Wichita, KS (Dec. 26th) - Wichita (7-18-0-3) and Tulsa (13-10-2-1) have played some tight hockey games this year. Saturday night's contest was no different as the Oilers claimed a 2-1 shootout win at INTRUST Bank Arena on Boxing Day.
It was the third-straight meeting between the two teams over the last week that was finished past regulation. With the shootout loss, Wichita is 3-2-0-2 against the Oilers in the StoneWolf Casino Cup Series.
Michael Neal provided the only goal for the Thunder on the night.
The only goal of the first period came with four minutes left. Tulsa won a face-off back
to Dennis Brown and his slapshot got through a screen and found the back of the net.
The goaltenders continued to shine in the second with David Shantz and Kevin Carr making some tough saves in the frame. Michael Neal tied the game with less than three minutes to go, making a power move along the goal line and putting it through Carr to tie the game at one.
In the third period, both teams fired nine shots apiece on net, but were unable to record the go-ahead goal. Tulsa enjoyed two late power plays in the frame, but couldn't get one past Shantz. The final horn sounded and overtime was needed once again.
In the extra session, Wichita had a power play chance when Brandon Wong was sent off for tripping. Shantz saved the day during the four-on-three opportunity, stopping a shorthanded breakaway chance from Brian Nugent that kept the game tied at one. Five minutes weren't enough and the game headed to a shootout for the second-straight game between the two teams.
Brandon Wong went first and beat Shantz at the top of round one. Logan Nelson tied it at one with a nice stickhandling move. Adam Pleskach gave the Oilers the lead in the top of round two. After Ian Lowe and Dennis Brown were stopped, Andy Huff had a chance to tie it in the bottom of round three. He was stopped, however, and the Oilers took a 2-1 victory.
For the fifth time this season, Wichita and Tulsa had a contest decided by one goal. Neal recorded his third of the year while Nelson scored his first shootout goal in a Thunder uniform. Shantz takes the shootout loss, stopping 31 of 32 shots. Carr earns the victory, stopping 37 of 38 shots he faced.
Wichita went 0-for-6 on the power play while the Oilers didn't fare much better, going 0-for-7 on the man advantage.
Wichita returns to action tomorrow afternoon with a Sunday match-up against the Allen Americans at 5:05 p.m.
Individual tickets are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at the INTRUST Arena Box office, by calling 855-755-SEAT or go online at www.selectaseat.com.
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About the ECHL
The ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 28 teams in 20 states and one Canadian province for its 27th season in 2014-15. There have been 541 players who have started their career in the ECHL have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 29 who made their NHL debuts in the 2013-14 season. The ECHL had affiliations with 26 of the 30 NHL teams in 2013-14, marking the 17th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.