One night after squandering nine powerplay opportunities, the Tulsa Oilers special teams made the difference in a 3-2 win over the Missouri Mavericks in front of 3,499 at the BOK Center.
Missouri's Jeff Pierce opened the scoring just 54 seconds into the game, but the Oilers answered on their very first powerplay chance of the evening. Ben Gordon's blast was tipped in by Mike Ullrich to tie the game at 1-1 at the 9:22 mark of the first period. It was Ullrich's first goal since re-signing with the Oilers last week and the second year center wasn't done firing up the home crowd.
Two minutes after his goal, Ullrich dropped the gloves with Missouri forward Andrew Courtney in a tussle that saw both men throw, and land big punches.
Tulsa took it's first lead of the contest when Gary Steffes slipped a pass across the Missouri crease to a waiting Michel Beausoleil who needed only to tap the puck into an open net. Beausoleil continued his torrid early season scoring pace and leads the Oilers in goals (9), points (16), and plus/minus rating (+10). With two minutes left in the period, Mavs center Trevor Kell took advantage of an Oilers turnover and beat Ian Keserich to level the game at 2-2.
Back on the powerplay six minutes into the second period, Gordon, leading the Oilers in shots on goal coming into the night, unleashed a heavy slap shot from the high slot that split two defenders and beat Mathieu Corbeil to the blocker side.
For Gordon, it was goal number seven on the season and his fourth tally on the powerplay. The left winger finished the night with a goal and two assists and has scored at least one point in ten of the Oilers twelve games this season.
Thanks to several stellar stops by Keserich, the Oilers survived three Mavericks powerplays in the third period and held on for a 3-2 victory. Keserich, who picked up his first shutout of the season on Saturday in Fort Worth, turned aside 32 shots to earn his fourth win of the season.
With its third win in the last four games, Tulsa improved to 6-5-1 overall and 3-1-1 on home ice. The Oilers are back in action on Friday, November 16 at 7:35 p.m. when they'll host the Bloomington Blaze.