The Tulsa Oilers were stymied at every turn by Denver goaltender Kieran Millan in a 4-1 opening night loss to the Cutthroats on Friday at the Denver Coliseum.
Millan, a 2009 draft pick of the Colorado Avalanche, set the tone early in the game when he denied Thomas Beauregard on a power play breakaway and then stopped Beauregard again on the ensuing penalty shot. Troy Schwab opening the scoring for Denver at the 17:52 mark of the first period by lifting a wrist shot over the blocker of Oilers netminder Shane Madolora.
The Cutthroats peppered Madolora with 20 shots in the second period and Garrett Bembridge's tip-in at 13:41 gave Denver a 2-0 lead heading into the third.
With the Oilers on a power play five minutes into the final frame, Cutthroats forward Matt Glasser pounced on a loose puck at his own blue line and buried his shorthanded breakaway chance to provide the home side with a 3-0 advantage. Before the power play expired, newly acquired Oilers forward Todd Robinson finally solved Millan with a shot from the point but the Tulsa momentum was short-lived. Just over two minutes later, Vincent Arseneau fired a wrist shot from the slot through Madolora to give the Cutthroats their insurance.
Millan finished the night with 36 saves on 37 shots while Madolora took the loss despite stopping 41 of the 45 shots he faced.
Bruce Ramsay suffered his first opening night defeat as Head Coach of the Oilers but his team will have a chance at payback on Saturday night when the two clubs finish their opening weekend series with a 6:00 p.m. puck drop from the Coliseum.