Bloomington Blaze captain Jon Booras scored in the third period to cut the deficit to a goal, but the Rapid City Rush held on for a 6-4 win on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at Rushmore Plaze Civic Center in Rapid City, S.D. (Photo by Sonja Erickson/Rapid City Rush)
By Greg Halbleib
RAPID CITY, S.D. - The Bloomington Blaze lost a lead by surrendering three early third-period goals and lost 6-4 to the Rapid City Rush on Saturday at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
Rapid City opened the scoring when Jared Brown took a pass on the right wall from Jordan Behler and weaved to the front of the net for the score with 13:57 remaining in the opening period.
The Blaze evened the game on a power play goal with 11:29 remaining in the second period when Kyle Bochek redirected a Steve Makway wrister. The Rush regained a 2-1 lead on a power play redirected goal of their own by Dan Gender from a Scott Wray blast from the right circle with 4:46 left in the middle period. Bloomington evened the count with 3:09 left when Nello Ferrara bounced a puck off a Rush defenseman and into the net assisted by Kyle Bochek, and the Blaze took a 3-2 lead with 1:46 remaining before the second intermission when Brett Lutes rammed home a second rebound on helpers from Jon Booras and Nicolas Rioux.
Rapid City scored three quick goals to start the third period to take a 5-3 advantage. The Rush tied the contest at 3-3 with 17:42 left in the third period on Jarett Konkle's drive from the left point and took a 4-3 lead only 42 seconds later on a run to the net by Jesse Schultz. Winston Day Chief built the lead to 5-3 by capping a two-on-none rush just 62 seconds later with 15:58 remaining. The Blaze capitalized off a turnover forced by Jeremy Gates when Jon Booras went top shelf at the doorstep with 12:23 left in regulation. The Rush regained a 6-4 advantage when a bad hop on a Blaze clearance forced a turnover that Jesse Schultz pounded home with 4:02 remaining. The Blaze were given a late power play and emptied the net but could not find the goal in the final stages.
The Blaze were 1-for-3 on the power play while the Rush were 1-of-4. Tim Boron earned the win in goal with 30 saves while the loss went to Pier-Olivier Pelletier despite a 28-save effort.
The Blaze return to action on Thursday night at 7:05 at U.S. Cellular Coliseum to face the Quad City Mallards in a game with playoff implications for both teams. The Blaze host the Fort Worth Brahmas on Friday before embarking on a four-game road trip and won't return to U.S. Cellular Coliseum after next weekend until March 12.