WICHITA, KS — Three first period goals and three-point performances from DarikAngeli and Christophe Lalancette helped the Oilers defeat the Wichita Thunder 4-3 at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas Wednesday night.
Tulsa dominated the opening frame from start to finish. Forward Shawn Batesopened the scoring 8:30 into the game after Chris Joyaux’s forecheck forced a Thunder turnover. Bates snuck a shot under Greenham’s pads from the lip of the crease to give the Oilers a lead they would never relinquish. Oilers’ forward Darik Angeli scored just a few minutes later when he and Adam Pleskach found themselves on a two-on-zero. Pleskach carried the puck behind the Thunder defense before sliding a last-second pass to Angeli, who put the puck in the back of the net. Lalancette picked up the second assist. Pleskach, Angeli and Lalancette’s line would find the back of the net again at the 17:04 mark of the period, when Lalancette banked the puck off a Wichita player’s skate and past Greenham. Defenseman Tyson Wilson and Pleskach picked up the helpers.
Wichita’s Gabriel Gagne scored the only goal in the period when he back-handed a loose puck through Phillips’ five hole. Gagne’s goal came on the power play and was assisted by Landon Oslanski and Alexis Losieau.
Angeli would grab the momentum early in the third period when he scored his second goal of the game just 24 seconds into the final frame. Angeli buried a rebound created by defenseman Wes Cunningham seconds after Angeli’s initial attempt was waved off. Lalancette had the second assist. Wichita wouldn’t go away easily as Loiseau scored his 11th goal of the season 16:30 into the third period. Thunder forward Blake Tatchell scored just over a minute later to bring the game down to the wire, but Wichita’s comeback effort would not be enough to defeat the Oilers.
Tulsa’s victory gives them a 3-1 lead in the Stone Wolf Casino Cup series. The Thunder and Oilers will play 10 more times before the season’s end and twice more before the end of the week. The Oilers will have Thanksgiving off before returning to Intrust Bank Arena Friday for a rematch against the Thunder. Both teams will then travel to the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma for a Saturday matchup. Both Friday and Saturday’s game will start at 7:05 p.m.