The Wichita Thunder jumped out to a two goal lead less than five minutes into Saturday night’s game, only to see it vaporize as the Tulsa Oilers battled back twice in this contest on their way to a 6-5 victory. Stephen Perfetto and Alex Dostie helped lead the comeback, with each player netting two goals and an assist. That ruined a great night for Calder Brooks, who scored two goals for the Thunder.
The Wichita Thunder grabbed the lead early in front of a huge crowd. Just 1:01 into the contest, Stefan Fournier entered the Tulsa end on a 2-on-1. He passed the puck to Calder Brooks, who buried a wrist shot high over the shoulder of Oilers goaltender Devin Williams to make it 1-0. That was the second goal of the season for Brooks.
Three minutes later the Thunder would find themselves on the power-play and they would capitalize at 4:34 of the first. Corey Kalik’s shot was saved, but Pierre-Cedric Labrie put the rebound right back in for his 18th goal of the year.
The Tulsa Oilers looked like they were going to get blown out, but they got themselves back into the contest, taking advantage of a power-play opportunity. At 9:31, just six seconds into the power-play, Chris Forney fired the puck toward the net, where Stephen Perfetto would tip it in for his fourth goal of the year.
With 6:48 left in the period, the Oilers would tie the score. Eric Drapluk passed the puck to the right faceoff circle where Ryan Tesink corralled it and began moving across the slot. He passed the puck down low to Stephen Perfetto near the goal line to the side of the goal. Perfetto took a very bad angle shot that somehow beat Wichita goaltender Devin from a bad angle for his second goal of the game.
The Oilers remained on a roll, taking the lead at the 16:29 mark. Adam Pleskach’s shot was saved, but Alex Dostie put the puck back in for his first goal of the year. The second power-play goal of the game for the Oilers gave the team a 3-2 lead.
The Wichita Thunder were looking shell-shocked, but they would turn things around in short order, scoring two goals in the span of 25 seconds. The first goal came at 18:34 when Mark MacMillan passed the puck out from the corner to Corey Kalik as he swept across the net. He put the backhand up high and in for his 12th goal of the season, tying the score at three.
Just 25 seconds later, Lane Bauer passed the puck out from the other corner in the Oilers end to Brooks who was swooping down the slot. Brooks moved in about 15 feet from the net, then fired the puck over the shoulder of Williams for his second goal of the game, putting the Thunder back on top.
The Thunder clung to their 4-3 lead through the first 14 minutes of the second period, but with 5:43 left in the second frame, Tulsa would tie the score at four. It would be Dostie again, taking a pass from Pleskach and beating Buffalo for his second goal of the game.
The Oilers had the opportunity to jump back in front when they would go on the power-play, but it would be the Wichita Thunders that would take advantage of the opportunity. With 4:35 left in the period, Ryan Van Stralen fed the puck ahead to Jakob Stukel. He moved in, beating Williams with the backhand for the short-handed goal to put the Thunder back on top.
The joy lasted just three minutes, however, before Tulsa was back on top. With 1:17 left in the frame, Steven Kaunisto passed the puck from behind the Thunder net to Charlie Sampair in front, who blasted the one-timer in to tie the score at five. It was the 18th goal of the year for Sampair.
Forty seconds later, the Tulsa Oilers would get back on top. Using the exact same play, Jared Thomas passed the puck out from behind the net to a wide-open Adam Pieskach in the slot, who blasted the one-timer home for his 34th goal of the year.
Surprisingly, after 11 goals were scored through the first two periods, neither team would find the back of the net in the third. Wichita pulled their goaltender with a little over a minute left in the contest, but could not get the equalizer, falling 6-5.
Calder Brooks finished with 2 goals and Marc-Olivier Crevier-Morin had 2 assists for the Wichita Thunder. Thirteen different players had at least one point for the Thunder. For the Tulsa Oilers, Alex Dostie and Stephen Perfetto each had 2 goals and an assist. Adam Pleshkach had a goal and 2 assists.
The Wichita Thunder look to snap their three game skid (0-2-1) tomorrow afternoon when they take on the Tulsa Oilers again. The game is set to begin at 4:05.
By Robert Pannier