TULSA, Okla. – The Tulsa Oilers returned home to face the Allen Americans on Saturday night hoping to continue the momentum they picked up in a decisive 7-2 win over Wichita last week.
The Oilers hit the ice running, turning in a decent first period offensively, but faltered in the other two periods to fall 6-3 in front of 4,861 in Tulsa’s BOK Center. It was one of those games where the two clubs combined to score nine goals with no help from the special teams, and the majority of those goals came in the first 21 minutes.
Tulsa dented the scoreboard first with just 31 seconds elapsed. Danny Moynihan extended his four-game scoring streak when he backhanded a shot past Allen goaltender Zach Sawchenko to give the home side a 1-0 advantage. Alex Guptill had an answer for the Americans when he slid one through Oilers netminder Olle Eriksson Ek to level the score at one.
That was the basic theme of the opening period of the game. For every goal the Oilers scored, the Americans had a near-immediate answer. Tulsa resumed the lead at 10:48 of the opening period when Josh Wesley deflected in a one-timer past Sawchenko fed by Moynihan to give both players two points on the night, as Wesley assisted on Moynihan’s mark. Josh Brittain equalized the game for Allen again, deflecting in a goal three minutes later.
Cam Knight pulled Tulsa ahead on his fourth goal of the year with two minutes remaining in the first with a shot from the point, which was answered 18 seconds later by Allen’s Jack Sadek who found the twine behind Eriksson Ek to knot the score at three all. It took just 26 more seconds for the Americans to take the lead for what turned out to be the final time in the game when Brittain knocked home his second of the night and gave the visitors a lead they would not surrender again, but would in fact improve upon.
The second period would see Eriksson Ek replaced in the Oilers net by Devin Williams. He was quickly solved by Corey Durocher, who punched in his first of two goals on the night (and of the year) just 36 seconds removed from the period’s opening faceoff. His second goal came after a draw in the Allen zone before proceeding to take the puck the length of the ice with three Oilers players on his back to score on Williams a second time.
That’s where the scoring came to a halt for both teams; from here, it was just a game of dump and chase. Tulsa had one chance to narrow the score when the Americans held a 5-3 advantage and a waved off Oilers goal was placed under review. Despite the initial call by the goal judge behind Allen’s net (and the crowd’s reaction to the replay on the videoboard), the call remained no-goal after review. That was as close as the Oilers would come to making a run at Allen in the remainder of the match.
Tulsa struggled defensively despite largely skating even with the Americans in the first twenty minutes, but the second the Allen club sensed Tulsa starting to stagnate, they pounced and capitalized, giving them the win. It’s a problem Head Coach Rob Murray has to correct now before the season slips through the Christmas holidays if they want to make a run for the playoffs.
Tulsa and Allen will go at it again tomorrow in an afternoon matinee in the BOK Center starting at 4:05pm CST.
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