For the second straight game, the Wichita Thunder found themselves trailing by three-goals, this time to the Tulsa Oilers. Also for the second straight contest the team mounted a rally, but this time they were able to fully comeback and tie the score, despite two outstanding goals by Louick Marcotte, as Wichita fell, 3-2. That was the team’s fourth loss in a row and gives them just one victory in their last 18 games (1-15-2).
The Tulsa Oilers dominated the first period, outshooting Wichita, 14-7, and it paid off with three goals. The first came at the 4:46 mark when Danick Paquette gained control of the puck near the left faceoff circle. He skated in a short distance and then fired a shot that beat Drew Owsley to make it 1-0. That was his 10th goal of the season.
Five minutes later the Oilers would extend their lead. Tyson Wilson took a shot that Owsley made a nice save on. Paquette gained control of the puck but could not get a shot off, so he took the puck and carried it behind the net. After moving to the other side, he fired a pass out in front to Adam Pleskach, who buried the puck in the net for his 11th goal of the season.
Just 1:31 later Tulsa extended their lead to three. Nolan Julseth-White fired a shot from the point that Darcy Murphy redirected in for his 17th goal of the season.
With the score 3-0, the Tulsa Oilers continued to pressure the Thunder, but Owsley kept them off the board. Tulsa would pepper the Wichita goalie for 18 more shots in the second period, but they could not get it past the rookie.
In the third, the Wichita Thunder came alive, thanks in large part to Louick Marcotte. At the 1:42 point of the third period, Marcotte got the Thunder right back into the game. Blake Tatchell passed the puck ahead to Marcotte who was in the slot and he blasted slap shot by Colin Stevens for his 11th goal of the year.
The Thunder continued to put pressure on but Stevens seemed to make save after save, as Wichita outshot Tulsa 18-3 in the third. Finally, with 1:04 left in the game and the Thunder with the extra attacker on the ice, Darryl Lloyd passed to Marcotte as he was entering the Tulsa end. He made a great move to get Stevens moving to his right, then pulled the puck back onto his forehand and tucked it into the net for his second goal of the game.
Sadly, that would be as close as Wichita would get. The Tulsa Oilers kept the puck out of their end for the final 64 seconds and won 3-2.
Louick Marcotte finished with 2-goals for the Wichita Thunder. Drew Owsley made 32-saves. Danick Paquette had a goal and an assist for the Tulsa Oilers.
These two team will meet again Saturday night. Game time is 7:05.
By Robert Pannier