Oklahoma City Blazers Hockey

Blazers Win Home-Opener Over Tulsa, 6-3

Friday night, the Oklahoma City Blazers opened their home slate of games at the Blazers Ice Centre, the last team to do so in the Western States Hockey League this season. In front of a sold-out crowd, the Blazers looked to start things off on a high-note in front of the hometown fans.

Drennen Atherton got the start in net for Oklahoma City against Henrik Kaspersen for the Oilers. The 1st period was a scoreless deadlock until the 13:54 mark of the period when Augusts Veidenbaums was able to find just enough space between the skate of Atherton and the goalpost to make it a 1-0 Tulsa lead. The Blazers bounced right back to tie things up on an ensuing power play try. The Blazers cycled the puck as Zach Paxman sent it to Drake Johnson at the point, Johnson passed it to Victor Ekk on the right wing side, and Ekk put the shot home to make it a 1-1 game.

A minute later, Pavel Oxiouta picked up a loose puck at center ice and gave it over to Albert Hrusa. Hrusa took the puck into the Tulsa zone and found Kody Smith all alone in the high slot. Smith walked the puck in with plenty of time and space and put it past Kaspersen to give Oklahoma City the 2-1 lead. Oklahoma City then capped off a three-goal string in 1:50 as Martin Hajsman fished the puck out the linesman’s skates, fed the puck to Kyle Cagnoni, and Cagnoni followed through on his own rebound to make it 3-1 Blazers after the 1st period.

Tulsa came back in the 2nd period and cut the deficit in half as Miroslav Smid put the shot on Atherton, and what looked like a big save by the pads ended with the puck trickling through and into the net and making it a 3-2 game after forty minutes.

Oklahoma City took advantage of yet another power play in the 3rd period as Pavel Oxiouta made it a 4-2 Oklahoma City with a back-door rebound from a Tomas Rubes shot from the top of the faceoff circle. Later in the period, a loose puck in front of the Tulsa net was picked up Viliam Seliga and sent into the twine as he made it a 5-2 OKC lead, assisted by Kyle Cagnoni and Kody Smith.

Once again, it didn’t take long for the Blazers to extend the lead even further as Hrusa brought the puck into the Tulsa zone and dropped it off for Kirill Romanov. Romanov sent the puck into the slot where Hrusa redirected to towards Oxiouta, and Oxiouta picked up his second goal of the game to make it 6-2 Oklahoma City. Tulsa picked up on more goal on a shorthanded breakaway as Niko Walsh got the goal. Oklahoma City held on through the final few minutes and took the 6-3 win.

Drennen Atherton improved to 4-0-0 on the season as the Blazers sit with a 7-0-0 record. Atherton picked up 21 saves in the win. Tulsa fell to 7-6-0 on the season, as both teams currently sit tied for third in the Midwest Division.

Saturday night, the Blazers and the Oilers get set for a rematch in game two of their three-game weekend set. The puck drops at 6pm Central Time at the Blazers Ice Centre, with tickets starting at only $10. Following the game, the Blazers players will be back on the ice for a post-game skate with the fans. The skate is free with paid admission, and skates will be available to rent for $5.

If you’re unable to be at the game, be sure to catch all of the action online with WSHL TV.

LET’S GO BLAZERS!