Road curse continues for Oilers


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Updated: 12/21/2012 10:35 pm Published: 12/21/2012 10:31 pm


MOLINE, IL - For the sixth time in the last seven games, the Tulsa Oilers surrendered five goals and dropped a 5-4 Central Hockey League decision to the Quad City Mallards on Friday night. The Oilers have lost seven straight games and haven't won a road game in their last eight attempts.

After a scoreless first period, the Mallards offense dominated the first half of the middle frame. Matt Boyd, Mickey Lang, and Obi Aduba each lit the lamp to give Quad City a 3-0 advantage just eight and a half minutes into the period. The Oilers were able to respond with three unanswered goals of their own. Gary Steffes batted a rebound out of mid-air to put Tulsa on the board and Mike Ullrich followed just 36 seconds later when he single-handedly won a face off and flipped the puck past Mallards goalie John Murray. The tremendous individual effort from Ullrich pulled Tulsa back within one with 9:40 remaining in the period. In the final minute of the second, the Oilers top line of Steffes, Ryan Menei, and Ben Gordon combined for a potent forechecking effort that resulted in a rebound tally by Menei with only 11 seconds remaining on the clock.

The Oilers carried all the momentum into the locker room but couldn't sustain their high level in the third period. Shane Toporowski's wrap-around goal made it a 4-3 Mallards lead which was promptly extended when Lang blasted home his second goal of the game with a powerplay one-timer. Oilers defenseman Drew Fisher brought his team back within striking distance when his wrist shot deflected off of Murray's glove and into the net, but the Oilers were unable to complete their second comeback of the night.

Bakala, returning to the Oilers lineup after being waived in late November, made 33 saves on 38 shots. Forward Drew Akins also returned to the Oilers lineup and newly acquired defenseman, Ryan Barlock made his Oilers debut.

The Oilers, who mustered only four shots on goal in the third period, have been outshot in 10 of their last 11 games.

Tulsa and Quad City are right back at it on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. for the second game of this back-to-back weekend series.

Story courtesy of Oilers media relations.

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