Being one of three teams in the league that started in 1992 when the Central Hockey League reformed, the Tusla Oilers have made a mark on the league. Playing in Tulsa, Oklahoma the team was ranked sixth overall this past season in attendance.
Having won the championship in the inaugural season of the league the Oliers made the playoffs nine out of the next 13 seasons. Though making the playoffs is not enough, the team was never able to make it over the first round hump, until last year.
Now with the team coached by Bruce Ramsay who is known for winning championships the team is on the rebound. This past season the Oilers moved on to the second round, ultimately losing to the Bossier-Shreveport Mubdugs, making this the first time since the 1994 season the team has won a playoff round.
On September 2, 2010 the team announced they would join the Colorado Organization and be the official affiliate to the Lake Erie Monsters and Colorado Avalanche.
This team has been the workforce for draft picks from Colorado. Having seen guys play, this team really helps them develop their skills. Rising goaltender Trevor Cann saw play in both Colorado and Lake Erie early on in his career, but recently moved down to Tulsa to work on his skills. Last season Cann recorded a 13-9 record.
For some hockey fans in the area Tulsa's participation in the Avalanche Organization is a welcome home. Two players taken in different draft classes have made their way to Tulsa from Parma, OH. Left winger Tom Fritsche whose brother plays for the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL, and goalie Ian Keserich were drafted by the Avalanche and are now seeing considerable playing time in Tulsa. Last season Keserich saw most of the playing time recording a 22-10 record. While Fritsche had a so so season only scoring two goals and 13 assists. Maybe someday we may get the chance to watch these two young players play at the Quicken Loans arena in Cleveland, OH for the AHL Lake Erie Monsters.
The Oilers are looking to build upon this past season and look to make another run to the Presidents' cup.
In later posts I will be taking a look at the Tulsa Oilers and post news about the team.
For more news and information on Colorado Avalanche, Lake Erie Monsters and Tulsa Oilers, keep checking this blog. Also find me on Twitter @WillWodka2133