ECHL Game Recap: Tulsa Oilers vs. Kansas City Mavericks | 02/28/2024

Photo by: Tulsa Oilers Official Facebook Page

TULSA, Okla.- The Tulsa Oilers hosted the division-and ECHL-leading Kansas City Mavericks Wednesday night at the BOK Center. 4,662 fans rocked the BOK, hoping to see a rare win against the Mavericks. The Mavericks, however, would take the victory 4-2. 

The teams have met five times this season, with the Mavericks coming out on top in four games. The Mavericks outscored the Oilers 16-7 in those five games. The Oilers hold third place in the Mountain Division and have a five-point lead over the Utah Grizzlies. They are 19 points out of second and 25 points away from the Mavericks. Oiler’s forward Blake McLaughlin entered the game on a five-game point streak and came off being named the Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week for February 19-25. Head coach Rob Murray elected to skate with 16 skaters for the game, one less from the maximum allowed. Forwards Davis Codd and Bair Gendunov were scratched, and Jimmy Lodge was inserted into the lineup. The Oilers Julian Junca started his 24th game in net, and Jack LaFontaine made his 14th start for the Mavericks.

The first period ended as it started, 0-0. Neither team generated sustained offense as they settled into conservative play, looking for cracks in the defense that could be exploited. Both teams combined for 15 shots on goal, eight for the Oilers and seven for the Mavericks.  

The second period would be markedly different. Mavericks Marc-Oliver Duquette would take the game’s first penalty nine seconds into the period for boarding. However, the Oilers would only generate one shot on goal with the man advantage. While on the penalty kill, Oilers forward Eddie Matsushima scored a shorthanded goal at 9:30 from a pass from Blake McLaughlin. Matsushima’s team-leading 21st goal and McLaughlin’s assist extended his points streak to six games. Oilers Tyler Poulsen would receive a five-minute cross-checking major penalty and a ten-minute game misconduct for the cross-check. The Mavericks would score twice with the five-minute man advantage. Cade Borchardt (13) and Jeremy McKenna (16) scored powerplay goals within 43 seconds of each other, giving the Mavericks a 2-1 lead at the end of the period. The Mavericks scored their two goals off five shots they generated in the second period.

Oilers Kyle Crnkovic (14) would tie the game at 7:53 when he fired the puck into an open net off a leg pad rebound. The tie would last until 12:40 when Jake Jaremko (12) would score off a rebound for the Mavericks. The Mavericks would get an insurance goal at 18:11 when Cole Coskey (19) scored with the Oilers’ goalie on the bench. The Mavericks would win the game 4-2 even though the Oilers doubled them up in shots on goal, 41-20.

The Oilers’ loss did little in the standings for either team. The loss, however, continues the Maverick’s dominance over the Oilers. The Oilers will need to find a way to better compete against the Mavericks if they hope to go deep into the playoffs. The Oilers will travel to Texas to play the Allen Americans on Friday before returning home to host the Kansas City Mavericks on Saturday and Sunday. These two games are the last time the two teams meet this season. These two games are also the last time the Oilers can fix their challenges against the top team in the ECHL.

On Friday, the Oilers travel to Allen, Texas, to play the Allen Americans in the Credit Union of Texas Event Center at 7:10 p.m.

James Slemp

I write for and photograph the Florida Everblades for ITR. I am a retiree that has turned my hobby of photography into a business. I currently live in Sarasota, Florida with my wife, Christy, but I'm originally from California. My previous career has taken me all over the US and the world and I definitely enjoy traveling. I've played hockey for over 30 years, learning as an adult, and love the game.

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