Despite making 35 saves, Dan Dunn and the Bloomington Blaze ended a five-game winning streak in a 5-3 loss on Sunday to the Quad City Mallards. (Photo by Sarah Foster)
By Greg Halbleib
MOLINE - The Bloomington Blaze lost for the first time since opening night as they fell 5-3 to the Quad City Mallards on Sunday at iWireless Center.
The Blaze scored first as Jesse Dudas deked his man and wristed home his team-leading sixth goal of the season from the slot, assisted by Nicklas Lindberg and Steve Makway, with just over two minutes remaining in the first period to give the visitors a 1-0 lead at the first intermission.
The Mallards tied the game with 16:54 remaining in the second period on a rebound goal by Mickey Lang assisted by Mike Hellyer and Michael Stinziani. The Blaze regained the lead with 5:13 left in the second period when Tyler Gron slammed home a pass at the right post from David Gilbert with the second assist given to Jared Walker to give the Blaze a 2-1 lead.
Quad City evened the score with 14:25 left on a Matt Duffy goal from the slot assisted by Shayne Toporowski. The Mallards took a 3-2 lead when Lang made a move in the slot and scored with assists given to Mike Stinziani and Duffy. The Blaze didn't take long to even the score when Sebastien Trudeau moved to the left circle and scored glove-side with 9:48 remaining, assisted by Dudas and Jon Booras. Quad City surged ahead 4-3 when Obi Aduba finished a breakaway with a left circle wrister with 2:41 remaining, assisted by Darren McMillan. Patrick Levesque sealed the game with an empty net goal with 36.6 seconds left.
John Murray took the win in net for the Mallards with 31 saves while Dan Dunn sustained the loss with 35 stops. The Blaze converted two of their three power plays while the Mallards failed to score on their three chances. The Blaze remain in second place, two points behind the idle Allen Americans with a record of 5-2-0. Quad City improves to 3-2-1.
The Blaze travel to Independence, Mo. next weekend for a pair of games against the Missouri Mavericks. Face-offs are scheduled for 7:05 p.m. both Friday and Saturday and the games can be followed on WJBC.com and CHL-TV with links on the homepage of www.bloomingtonblaze.com.
Junior Blaze fall: The Bloomington Junior Blaze dropped a 3-0 decision to the first-place Hartland Hounds on Sunday at U.S. Cellular Coliseum. The Hounds improve to 18-0-0 while the Junior Blaze drop to 7-4-0. After a scoreless first period, the Hounds collected a goal from Zachary Bodziak with 15:38 remaining in the second period followed by a Trevor Sergott goal in the middle chapter's final minute. Thomas Kerr capped the scoring with a tally with 7:45 remaining in the contest. The Junior Blaze are off until Friday, November 16 when they travel to Holland, Mich. for a three-game weekend series.