Saturday, November 7, 2009

Insider Preview: Tulsa Oilers at Texas Brahmas

First of six games this season to be played tonight at NYTEX

The Tulsa Oilers, with their lumbering defensive corps, make the trip to the NYTEX Sports Center to take on the Texas Brahmas tonight.

The Oilers, under head coach Bruce Ramsay are another team that has seen a turnaround from last season's misery. Off to a 4-2-0 start, they are in third place in the Northern Conference behind the Mississippi RiverKings and the Colorado Eagles. Not bad company to keep considering last season, the Oilers finished with the least wins in the league with a 18-38-8 record.

They are coming off a 4-0 win over the Allen Americans on Tuesday which included a three goal first period.

The Oilers are led by center Rob Hisey, who played last season in Germany for the Hannover Indians (where Jordan Cameron began his season) where he put up 58 points (19 G, 39 A) in 34 games. Not only the Oilers leading scorer, Hisey is second in the league among all players with 14 points (8 G, 6 A, +8).

Other Tulsa threats include right wing TJ Caig (2 G, 6 A, +8) and left wing Michel Beausoleil (2 G, 4 A, +4). Derek Eastman leads defensive scorers (1 G, 3 A, +8) and is second in penalty minutes (22 PIM) to guess who? That's right, Rick Kozak (36 PIM), who is well known around these parts.

On special teams, they are 10th in the league with a 12.20% power play percentage and sixth in the league with an 86.11% penalty kill. Tulsa is tied with the Brahmas with three short-handed goals.

Kevin Armstrong (4-2-0) is expected in net for the Oilers. Armstrong has a 3.19 GAA (12th) and a .889 save percentage (15th). Brett Jaeger has been activated from suspension. I'm not sure if Fonger will start Jaegs or keep Palmer in net tonight.

Defenseman Derek Eastman is serving a one game league suspension for his part in a third period fight with the Americans' Justin Bowers. Fellow D-man Sean Erickson, on IR since the season opener, may be back tonight.

As of this writing, Strome Burto and Willemsen are still scratches and Hiebert's status is unknown.

The Game begins at 7:05pm CST. I will not be in attendance.

Photo Credits: Les Stockton/Pro Hockey News

No comments: