Oilers Silence Thunder with Three-Goal Third Period
TULSA, OK - In the final period of their most pivotal contest of the season, the Tulsa Oilers answered the bell and earned a 5-2 victory over the Wichita Thunder on Saturday night at INTRUST Bank Arena. The Oilers scored three goals in the third period to put the game out of reach and push their lead in the standings back to six points over the Thunder. Todd Robinson, in just his second game back in the Tulsa lineup after missing nearly a month and a half of action, scored two goals including the game-winner while newcomer Matthew Larke, playing his second game in an Oilers uniform led the offensive effort with two tallies of his own to go along with a pair of assists.
Wichita forward Ian Lowe opened the scoring at 11:41 of the first period. After Tomas Klempa's backhand was stopped by Tulsa goalie Shane Madolora, the puck banked off of Lowe and into the net to give the Thunder a 1-0 lead. The Oilers allowed their opponent to score first for the eighth straight game.
In the second period it was Larke who helped put the Oilers on the board. Larke's shot from the far circle was batted into the net by Robinson who leveled the game at 1-1 at 4:42 with his 14th goal of the season. Four and a half minutes later the Oilers enjoyed a power play and Larke buried a pass from Ryan Menei for his first goal as an Oiler at 9:01. Tulsa was up 2-1, only the second time in the last six outings that the Oilers held a lead in regulation. Thunder center R.G. Flath pounced on a rebound in the closing minutes of the middle frame to knot the game at 2-2 heading into the third period.
After 12 minutes of scoreless hockey, Michel Beausoleil's backhand pass connected with Robinson who found himself all alone in front of the Thunder net. The veteran forward cranked a slap shot past the sprawling David Brown for his second goal of the game. Tulsa was back in front 3-2 wouldn't look back. Only 44 seconds after Robinson's strike, Blair Macaulay swooped in on a loose puck and fired a shot underneath the crossbar to give the Oilers a comfortable two-goal cushion. Macaulay's 18th of the season was his sixth goal in the last four games against the Thunder. Larke capped off his four-point night with an empty net goal at 19:51 to seal the victory.
With Kyle Bochek serving a one-game suspension, the newly formed line of Robinson, Beausoleil, and Larke accounted for eight of the Oilers 12 points on the night. The Oilers finished the season series against Wichita with an 8-5-1 record including a mark of 5-2-0 at INTRUST Bank Arena. Tulsa claimed the inaugural StoneWolf Casino Cup as the winner of the season series and heads home to face the St. Charles Chill on Sunday afternoon.
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Central Hockey League Stories from March 22, 2014
- Boron Records First 30-Win Season In Career Helping Rush Clinch Home-Ice - Rapid City Rush
- Mallards Fall to Mavericks But Clinch Playoff Berth - Quad City Mallards
- Oilers Silence Thunder with Three-Goal Third Period - Tulsa Oilers
- Chill Fall to Allen 5-4 - St. Charles Chill
- Big Third Period Leads to 5-4 Win over St. Charles - Allen Americans
- CHL Suspends Tulsa's Kyle Bochek - CHL
- Americans Host St Charles on Military Appreciation Night in Allen - Allen Americans
- Two Four-Point Nights Power Rush Past Beast - Rapid City Rush
- Sundogs Drop Game against Cutthroats - Arizona Sundogs
- Denver Cutthroats Prevail in One Period - Denver Cutthroats
- Late Rally Falls Short as Oilers Stumble on Home Ice - Tulsa Oilers
- Thunder Powers Past Tulsa with 3-2 Win - Wichita Thunder
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