Tulsa, OK (March 13th) - Wichita (28-22-2-6) and Tulsa (29-25-1-3) took a tie game into the third period before the Oilers scored three times to claim a 4-1 victory on Friday night at the BOK Center. Tulsa scored two quick goals at the eight minute mark of the final frame and added an empty-netter with less than two minutes left to seal the win. Wichita slides to 2-4-1-3 in the StoneWolf Casino Cup Series and just two points ahead of the Oilers in the standings.
Danick Gauthier provided the only scoring for the Thunder in the losing effort. Kevin Carr was spectacular in net for the Oilers, making several key saves down the stretch.
Tulsa had the shot advantage in the first period and took a 1-0 lead at 11:10. Jeff Jubinville got to a loose puck at the red line, came down on a two-on-one and found Adam Pleskach in the crease past a diving Michael Trebish and scored his 32nd of the season. Wichita tried to answer quickly, but Carr made some nice saves including one on Dan Milan, who stepped up the left wing and drove to the net. Matthew Larke committed a late penalty that would carry over into the second, but almost added another on an odd-man break. Grant Rollheiser was up to the task as the final horn of the first rang.
In the second, Wichita came out strong and outshot the Oilers 11-3 through the first half of the frame. Gauthier tied the contest at one at 4:25 with a slap shot from the slot that got through Carr's five-hole. Each team had opportunities on the man advantage, but couldn't connect as both goaltenders stood their ground.
The Oilers scored three times in the third with two of those coming in a 12-second span. After a penalty had just expired on Ian Lowe, Pleskach put home a rebound at the right post for his second of the night and a 2-1 lead. After the next face-off, Brady Ramsay whistled a shot from the right boards just inside the Thunder line that got past Rollheiser to make it 3-1. Wichita had plenty of chances down the stretch, but couldn't solve Carr. RG Flath and Erick Lizon were both stopped late in the third before Tommy Mele added an empty-net tally at 18:03 for the 4-1 win.
Tonight was the final trip for the Thunder to the BOK Center and falls to 1-3-1-2 in the season-series on the road against the Oilers. Gauthier collected his 24th of the season and has points in his last three (1g, 2a). Milan had one assist and three points in his last three games (1g, 2a). Rollheiser, who appeared in his fourth-straight game for the Thunder, suffered the loss stopping 30 of 33 shots. Carr earned the victory, stopping 35 of 36 shots he faced.
Wichita went 0-for-3 on the man advantage. Tulsa went 0-for-4 on the power play.
Wichita finishes the weekend tomorrow night at Quad City starting at 7:05 p.m.
Individual tickets are on sale now. Don't delay! Tickets can be purchased at the INTRUST Arena Box office, by calling 755-SEAT or go online at www.selectaseat.com. Stay up-to-date on all the news during the season by visiting www.wichitathunder.com.
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.