Article By Mike Iles/Photograph By Les Stockton
The Tulsa Junior Oilers returned to home ice for the first time in over a month to face the Dallas Snipers. Tulsa and Dallas started the weekend with 27 points, tied with the El Paso Rhinos for 4th place. The Junior Oilers also welcomed back a familiar face as Ivan Bukshevannyy rejoined the team after starting the season withSakhalinskiye Akuly in Russia where he had 2 goals, 9 assists, and 20 penalty minutes in 22 games.
The Junior Oilers started the scoring on Friday at 6:26 of the 1st period with Augusts Veidenbaums getting the goal with assists from Scott Coash, Jr. and Kyle Schnettler. That was the only goal of the 1st period and Tulsa led 1-0. Tulsa also scored the lone goal in the 2nd period at 6:24 with Sam Mancini scoring a power play goal and Michael Howard and Scott Coash, Jr. picking up the assists. The 2nd period closed with Tulsa up 2-0. Tulsa scored the first goal of the 3rd period at 4:10 with Mancini getting his second goal of the night after an assist from Luke Novack. The game then began to unravel. Dallas scored at 10:38 and 14:11, both on the power play. Dallas tied the game at 14:55 and then netted the game winner at 19:16 to win the game 4-3. Philip Babb had 24 saves in the loss.
Saturday’s game started off on the right foot for Tulsa. They scored at 11:01 of the 1st period with Ivan Bukshevannyy scoring on a 5 on 3 power play, getting assists from Sam Hiserodt and Sam Mancini. They scored early in the 2nd period at 1:13 with Luke Novack getting the goal with an assist from Augusts Veidenbaums. Dallas cut the lead in half at 11:26 of the 2nd period. on a power play goal. Tulsa took back the 2 goal lead at16:20 of the period with Bogdan Shleev getting the power play goal with assists from Sam Mancini and Sam Hiserodt. Dallas scored the lone goal of the 3rd period at 17:04 on a 5 on 3 power play. The Tulsa defense tightened up and no other goals were scored and the Junior Oilers won the game 3-2. Philip Babb was again between the pipes and had 28 saves for the win.
On Sunday, both teams were looking to win the game and the series and tempers were flaring. The two teams combined for 50 penalty minutes, which included 6 fighting major penalties called. Tulsa started the scoring at9:12 of the 1st period with Scott Coash, Jr. scoring with assists from Cooper DiBiase and Connor Rickabus. Dallas then scored 3 goals in the opening period at 10:28, 15:42, and 19:53. The 1st period came to a close with Dallas leading 3-1. Tulsa got a shorthanded unassisted goal from Scott Coash, Jr. at 3:19 of the second period. Dallas scored at 9:12 of the second period and the period came to a close with Dallas leading 4-2. Dallas scored the first goal of the 3rd period at 6:15 on the power play. Scott Coash, Jr. scored at 19:58 of the period unassisted and on the power play to complete the hat trick. It was Coash’s first hat trick in a Junior Oilers sweater. However, Dallas won the game 5-3. In the loss, Richard Albrecht had 7 saves and Reiker Edstrom had 16 saves.
The Junior Oilers are now in 5th place with 29 points. They trail 4th place Dallas by 2 points and 3rd place Springfield by 5 points. They are at home again this weekend to face Springfield. Friday’s game is at 6pm,Saturday at 6:30pm, and Sunday at 10:30am. All home games are played at Oilers Ice Center on Mingo Road in Tulsa and tickets are $10. You can follow all the Junior Oilers games home and away at FastHockey.com.
Around the WSHL
- Sam Mancini is now a member of the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League. The Tulsa Junior Oilers extend congratulations to Sam and wish him good luck.
- Maxim Chegrintcev is recovering from surgery he had over the Christmas break. He should be back in the lineup for the road trip to Dallas on January 22-24.
- The Colorado Eagles lead the entire league with 55 points (27-6-1) and also lead the Mountain Division. Other division leaders are:
- Western Division: Fresno Monsters 51 points (24-7-3)
- Northwest Division: Missoula Maulers 52 points (25-7-2)
- Mid-Western Division: Oklahoma City Blazers 54 points (27-4-0)
- Viktor Thim of the Casper Coyotes leads the league in points scored with 80 points. Maxim Chegrintcev leads Tulsa with 46 points.
- Erik Steinbacka of the Casper Coyotes and Jacob Haynes of the Fresno Monsters lead the league in goals scored with 33. Maxim Chegrintcev leads Tulsa with 31 goals.
- Mike Nolan of the Fresno Monsters leads the league in assists with 53. Sam Mancini currently leads Tulsa with 18 assists. With Mancini’s departure, Luke Novack and Bogdan Shleev are now the team leaders in assists with 16.