The Oklahoma City Blazers entered the evening with a
home power-play efficiency of 37%, a level of production
tantamount to hitting .500 in baseball every night.
The Ice Bats struck 'em out.
One night after dealing the Memphis River Kings its
worst loss of the season, Austin turned in another stellar
defensive performance, shutting down the Central Hockey
League's second-ranked offense in a 3-1 win. It was
the first time Oklahoma had been held to a single goal
The only power play damage done at Myriad Arena on this
night was by Dan Price and Daniel Tetrault, both of
whom tallied with the extra man. Tab Lardner added a
big insurance goal, while Brett Seguin and Gerald Tallaire
each had two assists.
Bryan McMullen stopped 36 of 37 shots for his second
straight brilliant one-goal effort; it was just the
sixth time this season Austin, which managed 32, had
been outshot. The Bats (18-6-1, 37 points) remain the
top team in the Central Hockey League.
Austin outshot the Blazers 10-3 in the first portion
of the game, but still trailed 1-0 thanks to Brad Domonsky's
score at 2:31 of the first, a follow-up of Hardy Sauter's
bad-angle shot from deep in the offensive zone. McMullen
spent the next three minutes kicking and sticking several
thousand teddy bears, thrown onto the ice as part of
a charity Christmas drive. If anything, the stoppage
cooled off the Blazers fiery start.
Oklahoma goalie Aren Miller kept Austin off the board
during a pair of early power plays, while Austin's penalty-killers
were on the ice for three minutes-plus in the middle
of the period, including 51 seconds of a Blazers five-on-three.
The Bats remained perfect, and when Domonsky went off
for high-sticking at 14:52, Bobby Brown took a hard
shot from the point that Sauter got his stick on before
Miller could. The defenseman, a nephew of Blazers head
coach Doug, couldn't control the puck or Price, who
struck in close for his team-leading 16th goal of the
year, making it 1-1 at 16:17.
Seguin's face-off win allowed Tetrault to spring the
puck high into the net just five seconds into a power
play at 15:43 of the second period, with Tallaire also
assisting. Seguin also set up Tab Lardner's insurance
goal at 7:24 of the period, finding him in the heart
of the slot for a shot that rang off the crossbar and
The 8164 Oklahoma City fans were clearly unaccustomed
to seeing their heroes struggle. By the time the Blazers
got a late third-period power play that might given
them a ray of hope, star forward Joe Burton was shooting
wide, pucks were skipping over the point man's stick
and finally, McMullen made two incredible saves, augmented
by a stick-block from defenseman Patrick Brownlee.