November 30, 2012 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Tulsa Oilers
Game #18 Friday, November 30, 2012 BOK Center
Season Series: Tonight's game is the fifth of nine meetings this season between Allen and Tulsa. The Americans have won each of the four prior meetings by a combined score of 19-9. Last time these regional rivals squared off on November 17 in Allen, the Oilers suffered a hard-fought 3-1 loss. Both sides fired 25 shots on net and Ryan Menei scored the only goal of the game for Tulsa. Oilers right wing Michel Beausoleil and defenseman Matt Register each have four points in the series while Americans' forward Jarret Lukin has posted six points in four games against Tulsa.
Last Time Out: The Oilers have had a few days off since last Saturday's 4-3 defeat in Quad City. Thanks to two goals from Ryan Menei and one from Gary Steffes, Tulsa built a 3-0 lead just nine minutes into the first period. The Mallards responded with four unanswered goals to hand the Oilers a fifth straight loss. Ben Gordon recorded a pair of assists and Ian Keserich made 33 saves as Tulsa fell to 3-6-0 on the road.
Leading the League: Oilers center Gary Steffes leads the entire CHL with 11 goals. The third-year pro registered his second career hat-trick last Friday in Tulsa's 6-5 overtime loss to Bloomington. Steffes scored a goal in each period and followed up the stellar performance with another goal on Saturday in Quad City. The product of Miami University (Ohio) has at least one point in 12 of Tulsa's 17 games so far this season. Steffes, 25, has recorded five multiple-point games and is well on his way to surpassing his career-high mark of 22 goals which he set last season.
Shorthanded? So What?: The Oilers penalty killing unit has surrendered only one goal in the last seven games. During that stretch, Tulsa has successfully eliminated 23 of the 24 opposing powerplays it has faced. Ranked fourth in the CHL at 85.1 percent, the Oilers PK unit has allowed only 10 goals all season, second fewest in the league.
Offensive Drought Over: After recording only eight goals in their previous five contests, the Oilers offense finally came to life on Friday night against Bloomington. For the first time in five games, Tulsa scored the first goal of the game. The Oilers peppered the Blaze net with 18 shots in the opening twenty minutes and finished the evening with a season high 45 shots on goal. It was the third time this season that the Oilers managed 10 or more shots in each period. Tulsa's offense continued to click in the first period at Quad City on Saturday when it scored three times in nine minutes. The Oilers have eight goals in the last two outings, a total that ties their highest output over any two-game stretch this season.
Trouble When Trailing: With the 4-3 loss to the Mallards on Saturday, the Oilers are still searching for their first comeback victory of the season. In every loss the Oilers have suffered this season, they have found themselves trailing after two periods. Tulsa has also not won a game when falling behind after the first period.
Streaks and Milestones: Right wing Ryan Menei is on a four-game point streak. The 26-year old has three goals and two assists during the streak and ranks second on the team with 16 points. Defenseman Sean Erickson is just one point shy of 100 for his four-year professional career. The Eden Prairie, Minnesota native recorded his 99th point with an assist on Saturday night. Bruce Ramsay is only two wins away from recording his 100th victory as Oilers Head Coach. Now in his fourth season behind the Tulsa bench, Ramsay has a mark of 98-89-23. The 43-year old Ramsay is just five wins shy of 300 for his coaching career.
Roster Moves: Goaltender Mike Garman, who played nine games for the Oilers last season, re-signed with Tulsa this week. The 25-year old spent the second half of the 2011-12 campaign playing in Norway. Goalie Dan Bakala and forward Matt Gingera were waived on Thursday.