The Missouri Mavericks opened up an early lead on Tuesday night in Tulsa but could not sustain the momentum and dropped a 5-2 decision to the Oilers. The loss kicked off a stretch of four games in five days and moved the Mavericks’ record to 11-13-5 on the season.
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The Mavericks notched the first three shots of the game in 1:48 of play and used that early surge to grab a 1-0 lead. Tyler Elbrecht let a shot fly from the left point and it sailed past Tulsa goalie Colin Stevens. It was Elbrecht’s second goal in as many games (3rd of the season) and second of the season against Tulsa. Despite the early edge, the Mavericks could not make it stand up, and were out-shot by Tulsa 21-3 over the final 18:12 of the frame. Two of those Tulsa shots beat Mavericks goalie Josh Robinson as the Oilers nudged in front. Garrett Ladd tied the game with a power play goal at 11:47 and Danick Gauthier followed with an even strength marker at 15:06. Jacob Doty looked to inject some energy into the Missouri lineup by fighting Reid Halabi late in the first, but the Mavericks entered intermission down by one.
Play was more even between the Mavericks and Oilers for a majority of the second period, but a 47 second stretch allowed the home team to get a stranglehold on the game. Shawn Bates, who helped set up Ladd’s power play goal in the first, one-timed a pass from Ladd behind Robinson at 13:34 to lift the Oilers in front by a pair. On the next shift, Dmitri Ognev curled to the net from the right wing and slid the puck past Robinson one breath before Kevin Tansey leveled him with a check. The Mavericks had four power play opportunities in the second period but were unable to use them to cut into Tulsa’s advantage.
The Oilers took their collective foot off of the gas pedal in the third and managed just seven shots against Robinson, but the Mavericks were never able to cut into the lead. Tulsa, in fact, converted a Mavericks turnover into a breakaway goal, and a 5-1 lead, at 14:01 of the third. Ladd scooped up the loose puck at center and raced ahead to net his second goal of the game. Missouri dented the deficit at 16:41 when Lukas Lofquist took a pass in the slot from Matt Finn and beat Stevens high to the blocker side for his eighth of the season.
Robinson earned 41 saves on the night for the Mavericks while they went 0-for-6 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendar! The Mavericks return home on Wednesday, Dec. 28 at 7:05 p.m. to face the Utah Grizzlies.