Tulsa Oilers Weekly News and Notes
Last Week's Games:
Fri. March 21 vs. Wichita Thunder (3-2 L)
Sat. March 22 at Wichita Thunder (5-2 W)
Sun. March 23 vs. St. Charles Chill (6-3 W)
Fri. March 28 at Missouri Mavericks - 7:05 p.m.
Sat. March 29 at Missouri Mavericks - 7:05 p.m.
Sun. March 30 vs. Denver Cutthroats - 4:05 p.m.
- Fan Appreciation Night at the BOK Center
- Presentation of Oilers Team Awards
- Post-game skate with the players
Playoff Bound!: For the first time in three years, the Tulsa Oilers have clinched a berth in the Central Hockey League playoffs! The Oilers clinched the franchise's 11th postseason appearance on Sunday afternoon with a 6-3 victory over the St. Charles Chill. Tulsa's playoff seed and first-round opponent have yet to be determined but the Oilers can finish anywhere from fifth to eighth in the final standings depending on their results in the final weekend of the regular season. The Oilers are guaranteed at least two home playoff games and each round of the playoffs is a best-of-seven series.
Week In Review: The Oilers clashed with the Wichita Thunder on Friday night for the fourth time in seven days and saw their late third period rally fall short in a 3-2 loss on home ice. Tulsa's lead over Wichita in the standings dwindled to four points but the Oilers bounced back on Saturday night at INTRUST Bank Arena with a 5-2 win in the season series finale. Matthew Larke tallied two goals and two assists in just his second game in an Oilers uniform while Todd Robinson recorded a pair of goals to help Tulsa clinch the inaugural StoneWolf Casino Cup. The Oilers won five of the seven meetings in Wichita and finished 8-5-1 overall against the rival Thunder. Saturday's triumph put the Oilers in a position to clinch a playoff spot with a win over the St. Charles Chill on Sunday afternoon. The Oilers led the contest wire-to-wire and cashed in on three power plays to earn a 6-3 win. Adam Pleskach scored twice and Ben Gordon chipped in three assists to help the Oilers finish the series against the Chill with a flawless 5-0-0 record.
Offensive Rhythm: The Oilers six-goal outing on Sunday evening was their highest goal total in a single game since a 9-4 win over Arizona on February 14, a string of 14 games. Tulsa outshot St. Charles 40-26 and reached the 40-shot plateau for the first time since January 4 against Denver and just the sixth time all season. Ten players recorded at least a single point while five players - Michel Beausoleil, Ben Gordon, Nathan Lutz, Adam Pleskach, and Todd Robinson - finished with multiple points.
Thirty for "Bobo": Veteran winger Michel Beausoleil scored his 30th goal of the season on Sunday night, a shorthanded one-timer in the second period of the Oilers 6-3 victory over the Chill. Beausoleil, in his 13th season as a pro, reached the 30-goal mark for the first time since the 2007-08 season when he scored 36 goals a member of the Flint Generals (IHL). With 33 assists to go along with 30 goals, the 33-year old is enjoying his best season as an Oiler and ranks 11th in the CHL scoring race with 63 points. Beausoleil leads the Oilers with three shorthanded goals and has appeared in every game this season.
Dramatic Turnaround: At 32-28-3 with three games remaining in the regular season, the Oilers are already ten wins better than last season and tied for the second best win differential from one season to the next in franchise history. Head Coach Bruce Ramsay also guided the Oilers to a ten-win improvement during the 2009-10 campaign, his first season behind the Tulsa bench. Since the Oilers re-emerged in the CHL in 1992, the biggest turnaround was led by Shaun Clouston in 1999-00 when the Oilers won 38 games after recording just 20 wins in the 1998-99 season.
Picking Up Where He Left Off: After missing 17 games with a lower body injury, Oilers forward Todd Robinson returned the lineup last Friday night and promptly dished out two assists in Tulsa's loss to Wichita. Robinson scored two goals on Saturday night including the game-winner to lead the Oilers to a 5-2 victory over the Thunder. The 35-year old capped his weekend by assisting on two goals on Sunday afternoon and concluded the stretch of three games in three days with a total of six points (2 goals, 4 assists). Despite sitting out more than a month of the season, Robinson still leads the Oilers in assists (54) and ranks ninth in the CHL scoring race with 69 points.
Instant Impact: Matthew Larke, who was claimed off waivers and signed by the Oilers last week, wasted little time making his presence felt in the Oilers lineup. On Saturday night in Wichita, in just his second game as an Oiler, Larke lit the lamp twice and registered to assists to help Tulsa earn a pivotal victory. A native of Royal Oak, Michigan, Larke became the seventh Oilers player this season to post four points in a single game.
Power Play Clicking: The Oilers are coming off their most productive power play stretch of the season. In three games last weekend the Oilers scored 13 goals and six of those goals were notched on the power play. Tulsa scored at least one power play goal in all three contests and saved its best power play performance for Sunday evening by capitalizing on three of its six man-advantage opportunities. Sunday marked just the second time this season the Oilers scored three power play goals in a single game. Overall, Tulsa's power play ranks seventh in the CHL with a 17-percent success rate for the season.
Pleskach Honored: Adam Pleskach is one of five players selected to the CHL All-Rookie Team. The Manitoba native leads all CHL rookies with 33 goals and six game-winning goals. Pleskach, one of three 30-goal scorers on the Oilers roster, ranks second among all first-year players with 59 points (33 goals, 26 assists). Pleskach is joined on the All-Rookie Team by Vincent Arseneau (F-Denver), Alex Lavoie (F-Allen), Lee Moffie (D-Denver), Henrik Odegaard (D-Missouri), and Ty Rimmer (G-Quad City).
Series Successes: By finishing off the Chill on Sunday, the Oilers can claim season series victories over five of the nine teams in the CHL. Tulsa earned series wins over St. Charles (5-0-0), Arizona (5-1-0), Brampton (4-2-0), Wichita (8-5-1), and Rapid City (3-2-0). The Oilers split four games against Quad City and will finish with a sub-.500 record against Allen, Denver, and Missouri.
Oil Drops: Ben Gordon is on a six-game point streak...Kyle Bochek has set a new career-high with 16 goals this season and the center ranks third in the league with 177 penalty minutes...The Oilers have five players in the top 16 in the CHL scoring race...Four players - Nathan Lutz, Craig Cescon, Drew Fisher, and Michel Beausoleil - have appeared in every game this season...Defenseman Jake Obermeyer is expected to return to the lineup in the final weekend of the regular season.
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Central Hockey League Stories from March 24, 2014
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- Tulsa Oilers Weekly News and Notes - Tulsa Oilers
- Alex Lavoie Named to CHL's All Rookie Team - Allen Americans
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