Durny Stymies Thunder as Oilers Win Late, 2-1
It was a classic goaltending duel in Wichita on Wednesday evening. Tulsa Oilers netminder Roman Durny and Wichita Thunder goaltender Evan Weninger were locked in a great battle that saw both goaltenders allow a single goal through the nearly 49 minutes. However, Garrret Cockerill broke the duel with his fourth goal of the year just before the nine-minute mark of the third to win it for the Oilers. Durny stopped 26 shots while Weninger finished with 35 saves.
Tulsa drew first blood, scoring 4:36 into the contest. Ian McNulty fired a shot from the point that Weninger saved, but the puck was loose just outside the crease and the Thunder goalie was unable to reach it through a pile of bodies. That allowed Matt Lane to speed in, roofing the puck inside the top corner for his second tally of the year.
It looked like Wichita would get that goal back a little over a minute later. Anthony Beauregard had the puck along the boards in the Tulsa end. He fired a perfect pass into the slot where Spencer Dorowicz was crashed the net. Dorowicz made a perfect redirect toward the far post, but Durny was able to quickly flash out his glove to make the save.
At 13:43, the Thunder did tie the score. Brayden Watts carried the puck into the Tulsa end, passing it back to Dorowicz. Dorowicz fed it back to Watts who was just a few feet from the goal. He was able to muster the puck past Durny for his third goal of the season to tie the score at one.
Tulsa had dominated Wichita in the first, outshooting the Thunder, 17-9. However, the game was tied coming out of the first intermission.
Wichita looked like they took the lead at the one-minute mark of the second when Jay Dickman knocked in a loose puck, but the goal was overturned when the referee ruled that there was goaltender interference.
The score remained tied entering the second as the Oilers stepped up play. They outshot Wichita 10-6, and were able to take the lead at the 8:57 mark when a bad break gave the Oilers the lead. With Tulsa on the power play, Cockerill had the puck at the point. He was looking to make a backdoor pass, but the puck hit off Alex Peters’ skate and in, putting the Oilers back on top.
The Oilers clamped down on the Thunder from there. Wichita was unable to record a single shot in the final 5:30. Tulsa outshot Wichita, 37-27. They capitalized on one of their two power play opportunities while the Thunder were 0-4.
Wichita (20-7-4) takes on Tulsa (13-14-3) again on Friday. The puck drops at 7:05.
By Robert Pannier