David Gilbert scored to put the Blaze ahead 3-0 only 8:04 into the game, but the Allen Americans surged back for a 5-4 shootout win on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, Ill. (Photo by Jakob Blome)
By Greg Halbleib
BLOOMINGTON - The Bloomington Blaze could not sustain a quick start and lost to the first-place Allen Americans 5-4 in a shootout on Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
The Blaze scored first just two minutes into the game when Sebastien Trudeau slapped in a rebound assisted by Aaron Dawson and Travis Granbois. Nicklas Lindberg rapped home another rebound with 13:03 left in the opening period after cleaning up two close-range attempts by Jon Booras. Just 1:07 later, David Gilbert weaved through the slot and slid the puck inside the left post with assists given to Tyler Gron and Steve Makway to give the Blaze a 3-0 lead. The Americans scored with only 25 seconds left in the first period and just six seconds after being given a 5-on-3 power play on a drive from the high slot by Tyler Ludwig, assisted by Brett Skinner and Darryl Bootland, to set the Blaze advantage at 3-1 at the first intermission.
The Blaze made it 4-1 on a hustling effort by Matthew Larke, who dove for a pass at the left post and swiped it in for his fourth goal, assisted by Booras and Lindberg with 16:25 left in the second period to send the hosts ahead 4-1. Allen answered just 2:06 later at the 5:41 mark as Jamie Schaafsma capped off a flurry with a rebound goal assisted by Ludwig and Adam Pineault to cut the Blaze lead to 4-2.
The Americans cut the deficit to 4-3 with 8:04 remaining on a power play goal when Brett Skinner found the back of the net assisted by Scotty Howes. Allen had a potential tying goal waved off about two minutes later due to goaltender interference, but Schaafsma eventually tied the game from the right circle with 4:41 remaining in regulation with assists given to Pineault and Jason Deitsch. After a scoreless remainder of regulation and overtime, Scotty Howes scored the only shootout goal in the second round.
Dan Dunn registered the despite 47 saves. Aaron Dell earned the win in relief in net with 26 saves. Allen was 2-of-6 on the power play while the Blaze were 0-for-3.
The Blaze travel to Tulsa for a Friday contest before returning home to face Quad City on Saturday.