The Tulsa Oilers defeated the Utah Grizzlies, 3-2, on Saturday night at Maverik Center before a sellout crowd of 10,649 for Guns N Hoses night.
“It was rocking here at the Maverik Center,” said head coach and General Manager Tim Branham. “We have to give a lot of thanks to our fans for coming out and supporting us. It was entertaining hockey, that's for sure. We have always had great support from our fans.”
More than $15,000 was raised in the team’s postgame jersey auction with all proceeds going to the University of Utah Burn Camp, Mascot Miracles Foundation and other first responders.
Utah led 1-0 and 2-1 before the Oilers scored two goals in 4:27 to erase their final deficit and take a 2-1 lead with 2:23 left in the second period.
“The second period cost us, that's for sure,” said Branham. “I think we outplayed them for 40 minutes. We held them to 15 shots, a season low. If you leave it to chance there in the third period, sometimes you are unable to put it in.”
The Grizzlies outshot Tulsa, 13-3, in the third period, but they were never able to tie the contest. Utah held an 18-shot advantage in the game at 33-15. Utah drew five of the seven power plays in the game.
"We have some really good pieces, that's for sure," said Branham. "I thought today's game if you look at all the stats you would say Utah won. That's why you need to play a full 60 minutes."
Jon Puskar gave Utah a 1-0 lead 9:49 into the first period on his 12th goal of the year as it came on Utah’s first power play from Chris Leibinger and Brendan Harms. The Grizzlies killed 1:21 of a five-on-three shorthanded situation to hold the lead before Tulsa scored through traffic with 3:16 left in the first period.
Mitch Hults (one) scored in transition as he fired a puck in with Austin Ortega and Brad Navin crashing the net as Sam Windle and Leibinger picked up assists. Taylor Richart hit a post on the power play as Utah looked to make it 3-1.
Sean Maguire stopped 12-of-15 in the loss for Utah.
The next Wild Wednesday is Wednesday, Jan. 31.