TULSA, Okla. – Adam Pleskach doesn’t just score goals, he scores goals in bunches. The Oilers’ rookie forward recorded his second hat-trick of the season on Friday night to help Tulsa cruise past the Quad City Mallards for a 5-2 victory in front of 7,846 at the BOK Center. The Oilers largest crowd of the season witnessed the home team win its fifth-straight game in its own barn and bring an end to a brief two-game losing skid.
Seven minutes into the first period, Tulsa center Kyle Bochek put his team in front with a spectacular individual effort. The CHL’s penalty-minute leader darted around Mallards’ defenseman Darren McMillan and snapped a shot off the left pad of Quad City goalie, Ty Rimmer. Bochek followed his shot and swatted home the rebound with his backhand to give the Oilers an early 1-0 lead.
Quad City found a quick answer off the stick of Gabriel Levesque just over a minute after the tally by Bochek. The 5-foot-6 Levesque received a pass from Gergo Nagy and walked across the Oilers crease before shoveling a backhand past the glove of Tulsa netminder Shane Madolora. Levesque’s sixth goal of the season leveled the game at 1-1 heading into the second period.
Pleskach jammed in his 17th goal of the season on an Oilers power play at the 6:50 mark of the middle frame to give his squad a 2-1 edge. With only 14 seconds remaining in the period, Pleskach, part of a 3-on-2 rush with Drew Fisher and Ryan Cramer, settled down a loose puck and ripped a wrist shot to the short side of Rimmer for his second score of the evening.
The hat-trick was completed at 2:17 of the third period after a face off win by Ryan Cramer pushed the puck into the slot for the waiting stick of Pleskach. The Manitoba native flicked a snap shot over the glove-hand shoulder of Rimmer for his third-straight goal and a 4-1 Oilers lead.
Pleskach, who leads all CHL rookies with 19 goals and is only two goals shy of league-leader Garrett Bembridge of Denver, has five multi-goal games this season and eight multi-point games.
The Mallards cut the Oilers lead to 4-2 off a goal from McMillan at10:59 but Tulsa forward Michel Beausoleil eliminated any chance of a Quad City comeback with an empty net tally in the final minute of regulation.
The Oilers penalty kill successfully erased all seven of Quad City’s power play opportunities including a full, two-minute 5-on-3 advantage with under five minutes left in the contest.
Forwards Ben Gordon and Ryan Cramer each chipped in two assists for the Oilers who have not lost on home ice in more than a month.
Tulsa continues its four-game holiday home stand on Saturday night at 7:35 p.m. against the Missouri Mavericks on Teddy Bear Toss Night at the BOK Center.
With Tulsa Oilers team release
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