special teams suffered for Tulsa in the game, as they failed to convert five power-play opportunities in the contest. Out of four penalty kill opportunities, Utah managed the score on one man-advantage situation.
Oilers goaltender Daniel Mannella turned aside 23 shots in the losing effort, while Miner stopped 32 of 33 volleys toward his net.
Tulsa is down but not out, and Murray knows that an uptick in energy will make the difference going into the next two nights.
Looking ahead to a crucial game four tonight, Murray said the Oilers still have room to improve.
”We can be better, and if we come with some energy it will be a different game.” Murray said.
The Oilers and Grizzlies will play game four tonight and game five on Thursday night, with both games at the BOK Center. Pucks will be dropping at 7:05 pm both nights.
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