BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – It was a busy night on the ice in Bloomington Saturday, where the Blaze and the Arizona Sundogs combined for nine goals and 65 shots. The Blaze scored early and often, with Jesse Dudas leading the way with a pair of scores, thrilling the 3,104 fans in attendance.
Bloomington got on the board quickly, taking the opening face-off down the ice and scoring when Arizona goaltender David Brown got caught up behind his own net. Steve Makway found the puck at the top of the circle and his slap shot nicked the post in the way to the back of the net, putting the Blaze on the board 1-0 just fourteen seconds into the game. Jesse Dudas and Jon Booras were awarded assists on the play.
It wasn’t long after that before good pressure by the Blaze paid off again. Ryan Palmer put away a rebound with a backhand flip at 2:15 of the first period. Tysen Dowzak had the initial shot and Sebastien Trudeau had the other assist.
Jesse Dudas was credited with a goal a little over a minute later at 5:27 of the second period when he pushed a loose puck through Brown’s pads that slowly slid over the goal line for a 4-0 lead. Makway and Trudeau helped. That sent Brown to the bench and brought Adam Russo to the crease for the Sundogs.
On to the third period, where Trudeau opened the scoring. He skated in alone on Brown and ripped a shot at the face-off dot that touched the post and crossbar before finding its way into the corner of the net. Palmer and Travis Granbois tallied points on the play as well.
With a 5-0 lead, the Blaze relaxed…almost a little too much. The Sundogs mounted a comeback, scoring three times against goalie Pier-Oliver Pelletier.
The first tally came just 11 seconds after the Blaze got their fifth goal. Chad Nehring put back a rebound at 2:37 of the third period with help from Matt Register and Derek LeBlanc, making it 5-1.
Another rebound was poked in by Jason Morgan at 9:14. Chad Langlais Karl Linden has assists, drawing the Sundogs closer, 5-2.
LeBlanc set up Nehring again at 12:37 to bring the Sundogs within two goals, 5-3.
The Blaze put out the fire, though at 16:30, when Dudas scored again with a big slapshot from the top of the circle. Credit Dan Barczuk and Trudeau with the assists, setting the final score at 6-3.
Pelletier stopped 28 of 32 shots for the win. The loss falls to Brown, who stopped 14 of 18. Russo finished up stopping 14 of 16.
Neither team was able to capitalize during a power play. Bloomington was 0-2 while Arizona went 0-3.
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