Bloomington Blaze forward Kyle Bochek (left) works in front of Tulsa goalie Shane Madolora and defenseman Gio Flamminio during the Blaze's 4-2 win over the Oilers on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. (Photo by Kevin Pyle)
By Greg Halbleib
TULSA - The Bloomington Blaze stayed unbeaten in five games against the Tulsa Oilers with a 4-2 win on Saturday at BOK Center.
After a scoreless first period, the Blaze struck first when Kyle Bochek rammed home a rebound while crashing the left post with 13:27 left in the middle chapter on assists from Sebastien Trudeau and Travis Granbois. The Blaze converted a 2-on-1 break after an Oilers turnover with 4:58 left in the second period with a Nicklas Lindberg goal, and Tyler Gron stole a puck and converted a breakaway just 28 seconds later for a 3-0 lead. The third goal of the period was also the result of a turnover, as Tulsa's Ben Gordon whistled in a drive on a feed from behind the net from Ryan Menei with just 36 seconds remaining to cut the Blaze lead to 3-1 at the second intermission.
The Oilers cut the deficit to 3-2 with 5:44 remaining in regulation on a power play goal by Drew Fisher on assists from Ben Gordon and Sean Erickson.
Dan Dunn earned the win in goal with 36 saves while Shane Madolora suffered the loss with 20 saves. The Blaze were 0-for-2 on the power play while the Oilers converted one of their six chances.
The Blaze return to action on Friday to begin a three-game homestand. The Denver Cutthroats visit on Friday followed by the Fort Worth Brahmas on Saturday. Local band Brushfire will perform an hour-long set after Saturday's game. The Cutthroats return to U.S. Cellular Coliseum for a Tuesday night matchup to conclude the homestand. Face-off each night is at 7:05 p.m. The Junior Blaze host a three-game series with the Holland River Bandits on Friday and Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m.
Junior Blaze rebound: The Junior Blaze bounced back from their largest loss of the season on Friday with a 6-3 win on Saturday over the Great Lakes Lightning in Allen Park, Michigan. Kyler Schmor recorded a hat trick plus an assist while Joe Clemente registered a goal and two assists. Anton Thompson and Steven Smoltz also scored for the Blaze, and Gavin Carlson took the win in net with 18 saves. The Junior Blaze conclude the Michigan weekend with a 10 a.m. Sunday rematch with the Lightning.