TULSA, Okla. – The curse of the Mavericks remains alive and well. In the fifth meeting of the season against Missouri on Friday night, the Tulsa Oilers lost for the fifth time. The Oilers were outscored 4-1 in the first period and were unable to erase the deficit in what finished as a 5-3 setback in front of 4,770 at the BOK Center.
With the Mavericks playing just five traditional defensemen and starting backup goaltender Erno Suomalainen, the Oilers pre-game optimism soon multiplied in the first period. Just over three minutes into the contest, rookie forward Adam Pleskach slapped a puck toward the Missouri net that bounced between the legs of Suomalainen to give the Oilers a 1-0 advantage. One goal on one shot created a confidence for the home side that was quickly erased by the Mavs.
Andrew Courtney jammed home a power play rebound at 5:32 to even the score and start a string of four unanswered Missouri goals. At 13:09 Colt King tapped in a pass from Sebastien Thinel and Anders Franzon’s breakaway tally at 14:17 extended the Mavericks lead to 3-1. Rob Kleebaum capped off the scoring spree with less than a minute remaining in the period when he rifled a shot over the glove of Shane Madolora for his ninth goal of the season. Missouri scored four times on 11 first period shots and carried a 4-1 lead into the second frame.
The Oilers closed the gap in the second period thanks to blast from the point off the stick of Nathan Lutz at the 11:56 mark. Tulsa outshot Missouri 8-6 in the period, but still trailed 4-2 heading into the third.
The Maverick’s two-goal lead held until the closing minutes when Oilers rookie Blair Macaulay squeezed a snap shot past the blocker of Suomalainen with only 67 seconds left in regulation. Tulsa had closed the gap to 4-3 but was unable to net the equalizer. John-Scott Dickson capped off the Mavs’ victory with an empty net goal at 19:55 as Missouri improved to 12-4-0 on the road and 3-0-0 at the BOK Center this season.
The Oilers mustered just 20 total shots on goal, a new season-low for a single game. Tulsa failed to take advantage of any of its three power play opportunities while Missouri ended the evening 1-for-3 on the man-advantage.
Tulsa has dropped back-to-back home games for the first time since early November and will return to action on Tuesday, January 21 at 7:05 p.m. to face the Wichita Thunder.
With Tulsa Oilers team release
Contact the photographer: email@example.com