Nicklas Lindberg scored two goals as the Blaze powered to a 7-2 win over the Quad City Mallards on Sunday, November 25, 2012 at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, Illinois. (Photo by Jakob Blome)
By Greg Halbleib
BLOOMINGTON - The Bloomington Blaze rebounded from their worst loss of the season by equaling their highest goal total of the campaign in a 7-2 win over the Quad City Mallards on Sunday at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
The Blaze lit the lamp first with 2:42 remaining in the opening period on a move in the slot and a top-shelf goal by Sebastien Trudeau assisted by Travis Granbois and Jesse Dudas.
The Mallards evened the game with 18:06 left in the second period on a drive at the right post by Mickey Lang on a centering pass from behind the net, with assists given to Shayne Toporowski and Mitch McColm. David Gilbert regained the lead for the Blaze on a wraparound with 15:32 left in the second on assists by Tyler Gron and Michael Trebish, then Nicklas Lindberg poked in a loose puck in the slot just 50 seconds later with assists given to Jon Booras and Matthew Larke to give the Blaze a 3-1 lead. The Mallards cut the deficit to 3-2 with 8:09 left in the middle period when Brett Robinson took a long pass from Matt Boyd and scored on a breakaway.
The Blaze surged ahead 4-2 when Jared Walker deflected a Tyler Gron sharp-angle shot from the right corner for his first professional goal, also assisted by Tysen Dowzak. Bloomington made the count 5-2 just 56 seconds later on Lindberg's second goal of the game assisted by Booras and Trudeau. Gron took advantage of a turnover in the slot to score with 15:07 remaining in regulation, assisted by Lindberg and Michael Trebish, to build the lead to 6-2. Jesse Dudas powered his 10th goal of the season from the right wing with 9:32 remaining to lift the Blaze to the final 7-2 advantage.
Gerry Festa earned his second win in goal with 31 saves. Jimmy Spratt took the loss despite 40 saves. With the win, the Blaze take third place alone in the Central Hockey League standings, one point behind second-place Wichita and four points behind league-leading Allen.
The next home Blaze game is Thursday, December 6 against the Missouri Mavericks after a trip to the Mountain time zone for three games this week. The Blaze make their first trip to Denver to face the expansion Cutthroats on Wednesday followed by Friday and Saturday contests at Rapid City. Face-off each night is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. Central. All Blaze games can be heard on WJBC.com and CHL-TV.
Soo sweeps Junior Blaze: In the lone Midwest Junior Hockey League game on the docket, the Soo Firehawks swept the Bloomington Junior Blaze with a 6-4 win Sunday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Coliseum. For Bloomington, Joe Clemente and Jacob Lourash each had a goal and an assist and Steven Smoltz and Matt Donley added single goals. Cody Phillips tacked on two assists and Will Rohleder made 23 saves. The teams rematch in a three-game series next Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.