The Tulsa Oilers were silenced for 40 minutes on Thursday night but came alive in the third period to score four unanswered goals in a 4-2 triumph over the Allen Americans in front of 4,246 at the BOK Center.
The Oilers play in the first period looked exactly like their special Christmas sweater jerseys. Ugly. Tulsa floundered in its own zone and was pushed back on its heels for most of the opening frame. The Americans took advantage of a listless Oilers team with goals by Garrett Klotz and Phil Fox to build a 2-0 advantage after the first 20 minutes.
Despite being shutout in the second period, the Oilers righted the ship defensively and started to create more scoring opportunities. Tulsa outshot Allen 12-6 in the period and established momentum that carried over into the third.
Just 16 seconds into the final frame with four skaters aside, the Oilers were able to cash in on an Americans turnover. Ben Gordon held the puck at the Allen line and passed to Todd Robinson who found defenseman Nathan Lutz streaking toward the Allen net. Lutz snapped a shot past the blocker of Americans goalie Bryan Pitton to put the home side on the board and signal the beginning of the comeback. At 8:24, Drew Fisher's wrist shot was partially blocked but somehow fluttered over the head of Pitton and into the net for the game-tying goal. The score remained locked at 2-2 until 17:32 when Gordon put the Oilers on top for good. With the puck on his stick in the near face off circle and his face to the glass, Gordon turned and smacked a slap shot past the unsuspecting Pitton and into the upper corner. The Americans enjoyed a 6-on-4 advantage in the final minute of the contest but the Oilers blocked several shots before Robinson was able to cap off the victory with an empty net tally at 19:52.
The Oilers improved to 16-12-2 overall and 4-4-1 against the Americans this season. Allen dropped to 14-10-2 and suffered its first regulation defeat when holding a lead after two periods. Tulsa allowed 14 shots in the first period but only surrendered a total of 10 shots the rest of the way and outgunned the Americans 34-24 for the game. The Oilers outshot their opponent for the fourth straight game and fifth time in their last six outings.
Tulsa completes its holiday home stand at 7:35 p.m. on Friday night against the Wichita Thunder. The Oilers will wear ugly Christmas sweater jerseys for the second night in a row and will auction off the jerseys immediately following the game.