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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Tulsa Topples Colorado, 5-1

LOVELAND, Colo. – The Tulsa Oilers handily defeated the Colorado Eagles, 5-1, on the strength of strong team defense and Ian Keserich’s 35 saves. The Eagles suffered from a mistake-ridden game, falling out of their first place tie in the Turner Conference with Rapid City’s win.

The Eagles got out to a strong start, netting the game’s first goal at 2:16 when Brett Thurston was able to knock home a loose puck after Keserich had turned away Riley Nelson and Kevin Ulanski from in close. But it was all Oilers after that — for the remainder of the period and the game. Tulsa controlled much of the rest of the frame, out-shooting Colorado 16-9 and taking a 2-1 lead.

Tulsa tied the game at 1 at 6:43 when Jack Combs circled behind the net and fed Michel Beausoleil who was crashing the crease for an uncontested shot past Andrew Penner. Then, with just over two minutes left in the period, the Oilers broke into the Eagles’ zone with a 3-on-2, odd-man rush. Jason Beatty whiffed on a big hit, turning the rush into a 2-on-1 that led to a Sean Erickson goal.

The Oilers added three more goals in the second period as Colorado continued to make mistakes that ended up in the back of their net. At 7:54, Tulsa capped off an extended shift in Colorado’s zone — with the Eagles scrambling — when the puck found its way to Gary Steffes in the slot for another uncontested shot past Penner.

The Eagles had a similar shift in Tulsa’s zone five minutes later, but it backfired when the Oilers gained possession and transitioned into a 4-on-2 break that led to Braden Walls backhanding a shot from the low slot to make it 4-1. And with just over a minute left in the second stanza, Anthony Battaglia snapped a shot into the twine from the right circle for a power-play marker that made it 5-1 heading into the second intermission.

The third period was Colorado’s best (they out-shot Tulsa 15-3), but they still couldn’t get a puck past Keserich and the Oilers’ defense.

Colorado’s next game will come Tuesday night in Rapid City in a battle for first place in the Turner Conference.

Photo by Mary Jane Watkins
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