Williams, Oilers Silence Thunder, 4-1; Thunder Drop Fourth Straight
The Wichita Thunder ended their 10-game homestand with a disappointing loss to the Tulsa Oilers on Saturday, 4-1. Tulsa dominated play, outshooting Wichita 40-25 in helping lead them to four unanswered goals before Wichita finally got on the scoreboard. Devin Williams was spectacular in net for Tulsa, stopping 24 of 25 shots. Matt Lane continued to be a thorn in the side of the Thunder, scoring a goal and adding an assist.
Tulsa took the lead, 4:09 into the contest. Charlie Sampair passed the puck along the boards to Danny Moynihan, who was standing just above the goal line. He fired a bad angle shot that somehow went over the shoulder of Wichita netminder Alex Sakellaropoulos and in for his 15th goal of the year.
A little less than five minutes later, the Oilers were back on the board. Ian McNulty fired a shot from the point that Lane tipped past Sakellaropoulos. For Lane, it was his fifth goal of the year.
Tulsa had outshot Wichita in the first, 10-6. The Thunder were looking to try to gain some momentum in the second, but a wild period helped the Oilers to extend their lead to four. Tulsa fired 21 shots on Sakellaropoulos, adding two more goals.
The first came at 13:35. With the Oilers on the power-play, Lane fired a shot from the point that was knocked down in front. However, the puck came right to Justin Taylor who blasted it in for his fourth goal of the year.
With just 47 seconds left in the second, Tulsa extended their lead to four. Tyler Kobryn fired a shot that Sakellaropoulos saved, but Greg Burmaster battled through a Wichita defender, knocking in the rebound for his fifth tally of the year.
The Thunder were being dominated in every way. They seemed to step behind Tulsa all evening, as the Oilers were peppering Sakellaropoulos.
Finally, at 13:54 of the third period, Wichita finally got on the scoreboard. With the Thunder on the power-play, Anthony Beauregard passed the puck to the point to Patrik Parkkonen, who fed it to Austin McIlmurray. McIlmurray teed it up, blasting a one-timer by Williams for his fourth tally of the year. That cut the deficit to three, but Wichita would get no closer.
A night after scoring the winning goal in overtime, Lane added a goal and an assist. That gives him five points over his last two games against the Thunder. Despite taking the loss, Sakellaropoulos performed quite well, stopping 36 of 40 shots.
The Thunder jump back in action on Sunday when they travel to Tulsa to take on the Oilers. The puck drops at 4:00.
By Robert Pannier