Insider Preview: Tulsa Oilers @ Texas Brahmas
Brahmas seeking win at NYTEX
The Texas Brahmas are hosting their third meeting with the Northern Conference leading Tulsa Oilers (12-3-1, 25 points) today at the NYTEX Sports Centre. The two teams met for the first time on November 7th, in which the Brahmas won 5-3. The Brahmas held a 4-0 lead before the Oilers had a strong third period rally, only to give up a power play goal in the final minute. Last Friday, the Brahmas traveled to the BOK Center where they were defeated handily, 6-2.
The Brahmas are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss on the road last night in Allen. They've lost their two previous games.
The Oilers have a 4-3-0 home record.
Tulsa's three top scorers include Rob Hisey (C) with 32 points (13 G, 19 A, +7), TJ Caig (RW) with 28 points (12 G, 16 A, +12) and former Brahma Aaron Davis (C) with 17 points (7 G, 10 A, +5). Davis is now averaging better than a point a game. Their leading defensive scorer is Derek Eastman with 13 points (3 G, 10 A, +14).
Their top goons are right wing (guess who?) Rick Kozak (62 PIM) and the aforementioned Derek Eastman (35 PIM). Kozak leads the league with 32 penalty minutes assessed against him in a single game (a 5-1 loss to Wichita on 10/23).
On special teams, the Oilers have the number three power play with a 20.75 percentage and the number seven penalty kill with an 84.27 percentage. They are also tied with the Brahmas for the league lead with five short-handed goals.
Kevin Armstrong (11-3-1) is expected in net for the Oilers. He is ranked 14th in the league with a 3.13 GAA and 16th in the league with a .897 save percentage.
Defensemen RJ Linder and Adam Bartholomay are out on the injured reserve and as of this writing are not expected to play today.
The Brahmas top three scorers are Kevin McLeod (D) with 16 points (9 G, 7 A, -3), AJ Gale (F) with 15 points (7 G, 7 A, -1) and Jordan Cameron with 15 points (4 G, 11 A, -2). McLeod is also the Brahmas’ leading defensive scorer.
On special teams, the Brahmas remain last in the league with a 10.53 percentage and 12th on the penalty kill with an 80.80 percentage.
I'm not sure who will get the start in goal. My bet would be Joe Palmer (4-3-2-1), who played in the last game.
As of this writing, there are no players listed out on injured reserve. Jason Deitsch and Elias Godoy were scratches in the last couple of games. It is not known if either will play tonight.
The game starts at 7:05pm and can be seen on CHL-TV if you can't be there.