The Tulsa Oilers saw their four-game point streak come to an end on Friday night in a 4-2 loss to the Florida Everblades in front of 4,755 at Germain Arena. Everblades forward Mitch Wahl dished out four assists as Florida earned a split of the season series against the Oilers.
The Oilers never trailed in Wednesday's win over the Everblades but found themselves down early on Friday. At the 12:17 mark of the first frame, Florida forward Mitch Wahl found Cameron Burt cutting toward the net and the talented Everblades' defenseman was able to chip a shot over the glove shoulder of Tulsa goalie Kevin Carr to give the home side a 1-0 edge. Less than three minutes later, Chris Kushneriuk, who tallied his first pro hat-trick against the Oilers on Wednesday, found the back of the net for the fourth time in four periods. Kushneriuk dragged the puck across the top of the Tulsa crease and fired over a sprawling Carr for his 8th goal of the season and a 2-0 Florida lead. The Oilers were able to shift the momentum at 17:42 of the first period thanks to an outstanding individual effort from Charles Lachance. After receiving a stretch pass from Jake Obermeyer at the Florida blue line, Lachance muscles his way down the slot and flipped a shot over Andy Iles. The Oilers fired only six shots on net in the first period but trailed by just a single goal heading into the first intermission.
Florida native Bobby Preece dialed up a long-range slap shot at 13:18 of the second period to restore the Everblades' two-goal advantage. The first strike of the season from the Everblades' blue-liner was the only goal of the middle frame and Florida carried its 3-1 lead into the third.
The Oilers had a 5-on-3 power play to begin the third period but were unable to put a single shot on net and finished the night 0-for-2 on the man advantage. With Tulsa winger T.J. Caig in the penalty box for slashing, Wahl notched his fourth assist of the contest with a pass from circle-to-circle that was blasted into the net by Adam Brace. The Oilers narrowed the deficit back down to two goals just 35 seconds later thanks to a deflection off the stick of Kyle Bochek, but Tulsa was unable to muster more of a comeback. Bochek, playing in just his second game since November, recorded his first goal of the season and was the only Oiler to finish the night with multiple points (1 goal, 1 assist).
In a battle of rookie goaltenders, Iles made 18 saves on 20 shots while Carr blocked 22 of the 26 shots he faced. The Oilers conclude their three-game Florida swing with a battle against the Orlando Solar Bears on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. (EST).