The Blaze celebrated more times in a single game than ever before in a 7-0 win on Saturday night at Missouri. (Photo by Jakob Blome)
By Greg Halbleib
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - The Bloomington Blaze used a strong start and a hat trick from Tyler Gron to capture a 7-0 win over the Missouri Mavericks on Friday night at the Independence Event Center. The seven Blaze goals is the highest single-game total in team history, besting the previous high in a 6-2 win at Evansville on March 4 last season. The win was also the Blaze's first shutout victory of the season.
The Blaze scored first when Nicklas Lindberg buried a centering pass from behind the net from Kyle Bochek just 1:17 into the game, with the second assist given to Aaron Dawson. The Blaze made it 2-0 when Gron walked down the slot and tallied just 50 seconds later at 2:07 into the game, with assists given to Jared Walker and Steve Makway.
The score remained 2-0 until late in the second period when Gron forced a Mavericks turnover deep in the zone, then walked in front to score his second goal of the night with 3:05 remaining before the second intermission. Jesse Dudas made it 4-0 with his team-leading seventh goal with 1:27 left in the middle period on a power play slap shot goal from the high slot assisted by Lindberg and Jon Booras.
The Blaze added a power play goal with 9:03 left in the third with the fifth tally of the season from Jon Booras, assisted by Lindberg and Dudas, to put the Blaze ahead 5-0. Dudas skated in with 1:59 remaining for his second goal of the game and his team-leading eight tally of the season assisted by Makway and Charlie Townsend, and Gron completed his has trick 18 seconds later assisted by Walker and Townsend.
Pier-Olivier Pelletier earned the shutout win with 36 saves. Mike Clemente took the loss in net with 23 saves. The Blaze were 2-of-5 on the power play while the Mavericks did not convert any of their four opportunities.
The Blaze and Mavericks match up again on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. in suburban Kansas City with pre-game on WJBC.com and CHL-TV at 6:45.