By Greg Halbleib
BLOOMINGTON - The Bloomington Blaze broke a four-game losing streak with a hard-fought 3-1 win over the Quad City Mallards on Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
The Blaze used a power play to open the scoring with 10:50 in the opening period on a rebound goal by David Gilbert into an open left side of the net on assists from Nicolas Rioux and Brett Lutes.
The Mallards scored during a 4-on-4 period when Matt Boyd raced in from the right circle and scored on an assist from Obi Aduba with 11:15 left in the second period to tie the game at 1-1.
The Blaze gained a 2-1 lead when Dan Barczuk slammed home his own rebound with 11:32 left in regulation, assisted by Matthew Larke and Aaron Dawson. The Blaze sealed the win as Gilbert found the empty net in the final minute on assists from Brett Lutes and Jon Booras.
Pier-Olivier Pelletier earned the win with 25 saves while John Murray took the loss with 35 stops. The Blaze were 1-for-8 on the power play while the Mallards did not convert any of their three chances.
The Blaze continue the weekend set by hosting the Missouri Mavericks on Sunday at 4:05 p.m.