Travis Granbois (right) recorded a goal and two assists as the Blaze powered to an 8-3 win in Tulsa on Saturday. (Photo by Kevin Pyle)
By Greg Halbleib
TULSA - The Bloomington Blaze set a franchise record for most goals in a game with an 8-3 win over the Tulsa Oilers on Friday at BOK Center.
Eight different players scored the eight Blaze goals. The Blaze opened the scoring with 17:11 left in the first period when Travis Granbois slid a rebound inside the left post off an assist by Kyle Bochek. Just 2:13 later, Bochek scored a shorthanded goal to give the Blaze a 2-0 advantage, but the Oilers cut the deficit to 2-1 when Gary Steffes left the penalty box and took a long pass to score on a breakaway on assistes from David Beauregard and Michel Beausoleil. Jesse Dudas gave the Blaze a 3-1 lead on a wide-open drive from the right circle assisted by Dan Barczuk and David Gilbert. Ryan Palmer gave the Blaze a 4-1 lead as he capped the first period scoring with 1:37 left when he poked in a rebound from Tyler Gron that had hit the right post, with Jon Booras given the second assist.
Bloomington increased the lead to 5-1 on a Matthew Larke whistler from the slot off a pass from the left wing from Booras with 7:26 remaining in the middle period. Jared Walker increased the Blaze lead to 6-1 with 4:59 left in period two with a rebound goal from a shot by Barczuk.
The Blaze equaled their franchise single-game high for goals when Booras gave the Blaze a 7-1 lead on a wrister from the slot assisted by Palmer. The Oilers scored a pair of goals late in the third period with 5:41 left by Gio Flamminio and with 3:52 remaining by Ben Gordon, but Aaron Dawson scored into an empty net with 48 seconds remaining assisted by Granbois for the final tally.
Pier-Olivier Pelletier took the win in goal in his first game since November 10 after time on the injured list, making 19 saves. Mike Garman was replaced in the Tulsa net midway through the second period but took the loss. The Blaze outshot the Oilers 42-21.
The Blaze return home for a special Wednesday morning game against the Quad City Mallards. Face-off is at 10:05 a.m. at U.S. Cellular Coliseum for a Kids Field Trip Day Game and the Blaze Holiday Open House. Wednesday morning's game is the first of four contests in five days with a three of the four in Bloomington. The Blaze host Tulsa on Friday followed by a trip to Missouri on Saturday and a rematch with Missouri back in Bloomington on Sunday. Friday's game is the annual Teddy Bear Toss event when fans are encouraged to bring new stuffed animals to throw on the ice after the first Blaze goal, with all toys donated to McLean COunty Toys for Tots. For more information on the Blaze, visit Facebook, Twitter (BLMBlaze) or www.bloomingtonblaze.com or call 309-TC SPORT (827-7678).