Forward Jared Walker and the Bloomington Blaze bounced back from a Saturday loss at Missouri with a 7-3 win over the Mavericks on Sunday, December 16, 2012 at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, Ill. (Photo by Jakob Blome)
By Greg Halbleib
BLOOMINGTON - The Bloomington Blaze gained revenge for a Saturday loss with a 7-3 victory on Sunday over the Missouri Mavericks at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
The Blaze quickly opened the scoring just 55 seconds into the game when Tyler Gron punched in his own rebound, assisted by Jon Booras and Matthew Larke. The Blaze built the lead to 2-0 with 13:14 left in the opening period when Dan Barczuk picked up a deflected puck and drove it past the right post on assists by Nicklas Lindberg and Jared Walker.
Bloomington grabbed a 3-0 lead with 16:12 remaining in the second period when Booras stole the puck at the top of the zone and scored after a return pass from Larke. Lindberg recorded the fourth goal for the Blaze when he completed a 2-on-1 break with an unassisted shorthanded goal with 14:24 left in the middle chapter. The Blaze added a power play tally with 7:00 left in the second period for a 5-0 lead with a lamp-lighter by Travis Granbois on assists from Nicholas Rioux and Lindberg. The Mavericks finally dented the scoreboard with 1:58 left in the second period when Colten Hayes wristed the puck just inside the right post after a pass from Sebastien Thinel.
The Blaze made it 6-1 with 18:06 left in regulation on a power play goal by Steve Makway's wrister from the high slot on assists from Lindberg and Gron. The Mavericks gained a tally with 13:48 remaining in the third period when Sebastien Thinel intercepted a pass high in the zone and fed Kenton Miller, who whistled a drive glove-side to cut the Blaze lead to 6-2. Thinel picked up a turnover in the slot and scored with 8:22 remaining to cut the deficit to 6-3 with assists given to Miller and Jeff Pierce. Sebastien Trudeau converted a break with just under two minutes later on a pass from Kyle Bochek for the final score of 7-3.
Pier-Olivier Pelletier earned the win in net with 32 saves while Mike Clemente sustained the loss with eight saves made before he was pulled early in the second period. The Blaze were 2-for-6 on the power play while the Mavericks were unsuccessful in seven tries.
The Blaze are off until Friday and Saturday when they host the Rapid City Rush in a two-game set before the Christmas break. Face-off each night is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Junior Blaze sweep: The Junior Blaze defeated visiting Tennyson Chevrolet 3-2 in a shootout earlier in the afternoon on Sunday at U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Kyler Schmor and Matt Donley scored goals for the Junior Blaze, while Patrick Anaruk, Schmor and Joe Clemente tallied in the shootout. The Blaze swept the two-game weekend series after a 5-1 win on Friday. The Junior Blaze will also host a Friday-Saturday series as the Rhinelander Street Cats visit U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Face-off is at 3 p.m. both days and admission is included in that night's Blaze ticket.