TULSA, Okla. – The Tulsa Oilers scored nine goals on just 21 shots and Ryan Menei recorded his first hat-trick of the season in a 9-4 pummeling of the Arizona Sundogs in front of 3,901 at the BOK Center on Friday night. The Oilers extended their win streak to a season-high five games and moved into a tie with Brampton for seventh place in the CHL standings.
Oilers winger Michel Beausoleil opened the scoring on a power play breakaway at 3:56 of the first period but the Sundogs regrouped quickly with a pair of goals in just 20 seconds from Kevin Baker and Mark Isherwood. Arizona, 8-0-1 in its previous nine road contests, carried a 2-1 advantage into the second period.
Matt Ambroz, playing in just his fifth game as an Oiler, used a combination of touch and timing to bring the Oilers back to even. At 12:21of the middle frame, Ambroz surprised Arizona defenseman Justin Pender by swooping in for a poke check directly in front of the Sundogs’ net. Pender lost possession and the puck slid past an unsuspecting Chris Rawlings to give Ambroz his first goal as an Oiler and provide a spark for the Tulsa offense. Ben Gordon wristed in his 26th goal of the season at 13:25 to put the Oilers back in front for good and then set up Adam Pleskach’s one-timer goal at 15:59 to give the home side a 4-2 cushion. After a power play blast from Matt McCready cut the Oilers advantage in half, Menei answered with a heavy slap-shot from the wing just 18 seconds later. For the second straight game the Oilers turned a first intermission deficit into a second intermission lead and entered the third period with a 5-3 edge.
Menei broke the game open at 5:35 of the third when he rifled a shot through Rawlings on the short side off a two-on-one Oilers rush. Less than a minute had ticked off the clock when Todd Robinson, back in the Tulsa lineup after missing six straight games due to injury, slid the puck through Rawlings legs to push the Oilers lead to 7-3. Drew Fisher roofed a shot over the glove of Rawlings a mere 32 seconds after Robinson’s tally and mercifully, Rawlings was pulled from the game after allowing eight goals on 20 shots. At 15:10 Menei capped off his hat-trick, Tulsa’s sixth hat-trick this season, by tucking a snap shot underneath the crossbar on the only shot Andrew Engelage would face in his relief effort.
The offensive explosion marks the second time this season the Oilers have scored nine goals in a single game (10-8 win at Allen onNovember 23). Menei finished with a five-point night (3 goals, 2 assists) while his linemate Ben Gordon chipped in four points (1 goal, 3 assists) and now has nine points in his last three games. Friday’s contest featured three fights including a lengthy brawl between a pair of heavyweights, Oilers defenseman Craig Cescon and Sundogs forward Riley Emmerson. Tulsa finished 1-for-6 on the power play and carried a 33-31 edge in penalty minutes.
With Tulsa Oilers team release
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