Despite firing a season-high 52 shots on net, including 21 in the third period, the Tulsa Oilers were unable to score on Denver's goaltender Kent Patterson, as the Cutthroats shutout the Oilers, 1-0 in Game 5 of their first round Central Hockey League playoff series. Denver holds a 3-2 series lead with Game 6 scheduled for Tuesday evening in Tulsa.
The lone goal of the contest came from A.J. Gale just 2:45 into the first period. With Tulsa defenseman Eric Tallent in the penalty box for roughing, Denver center Troy Schwab set up Gale for a one-timer from the near circle. The 27-year old winger sizzled a slap shot past Shane Madolora for his first goal of the postseason. Patterson made 19 saves in the first period and the Oilers trailed after the opening frame for the first time in the series.
The two sides traded power plays in the second period, but the Cutthroats 1-0 lead remained at the beginning of the final frame. The Oilers controlled the puck for the vast majority of the third period and kept the Cutthroats pinned down in their own zone, but the pressure never paid off. Time after time, Patterson proved to be an impenetrable last line of defense as he turned aside 21 third period shots to preserve the victory.
Just 24 hours after exploding for six goals and chasing Patterson from the net after the first period in Game 4, the Oilers were shutout on Saturday night for the first time in the series. Tulsa went 0-for-4 on the power play and is now 1-for-21 in the series with the man-advantage. Madolora made 31 stops as the hard-luck loser and Oilers forward Ben Gordon led all skaters with 11 shots on goal.
The Oilers will try to extend series in Game 6 which begins at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15 at the BOK Center. Tulsa is 1-1 on home ice in the series.