Oilers Open Playoffs With Loss

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:18 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Mar 31, 2011 9:0 PM CDT

Keith Leventhal
Oklahoma Sports Mobile Journalist

TULSA, Oklahoma – The last time the Tulsa Oilers played a playoff game was April 2, 2005. The Oilers lost that game to Colorado 7-4 and were eliminated from the postseason.

Six years later, the Oilers are finally back in the playoffs. Tulsa is the 3rd seed in the Berry Conference and that means they have home-ice advantage in their first round playoff series. On Thursday night, the Oilers opened their first playoff series since 2005 as they hosted Mississippi.

Unfortunately, the Oilers showed a little playoff rust early on. It didn’t take long for the RiverKings to strike as they scored just 37 seconds into the game. Tulsa did respond 9 minutes later as Michel Beausoleil scored his first goal of the postseason to tie the game at 1. But then, Mississippi really heated up. Louis Dumont and Chris Richards each added a goal in the first. And at the end of one period, the RiverKings were up 3-1.

Things weren’t going much better for the Oilers in the 2nd period. Patrik Levesque scored early in the 2nd to stretch the lead to 4-1. Fortunately, late in the period, the Oilers had a 5-on-3 power play and capitalized. Derek Eastman scored late in the 2nd to trim the lead to 4-2 after 2 periods.

However, that was as close as the Oilers would get. Mississippi would score 3 more goals in a 3 minute span in the middle of the 3rd period. Bates Battaglia did score for Tulsa in the final few minutes of the game. But when it was all said and done, the Oilers dropped game 1 of their series, falling to the RiverKings 7-3.

Mississippi now leads the best-of-5 series 1-0. Game 2 will be on Friday at the BOK Center at 7:35 PM. Game 3 will be in Mississippi on Sunday evening. If needed, the RiverKings would host game 4 on Tuesday night. And if it does go all the way to a 5th game, that would be back in Tulsa on Saturday, April 9.