Dan Dunn left the game early in the second period due to an apparent injury, but the Blaze were able to battle back for a 3-2 win over the Quad City Mallards on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, Ill. (Photo by Jakob Blome)
By Greg Halbleib
BLOOMINGTON - The Bloomington Blaze won a back-and-forth battle over the Quad City Mallards 3-2 on Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
After a scoreless first period, the Mallards scored a power play goal when Jeremy Boyer rolled the puck home with 12:56 remaining in the middle chapter assisted by Mickey Lang and Matt Duffy. The Blaze evened the game at 1-1 with 3:04 left before the second intermission when Jon Booras took a feed from Jesse Dudas at the left circle and wristed a goal on the glove side. The Blaze took a 2-1 lead with just under 30 seconds remaining before the second stoppage when Matthew Larke tapped in a rebound from a Nicklas Lindberg shot, with the second assist given to Tysen Dowzak, but the Mallards answered moments later with only 14.2 seconds left in the second period When Lang chipped a shot on the run inside the left post assisted by Boyer and Mike Hellyer to tie the game at 2-2 after 40 minutes.
The Blaze used a power play to take the final 3-2 lead with 11:20 left in the third period when Nicklas Lindberg nudged the puck in after Matthew Larke's spinning drive from the right side, also assisted by Jon Booras for his 400th professional career point.
Gerry Festa earned the win in relief with 23 saves, while Jimmy Spratt took the loss with 27 stops. The Mallards were 1-of-3 on the power play while the Blaze converted one of their two chances. The Blaze remain in second place in the Central Hockey League standings with an 8-3-1 record while the Mallards fall to 4-4-2.
The Blaze are off until Wednesday as they begin a four-game holiday week beginning in Wichita. The Blaze travel to Tulsa on Friday before returning home for games on Saturday against Missouri and Sunday against Quad City. The Blaze have a special ticket offer for those games plus the December 6 home game against Missouri called "The Turkey", in which fans can enjoy all three games for just $20. For more information on the Blaze, call 309-827-7678, or visit www.bloomingtonblaze.com, Facebook and Twitter (BLMBlaze).
Junior Blaze fall: The Junior Blaze dropped a 7-1 decision to the Holland River Bandits on Saturday night in Holland, Mich. Steven Smoltz scored the only Junior Blaze tally. The Junior Blaze conclude the weekend series at Holland on Sunday.