Doremus Propels Oilers Past Thunder, 5-2
TULSA, OK – Jack Doremus had a huge night, scoring a goal and adding four assists to help lead the Tulsa Oilers past the Wichita Thunder, 5-2 on Sunday afternoon. Tulsa dominated this game from the start, scoring four unanswered goals within the first 36 minutes before coasting to the victory.
It was a tough night for Thunder goaltender Evan Buitenhuis, as Tulsa continuously found a player streaking toward the far post for the redirect. That started 5:46 into the contest when Darren McCormick fired a shot that was knocked down in front, but redirected right to Alex Gilmour. Gilmour blasted a slapshot that Buitenhuis saved, but he regained the rebound, slapping it in for his sixth goal of the year.
Tulsa held onto the one goal lead into the first intermission, but extended their lead to four with three goals to start the second period. The first came at 3:42 when Trey Phillips made a great pass across the slot to Dylan Sadowy, who had gotten past the Wichita defenseman, redirecting the backhander just inside the right post for his 10th goal.
A little over four minutes later, the Oilers were back on the scoreboard. Doremus led a 2-on-1 break out of his own end through the neutral zone and into the Wichita end. He then made a pass across the slot to Logan Coomes, who fired a wrist shot over the top of Buitenhuis for his sixth goal of the year. That was the third assist of the contest for Doremus.
At the 16:11 mark, the lead became four. The Oilers forecheck was doing a great job of keeping the puck in the Thunder zone. Doremus fired a shot on net that was knocked down by Buitenhuis, but McCormick picked up the rebound, moving across the crease before firing a shot that Buitenhuis was able to save once again. However, no one kept Phillips from gaining control of the rebound, putting it past Buitenhuis for his first goal of the season.
The Thunder were down, but clearly not out. They cut the deficit in half with a pair of goals in the final three minutes of the frame. The first came at 17:05 when Jay Dickman intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and led a 3-on-2 break into the Tulsa end. As he got about 10 feet from the net, he used the Oilers defenseman as a shield, firing a wrist shot that beat Ryan Ruck to the glove side for his sixth goal of the year.
With 35 seconds left in the period, Wichita added a power-play goal. Dean Stewart got the play started when he was able to keep the puck inside the Tulsa zone. Stewart dished it down the boards to Cam Clarke, who pass the puck down behind the net to Dickman. The Wichita forward waited for Brayden Watts to move into the slot, then passed it out in front where Watts buried the one-timer for his fifth goal of the year.
The Thunder were back in the game, but Tulsa squashed any hopes of a dramatic comeback, scoring with one second left in the second to take a 5-2 lead. Doremus made a great play, taking the puck from just above the right face-off circle, swooping around the net before using his long reach to tuck the puck in on the wraparound for his seventh goal of the season.
Neither team could light the lamp in the third period, as Tulsa came away with the 5-2 victory. Dickman finished with a goal and an assist for Wichita. Besides the five-point performance by Doremus, Coomes and Phillips each had a goal and an assist and McCormick had two assists. Ruck stopped 31 of 33 shots.
Wichita (10-6-1) returns home to begin a three-game series with the Allen Americans (5-8-3) beginning on Thursday. The puck drops at 7:05.
By Robert Pannier