Tyler Bunz debuts with Wichita Thunder vs Tulsa Oilers

Tyler Bunz at OKC Barons Training Camp, October 8, 2014. Photo courtesy of Steven Christy, All Rights Reserved.

The Wichita Thunder had a great start to their Tulsa road game, shutting down the Oilers’ offense and grabbing the lead with two quick goals in the first period by Jared Walker, with assists by E. Lizon and J. Jorgensen, and in under a minute Nikita Kashirsky, with assists by I. Lowe and A. Bourret, struck again to put them up 2-0. Tulsa quickly pulled their goalie Mike Zacharias for Kevin Carr, who would play an outstanding remainder of the game.

Edmonton Oilers prospect goaltender Tyler Bunz was in net for the first time for the Thunder after an eight month hiatus due to an injury he sustained on March 22nd with the Bakersfield Condors. Bunz was struck by a puck to the throat (under his throat protector) and fractured his larynx and damaged his vocal cords in that Condors’ overtime win.

Bunz was solid in the net considering his long absence and no practice for six months per doctor’s orders this summer. He faced 23 shots with 21 saves. Tulsa’s first goal at 7:02 in the 2nd started with a closeup shot from Steve Mele from the left which Bunz blocked and the rebound was quickly passed to Tom Mele who slipped it in from the right side behind Bunz. This was Tom Mele’s first goal of the season and his brother Steve’s first assist of the season. After a strong push by the home team in the 3rd, Tulsa’s second goal at 6:44 in the third was a hard shot from the blueline by Jake Obermeyer that slipped past Bunz to tie the game 2-2.

The game went into overtime with a number of excellent chances for Wichita but Tulsa’s goalie Kevin Carr stopped them, along with an outstanding save on Tampa Bay Lightning’s prospect Danick Gauthier’s last second shot sending the game to a shootout. Wichita’s Stephen Schultz scored first at the bottom of round two, and at the top of round four Tulsa’s Jeff Jubinville scored to even the shots until the top of round seven when Tulsa’s Scott Macaulay scored through the legs of Bunz. Wichita’s Walker was unable to get past Carr, and Tulsa won 3-2 in the shootout.

The Three Stars of the Game:
1. Tulsa – Kevin Carr
2. Tulsa – Tom Mele
3. Wichita – Jared Walker

The StoneWolf Cup series is now 1-2 Tulsa and the two teams meet again on November 18th in Tulsa. Head to head record for the 2014-15 season: Wichita is 1-0-1-1 in the series and Tulsa 2-1-0-0.

See also Eric Rodgers’ article and Bunz’s comments from October 22.

  • Wichita Thunder Game Recap:  “Wichita pounced on the Oilers with two quick goals in the opening frame. Jared Walker recorded his fourth goal of the season with a wrist shot coming up the right wing that made it 1-0. Nikita Kashirsky scored his first of the season 41 seconds later that made it 2-0 at 8:33. The night was over for Mike Zacharias as he was taken out for the second time in the last eight days against Wichita and Kevin Carr came on in relief.”
  • Tulsa Oilers Game Recap: “Tulsa Oilers rookie goaltender Kevin Carr was expecting to be a bench spectator on Sunday evening.  Instead, the 24-year-old was called into action against the Wichita Thunder and made a game-saving stop at the end of overtime before shutting down six of seven Thunder shootout attempts to propel his squad to a 3-2 victory in front of 4,620 at the BOK Center.  Carr, the goalie of record in every Oilers game this season, ended the night with 22 saves as Tulsa improved to 3-1-1 and 2-0-1 on home ice.”
  • ECHL Game Summary
  • ECHL Game Sheet

StoneWolf Casino Cup Series: 1-2 Tulsa

  • Oct. 26: Wichita @ Tulsa — 5-6 in OT — Tulsa Win
  • Oct. 29: Tulsa @ Wichita — 2-0 — Wichita Win
  • Nov. 2: Wichita @ Tulsa — 2-3 in SO — Tulsa Win
  • Nov. 18: Wichita @ Tulsa
  • Nov. 23: Wichita @ Tulsa
  • Nov. 30: Tulsa @ Wichita
  • Dec. 10: Wichita @ Tulsa
  • Dec. 17: Wichita @ Tulsa
  • Feb. 21: Tulsa @ Wichita
  • Mar. 13: Wichita @ Tulsa
  • Mar. 21: Tulsa @ Wichita
  • Mar. 29: Tulsa @ Wichita
  • Apr. 8: Tulsa @ Wichita
  • Apr. 10: Tulsa @ Wichita

This article has been reposted from ArtfulPuck.

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