This win for huge, not only because the gap between the Oilers & Killer Bees is now at 5 points for the 4th & Final Playoff Spot, but also they were also able to jump ahead of the Texas Brahmas for 3rd as both teams are now tied for 3rd Place by having 1 more win (21 for Tulsa, 20 for Texas) in 1 fewer game over the course of the season.
The Oilers will now hope that the Laredo Bucks beat the Texas Brahmas tonight to keep it that way as the Bucks & Brahmas play each other tonight at 7:00 PM. Tulsa's next game will see them head to Dallas play the Allen Americans on both Friday & Saturday. RGV on the other hand will be at home to play the Wichita Thunder on Friday & the Texas Brahmas on Saturday coming up this weekend.
RGV VS. Tulsa Game Story on the Central Hockey League Website
From Tulsa, Oklahoma: With Critical points on the line, the Oilers rose to the occasion and fought off a feisty Rio Grande Valley squad to post a 5-4 victory in front of 3,633 fans at the BOK Center.
The Bees set a tone for a wild first period when Dan Gendur scored just 36 seconds into the proceedings. Dylan Clark answered right back for Tulsa, but Zac Pearson put Rio Grande Valley back in front with a shorthanded marker at 12:16. The Killer Bees pushed pushed the lead to 3-1 on Gendur's second of the game at 17:59. Unphased, the Oilers bounced back with a pair of goals by Gary Steffes and Sean Erickson in the span of 35 seconds. The squads went into the first intermission after an opening of 20 minutes that featured six goals on 21 shots.
In the final minute of the second period, the Oilers took their first lead of the night when Scott Balan inadvertently tapped the puck into his own net on a Tulsa Power Play. The home team's lead lasted all of 14 seconds. Gendur's snapped a shot past Ian Keserich with nine seconds left in the period to complete the hat trick and pull the Bees even at four apiece.
Tulsa put together a couple strong shifts early in the third and hard work paid off. Michel Beausoleil sent a backhand through the legs of Bees netminder Wylie Rogers to put the Oilers in front for good. Keserich made 11 of his 24 saves in the third to preserve the win, the Oilers sixth one-goal decision in the last seven games.
Four Oilers, Mike Ullrich, Jeff Terminesi, Steffes, and Erickson, finished with multiple points as Tulsa won back-to-back for the first time since December 27. With points in six games, the Oilers have tied their longest point streak of the season.
Tulsa returns to action Friday & Saturday for a pair of games against Allen.