Oilers snap skid in Rapid City
RAPID CITY (KFAQ) Tulsa goaltender Shane Madolora made big saves early and often on Tuesday night and backstopped the Oilers to a 3-0 victory over the Rapid City Rush at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Madolora, who finished the night with 38 stops, recorded his second shutout of the season to help his team end a five-game losing streak.
Madolora's success started early as he robbed Rush forward Winston Day Chief with a glove save in the opening minute of the contest. The Rush controlled much of the play throughout the first period but Madolora turned aside 14 shots and the two sides completed 20 minutes without a goal.
Halfway through the second frame, the Oilers were able to break the scoreless stalemate. Veteran center Todd Robinson carried a puck down the right wing and slid a shot toward Rush rookie goalie Keaton Hartigan. The loose puck laid in front of the Rapid City crease and Drew Fisher slammed home the rebound to give the Oilers a 1-0 advantage.
Last time the Oilers carried a 1-0 lead into the third period, they surrendered three unanswered goals in a New Year's Eve loss to the Missouri Mavericks. However, on Tuesday, the Oilers defense clamped down and kept the Rush at bay to maintain their lead into the final minutes of regulation. Rush forward Matthew Larke tripped Michel Beausoleil at the 14:29 mark and the Oilers cashed in on their power play opportunity. Scott Macaulay wristed a shot through traffic and Ben Gordon stuffed the rebound into the net to provide the Oilers with a two-goal cushion. It was just the third power play goal for Tulsa in its last 32 chances and the 18th of the season for Gordon. Beausoleil connected with empty net with 52 seconds remaining to seal the victory for the visitors.
Tulsa ended a six-game road losing streak and won for just the third time in 13 trips to Rapid City. The Oilers concluded their season-long five-game road trip with a 1-4-0 record and moved back to .500 (17-17-2) for the season.