TULSA, Okla. – Since returning to the Oilers lineup on November 27, right winger Ryan Menei has fired pucks into posts, crossbars, knobs of goalie sticks, and every imaginable part of a hockey rink except for the back of the net. Menei’s drought finally came to an end on Fridaynight at the BOK Center as the 27-year old forward lit the lamp twice in second period of Tulsa’s 5-2 triumph over the Brampton Beast. The Oilers won back-to-back games for the first time since mid-December and snapped Brampton’s four-game road win streak.
Four minutes into the opening period, Michel Beausoleil’s shot was turned aside by Beast goalie Kristofer Westblom but Tulsa forward Todd Robinson was lurking at the back post to bury the rebound for a 1-0 Oilers advantage. Just before the midway point of the period, Adam Pleskach tipped Jake Obermeyer’s shot through the legs of Westblom to give the home side a two-goal cushion. Pleskach moved back into the team lead with his 20th goal of the season and continues to lead all CHL rookies in scoring.
Halfway through the middle frame, Menei’s curse was lifted. Ben Gordon slid a pass from behind the Brampton net to the waiting stick of Menei and the Winnipeg native quickly chipped the puck over the outstretched glove of Westblom. A sigh of relief could be heard throughout the BOK Center as Menei saw the puck cross the goal line for the first time since October 19 in Denver. Agony ended, Menei jammed home his second goal of the period at 16:40 to give the Oilers a comfortable 4-0 lead heading into the third period.
Only 36 seconds had ticked off the third period clock when Oilers rookie Matt Kirzinger ripped a slap shot from the right face off circle that zipped past Westblom’s glove. Kirzinger’s first professional goal pushed the Oilers lead to 5-0 and put the contest out of reach. The Beast spoiled Shane Madolora’s shutout bid by getting goals from Mike MacIsaac and Rob Collins in the span of 22 seconds. Madolora had the last laugh by earning his 16th win of the season with a 28-save performance.
Tulsa improved to 3-2-0 against Brampton and moved back into a tie with the Beast for sixth place in the CHL standings. The Oilers, who have allowed only four goals in their last three games, were led by the second line trio of Menei, Gordon, and Pleskach who each ended the night with a pair of points.
The Oilers and the Beast won’t wait long for a rematch with the season series finale set for 7:35 p.m. on Saturday night at the BOK Center.
With Tulsa Oilers team release
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