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Oilers Notebook: Bastone stakes claim as #1 goaltender

10/17/2014, 12:15pm EDT
By Bob Birge - The Hour

Unlike for their first 1 1/2 seasons with Nik Nugnes, who is now a freshman at the University of Maine, the Connecticut Oilers may not have a true No. 1 goaltender.

Still, Greenwich's Chris Bastone might have gained a slight edge after a strong weekend in which he won a pair of games at the EHL's Columbus Day Showcase in Hudson, N.H.

Bastone stopped 18 of 19 shots in a 5-1 victory over the East Coast Wizards last Sunday, then recorded 22 saves in a 4-2 decision over the Boston Bandits on Sunday.

"I don't know who really is the starter," Bastone said, "but I'm just trying to play well whenever I get the chance to play."

Michael Tilford, who missed five games with a bone bruise, got the start last Saturday against the Walpole Express so Bastone wouldn't have to play three straight games.

Tilford (21 saves) was on the short end of a 3-2 decision to the Walpole Express, but also excelled, according to coach Eric Lind.

The Oilers ran into penalty trouble over the final 10 minutes, allowing a 5-on-3 goal that snapped a 2-2 tie.

"They're pushing each other and it's a great competition," Lind said of the Oilers' tandem. "They're both excellent goalies, so it's a good healthy competition."

Bastone has surrendered only five goals in his last four appearances.

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