Blaze defenseman Jesse Dudas scored the only goal in a 5-1 loss to the Rapid City Rush on Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Coliseum. (Photo by Jacob Blome)
By Greg Halbleib
BLOOMINGTON - The Bloomington Blaze could not offset an early attack and fell 5-1 to the Rapid City Rush on Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
The Rush opened the scoring when Scott Wray connected from the left wing with 14:44 remaining in the first period on assists from Jesse Schultz and Garrett Gruenke. The Rush scored on a power play with 8:38 left in the first period on a redirected tip by Jarrett Konkle assisted by Damien Surma and Kyle Peto.
Rapid City built the lead to 3-0 with 18:34 left in the second period when Justin Faryna poked in a rebound goal just after a power play expired, assisted by Wray and Jamie VanderVeeken. The Rush added a tally just 1:20 later on a wrister from the high slot by Michael Couch assisted by Wray and Jesse Schultz.
The Blaze dented the scoreboard for the first time on a power play with 9:25 left in regulation on a shot from the slot by Jesse Dudas assisted by Steve Makway and Sebastien Trudeau. Wray answered for the Rush with 6:22 left on a drive from the right dot that rang in under the crossbar after a pass from Surma.
Dan Dunn suffered the loss in goal with 27 saves while Tim Boron earned the win with 31 stops. Rapid City was 1-for-2 on the power play while the Blaze were 1-for-3.
The Blaze take a brief holiday break before traveling to Arizona for games against the Sundogs next Friday, Saturday and Monday. Game times in Prescott Valley are at 8:05 p.m. Central on Friday and Saturday and 7:05 p.m. on New Year's Eve. The games can be heard on WJBC.com and viewed on CHL-TV with links to both on the home page of www.bloomingtonblaze.com.
Junior Blaze win: The Junior Blaze earned a wild 8-7 win on Saturday afternoon over the Rhinelander Street Cats at U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Joseph Clemente, Ty Gehrken and Patrick Anaruk each scored twice, while Clemente added two assists and Gehrken contributed one helper. Gavin Carlson stopped 44 Street Cat shots for the win. The Junior Blaze are off until Thursday, January 3 and Friday, January 4 for home contests against the NWO Grrrowl.