Blaze captain Jon Booras scored two goals in a 6-4 victory over the Rapid City Rush on Saturday at U.S. Cellular Coliseum. (Photo by Jacob Blome/Bloomington Blaze)
By Greg Halbleib
BLOOMINGTON - The Bloomington Blaze were fueled and two goals each from Dan Barczuk and Jon Booras, earned a 6-4 win over the Rapid City Rush on Saturday at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
The Rush opened the scoring with 16:22 left in the first period when Jared Brown converted at the doorstep on a pass from Dan Gendur. The Blaze answered with 13:07 left in the period when Jon Booras swatted a puck out of traffic in the left circle with assists given to Brayden Metz and Jared Walker, trickling inside the right post, and 30 seconds later Jared Walker gave the Blaze a 2-1 lead on assists from Metz and Jeremy Gates. The Blaze nearly took a 3-1 lead later in the period when Rush goalie Tim Boron appeared to carry the puck in his glove behind the goal line while making a save, but the play was ruled no goal. The Rush evened the game at 2-2 when Winston Day Chief converted a 2-on-1 drive with 3:59 remaining until the first intermission on assists from Damien Surma and Scott Wray, but the Blaze regained a 3-2 lead with 56.7 seconds left on a Travis Granbois blast from the right circle with assists given to Booras and Dan Barczuk to take a one-goal lead at the intermission.
The Blaze opened the lead to 4-2 with 12:29 left in the second period when Dan Barczuk converted passes from Matt Puntereri and Gates and blasted a shot while running open down the left wing. Gender cut the Blaze lead to 4-3 with 1:25 left in the middle period when he dove after a loose puck and shoved it inside the right post, with assists given to Jesse Schultz and Michael Couch.
Barczuk registered his second goal of the night with a one-time cannon on a feed from Jeremy Gates with 3:56 remaining in the third period to build the Blaze lead to 5-3. The Rush scored a disputed goal with 5:08 left on a flurry that did not produce a stoppage, with the goal given to Scott Wray on assists from Brown and Damien Surma to cut the Blaze lead to 5-4. The Blaze sealed the win with an empty net goal by Booras assisted by Granbois with 1:04 left.
Pier-Olivier Pelletier earned the win with 28 saves while Danny Battochio took the loss in relief with 12 saves. The Blaze were 0-of-4 on the power play while the Rush were 1-of-2.
The Blaze host the Rush on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. before traveling to Rapid City for games next Friday and Saturday. This Wednesday's contest was originally scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 17 but moved to Feb. 20 due to concerts by country music artist Luke Bryan. Tickets reading Feb. 17 may be used on Wednesday with no exchange necessary. Wednesday is Scout Night with discounted admission of $6 for children and $10 for adults.
Junior Blaze win: The Junior Blaze earned a 6-3 win on Saturday over the Michigan Grrrowl at Allen Park, Mich. Ty Gehrken registered two goals and an assist to lead Bloomington, while Gavin Carlson took the win in goal with 25 saves. The Junior Blaze rematch in Michigan on Sunday afternoon.