TULSA, Okla. – Good things come to those who wait and Oilers winger Matt Gingera had done his share of waiting so far this season.
The only Oilers forward without a goal to his credit through the first eight games of the 2012-13 season, Gingera scored the game winner in the third period of Tulsa’s narrow 2-1 victory over Rapid City on Wednesday night at the BOK Center.
The Oilers welcomed back center Mike Ullrich who spent the first five games of the season playing for South Carolina in the ECHL. It only took Ullrich a few shifts into the first period to make an impact when his rebound was put into the net by new line mate Ben Gordon. For Ullrich, it was his first assist back in a Tulsa jersey and for Gordon, the goal extended his point streak to a CHL-high nine games.
With a 1-0 lead and a power play in the second period, the Oilers watched helplessly as Rapid City forward Jarrett Konkle intercepted a pass across the blue line and raced all alone down the ice. Konkle beat Tulsa netminder Dan Bakala for a short-handed goal at 5:46 to even the score. Tulsa, 0-for-5 on the power play for the evening, failed to capitalize on four man-advantage chances in the second period.
But Gingera made it all irrelevant at 13:15 of the third. With Michel Beausoleil possessing the puck behind the Rush net, Gingera parked himself in the slot and one timed a Beausoleil pass past Rapid City goalie Tim Boron.
“What a huge goal for Matt at this stage of his career
,” Oilers Head Coach Bruce Ramsay said. “He works so hard in practice, he’s a good hockey player, and it was a big moment for him and our whole team.”
It was Gingera’s first goal as an Oiler and it couldn’t have come at a bigger moment. The Oilers, who had to weather a late Rapid City power play, held on over the final six minutes to earn the two points and stop a three-game losing skid.
Bakala picked up his second win of the season by stopping 27 of the 28 shots he faced. Despite being out shot for the seventh time in nine games, Tulsa improved to 4-4-1 while Rapid City fell to 4-3-0.
The Oilers are back in action tonight at 7:05 pm when they pay a visit to the Fort Worth Brahmas. The following images were recorded at the BOK Center on Wednesday evening.Contact the photographer at email@example.com Follow us on Twitter @prohockeynews