David Gilbert (right) and the Bloomington Blaze earned a 6-5 overtime victory over the Tulsa Oilers on Friday, November 23, 2012 at BOK Center in Tulsa. (Photo by Kevin Pyle)
By Greg Halbleib
TULSA – The Bloomington Blaze earned a 6-5 overtime victory in a high-scoring affair over the Tulsa Oilers on Friday night at BOK Center.
The teams traded goals in the opening period, with Tulsa striking first just 2:48 into the contest as Gary Steffes scored on assists from Kyle Mariani and David Beauregard. The Blaze evened the game with 11:09 left in the opening period when Matthew Larke registered an unassisted goal.
The game remained even at 1-1 until the Oilers took a lead on a Gio Flamminio tally with 5:53 left in the second period, assisted by Beauregard and Matt Register. The Blaze regained a lead with three straight goals, the first two just a minute apart by Kyle Bochek assisted by Travis Granbois and Nicholas Rioux assisted by Jon Booras and Jesse Dudas. Granbois scored with just 18 seconds left in the middle period assisted by Tyler Gron, but Steffes from Mariani and Drew Fisher answered with only five seconds remaining to cut the Blaze lead to 4-3 at the second intermission.
The Oilers scored a pair of goals early in the third period when Ben Gordon tallied just 4:06 in followed by a Matt Gingera score just two minutes later to give the hosts a 5-4 lead. Bochek tied the score with his second goal of the night at the 10:00 mark of the third period assisted by Booras. Jesse Dudas registered the game-winner with 2:38 remaining in overtime with a top-shelf tally assisted by Booras.
Each team failed to score on four power play chances. Gerry Festa took the win in net for the Blaze with 40 saves while the loss went to Dan Bakala with 32 stops.
The Blaze return for two home games this weekend, on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. against the Missouri Mavericks and Sunday at 4:05 p.m. against the Quad City Mallards. The games can be heard on WJBC.com and CHL-TV. More information on the Blaze is at www.bloomingtonblaze.com, Facebook, Twitter (BLMBlaze) and 309-TC SPORTS (827-7678).
Junior Blaze drop home contest: The Junior Blaze fell 6-3 on Friday afternoon to the Soo Firehawks at U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Joseph Clemente recorded a goal and two assists while Steven Smoltz and Kyler Schmor each had a goal and an assist. The Junior Blaze rematch against the Firehawks on Sunday at 11 a.m. at U.S. Cellular Coliseum, with admission included in the ticket for the Blaze contest that afternoon against the Quad City Mallards.