10/23/2012 11:10:00 PM 10 CHL Teams in 10 Days: Tulsa Oilers
Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier Returning forward Gary Steffes already has a goal and an assist in Tulsa’s first two games of 2012-13.
The Daily Courier
The Courier Sports section is presenting "10 Teams in 10 Days" in which we'll run down each of the 10 CHL teams. Today it's the Tulsa Oilers, and watch Thursday for the Wichita Thunder.
In 2011, the long-suffering Oilers won their first playoff series in 17 years despite failing to return to the Central Hockey League (CHL) postseason this past winter.
But make no mistake: Tulsa has made steady strides under fourth-year coach Bruce Ramsay.
In Ramsay's first season in 2009-10, the Oilers of Oklahoma improved by 10 wins and 19 points (28-29-7 record, 63 points) over the previous campaign. They followed that up with a seven-game improvement in 2010-11 (35-25-6, 76 points), which earned them the No. 3 playoff seed in the Berry Conference.
Last season, Tulsa took a slight step back, finishing at .500 with a 29-29-8 record. Nevertheless, the Oilers wound up just three games behind the CHL's former Rio Grand Valley (Texas) Killer Bees for the Berry's fourth and final playoff spot.
To start the 2012-13 campaign this past Friday and Saturday, the Oilers split a two-game series at the rival Wichita (Kan.) Thunder and are 1-1 heading into their home opener Friday against the Quad City (Ill.) Mallards.
In a 4-3 win over the Thunder last Friday, Tulsa's second line of centerman Gary Steffes, right winger Michel Beausoleil and left winger David Alexandre Beauregard combined for two goals and five of the Oilers' 11 points on the evening.