Oilers drop preseason game to Thunder

CREATED Oct 14, 2013

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WICHITA, KS (KFAQ) - In their lone preseason contest, the Tulsa Oilers dropped a 4-3 shootout decision to the Wichita Thunder on Saturday afternoon in front of 1,911 at the Wichita Ice Center.  Thunder forward Matt Summers netted the game-winner and was the only player from either club to convert his shootout attempt.

Less than five minutes into the game, in what is sure to be the first of many scraps between the Oilers and Thunder this season, Tulsa rookie Kyle Leahy squared off with Wichita forward Jared Walker.  Seven minutes later, the Oilers opened the scoring thanks to two players seeing their first professional ice time.  University of Connecticut product Evan Carriere, buried a feed from fellow rookie Mike Hartviksen at the 11:21 mark of the first frame.  Just 42 seconds after Carriere’s strike, Burke Gallimore responded with a goal for the Thunder and the rivals were deadlocked at 1-1 heading into the second period.

The home side took its first lead of the game late in the middle frame when Paul Kurceba tallied on the power play at 16:09 and the Thunder carried a 2-1 advantage into the third.  Before the second period expired, Tulsa rookie Brett Skalski traded punches with Thunder defenseman Garrett Gruenke in the second and final fight of the afternoon.
Second-year defenseman Ryan Barlock pulled the Oilers even at 5:55 of the third period and Tulsa regained the lead at the 12:15 mark when third-year winger Ryan Cramer found the back of the net.  
The visitors lead evaporated less than four minutes thanks to the second goal of the game from Gallimore.
 
A scoreless overtime period gave way to the shootout and each of the five Oilers shooters were denied by Thunder netminder John Griggs.
 
In goal for the Oilers, Ross MacKinnon turned aside 21 of the 22 shots he faced while Joey Perricone made five saves on seven shots.
 
The Oilers resume training camp on Monday morning and continue preparation for their season opener on Friday, October 18 in Denver.  Tulsa’s home opener is set for Saturday, October 26 at 7:35 p.m. against the Allen Americans.