Jon Booras drives to the net against the Wichita Thunder during a 3-2 victory on Saturday, October 27, 2012 at U.S. Cellular Coliseum. (Photo by Jakob Blome)
BLOOMINGTON - The Bloomington Blaze, fueled by Mid-Illini Credit Union, won their third straight contest with a 3-2 victory over the Wichita Thunder on Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
The Blaze lit the lamp first just before the halfway mark of the first period when Travis Granbois knocked in a rebound at close range, assisted by Charlie Townsend and Pier-Olivier Pelletier. The Thunder were given a penalty shot opportunity with 5:59 left in the opening period, but Pier-Olivier Pelletier stopped the attempt by Gregor Hanson. Wichita cut the margin to 3-2 with 4:34 left when Ian Lowe connected from the slot assisted by Chad Painchaud and Neil Trimm. The Thunder were given a power play and emptied their net with 1:05 remaining but could not convert as the Blaze hung on for the win.
The Blaze extended the lead to 2-0 with 17:44 remaining in the third period on a power play goal by Jeff Winchester, assisted by Aaron Dawson and David Gilbert. Jesse Dudas completed a 3-on-2 break with 15:50 remaining assisted by Gilbert to put the Blaze ahead 3-0. During a 4-on-4, the Thunder finally got on the board as Dave Inman converted a drive on a 3-on-1 break with 9:20 left in regulation to cut the Blaze lead to 3-1.
The Blaze improve to 3-1-0 as the Thunder fall to 1-3-0. Pelletier took the win in goal with 46 saves while Kevin Regan took the loss with 29 saves.
The Blaze conclude the season-opening five-game homestand on Friday at 7:05 p.m. against the Quad City Mallards.
Junior Blaze win: The Bloomington Junior Blaze earned a 3-2 victory on Saturday night over the Rhinelander Street Cats in Rhinelander, Wis. The hosts led 1-0 after one period, but Jacob Lourash tied the contest at 11:16 of the middle period assisted by Cody Phillips and Matt Donley. Donley gave Bloomington a 2-1 lead at 3:47 of the third period assisted by Phillips, but the Street Cats tied the contest less than three minutes later. Kyler Schmor collected the game-winner with 11:24 left assisted by Donley to send the Junior Blaze to a 6-2-0 record ahead of Sunday's rematch at Rhinelander.