Forward Nicklas Lindberg (left) and the rest of the Bloomington Blaze battled but dropped a 4-2 decision on Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Coliseum. (Photo by Jacob Blome)
By Greg Halbleib
BLOOMINGTON - The Bloomington Blaze were eliminated from post-season play with a hard-fought 4-2 loss to the Missouri Mavericks on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
After a scoreless opening period, Jon Booras found the back of the net with a wrister from the left circle assisted by Brett Lutes and Nicklas Lindberg just 34 seconds into the period. The Mavericks answered with 15:02 remaining in the second period on a Kenton Miller drive to the stick side on assists from Eric Meland and Kellen Tochkin. The Blaze gained a 2-1 lead with 6:46 remaining in the middle chapter when David Gilbert threw in a sharp angle shot from the right corner with assists given to Matthew Larke and Travis Granbois.
The Mavericks evened the game at 2-2 just 59 seconds after the second intermission on a tic-tac-toe completed by Tochkin from Miller and Sebastien Thinel. Missouri broke the tie with 2:42 left when Miller took a pass from the right wall from John-Scott Dickson, who pried the puck out of traffic. The Blaze emptied the net and the Mavs' Evan Vossen found the open cage with a clearance that rolled in with 1:20 to play.
Despite 42 saves, Ross MacKinnon took the loss while Mathieu Corbeil earned the win with 27 saves. Both teams were 0-for-2 on the power play.
The Blaze conclude the regular season this weekend with three games against the Quad City Mallards. The Flock will host games on Friday at 7:05 p.m. and Sunday at 4:05 p.m. and the Blaze home finale is Saturday at 7:05 p.m.