TULSA, OK– The Kansas City Mavericks defeated the Tulsa Oilers 4-1 at BOK Center in downtown Tulsa Thursday night to improve to 11-2 on the season. The Mavericks, the ECHL affiliate of the Seattle Kraken, hold the top spot in the Western Conference standings and show no signs of slowing.
The Mavericks scored three unanswered goals before the Oilers got on the board. Forward Jacob Hayhurst opened the scoring at 12:38 in the First Period. Defender Nate Knoepke scored his second goal of the season four minutes later to give Kansas City a 2-0 lead heading into the Second Period.
The Oilers ramped up the defense in the second stanza, and neither team converted on their 10 shots on goal. Mavericks leading goal scorer Kyle Jackson got the scoring going again less than three minutes into the Third Period with a sniper shot above the left circle to beat Oilers goaltender Tomas Suchanek on the power play.
Jackson is one of four skaters on the Mavericks – alongside forwards Jake Jaremko, Tucker Robertson, Max Andreev, and goaltender Jack LaFontaine – who attended the Seattle Kraken Training Camp this fall. Since attending camp, Jackson has recorded six goals in thirteen games to place him in the Top Ten ECHL scorers this season. Fellow Kraken prospect Max Andreev leads the league with 20 points (3 G, 17A).
The Oilers would get a response goal less than a minute later by Tyler Paulsen but eventually conceded an empty net goal to Nolan Walker to secure the win for the visiting Mavericks.
"You got to take the competition into account, but we didn't play nearly as clean and as assertive of a game as we had the last few games," Oilers head coach Rob Murray told me after the loss. The 16-year professional hockey player added his team lacked relentlessness Thursday night against the Mavericks.
"Their ability to come out of their zone clean, you know, allowed them to generate speed through the neutral zone and, in turn, offensive opportunities," Murray added. "If we can disrupt their breakouts at least – it's not gonna happen all the time. It's not 100% thing – but we've to bring our percentage up," he added.
The Oilers will host the Mavericks again on Sunday, November 19, and Wednesday, November 22, at the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa. Stay tuned for more from this series at Black Rosie Media in partnership with the Locked on Kraken podcast.