Oilers outlast Cutthroats in 4-3 shootout victory

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Updated: 1/29/2013 10:52 pm Published: 1/29/2013 10:48 pm

TULSA, OK - A pair of rookies, goaltender Shane Madolora and forward Drew Fisher, have become two of the most reliable Oilers of late. Nine days after his first professional hat trick, Fisher put on another all-around display. The International Falls, Minnesota native had three points in the first period, spearheading Tulsa to a 4-3 shootout victory Tuesday in the first ever meeting between the two franchises.

Madolora, who finished the night with 27 saves, was the savior in the shootout, turning back four out of five Denver attempts.

Ryan Menei had the game-winning goal for the Oilers in the shootout, his second score of the game, which gives him a total of 17 on the year.

What looked to be a comfortable win for the Oilers became a battle, as the Cutthroats battled back from a 3-1 third period deficit to force overtime.

Early on, Menei was wide open in front of the net when Fisher dropped off a nifty pass to put the Oilers ahead 1-0 with 14:15 left in the first period. The Cutthroats knotted the score 51 seconds later when A.J. Gale sent in a backhander for his 26th goal of the year.

Fisher scored the final two goals of the first period for the Oilers. The first was a tip-in off of a Ryan Barlock shot from the point and the second was a powerplay backhander with 4:41 remaining in the opening frame.

After a scoreless second period, the Cutthroats came roaring back in the third. Troy Schwab narrowed the Oilers lead with a goal 39 seconds into the final period and Denver tied the game at 3-3 with 6:44 remaining when Brad Smyth deflected the puck into the net.

Called upon to make a sterling stop on A.J. Gale in the final moments of overtime, Madolora saved his best for the shootout. With Gale barreling towards him once again, and the game on the line, the Oilers netminder slammed the door shut on the CHL's second-leading scorer to earn two points for the Oilers.

The Oilers had been outshot in six straight contests but they appeared poised to reverse that trend Tuesday night as they outgunned Denver 22-13 through the first two periods. However, Denver outshot Tulsa 17-5 over the final 25 minutes and ended up with a 30-29 edge in overall shots

The win gave the Oilers only their second home winning steak of the year, as Tulsa won its second straight game on home ice.

The Cutthroats’ recent struggles continued. In their current three game losing skid, Denver has been outscored 18-4. Tuesday night marked the final game of a 12 game road trip for the Cutthroats.

This is the first of a four-game homestand for the Oilers. Next up for Tulsa are the Missouri Mavericks at 7:35 p.m. Friday night at the BOK Center.

Story courtesy of Oilers media relations.

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