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Blaze Drop Home Finale to Mallards

March 23, 2013 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Bloomington Blaze News Release

BLOOMINGTON - The Bloomington Blaze, fueled by Mid-Illini Credit Union, dropped a hard-fought 4-2 decision to the Quad City Mallards in the Blaze home finale on Saturday at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.

The Blaze scored just 46 seconds into the game when Matthew Larke redirected a Travis Granbois blast below the knee pads with the secondary assist from Jon Booras. The Mallards tied the game at 1-1 with 13:38 remaining in the opening period when Mike Stinziani broke up a pass at center ice and scored on a breakaway. Quad City took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission when Gabriel Boutin-Gagnon wristed a score from the left circle with 1:16 left on assists from Patrick Levesque and Matt Boyd.

The Blaze tied the game at 2-2 on a shorthanded goal by Jon Booras, who completed a 3-on-1 break with Lindberg and Steve Makway with 14:39 remaining in the second period. Stinziani converted a rebound of a Jason Kostadine shot, also assisted by Mike Hellyer, with 10:45 left in chapter two to give the Mallards a 3-2 advantage at the second intermission.

The Mallards pushed the lead to 4-2 on an empty-net goal by Jason Dixon on assists from Mickey Lang and Obi Aduba with 1:18 left in regulation.

Pier-Olivier Pelletier took the loss with 27 saves while Neil Conway earned the win with a 31-save effort. No power play goals were scored as the Blaze were given three chances and the Mallards had the man advantage twice.

Blaze end-of season awards were presented before Saturday's home finale. Offensive Player of the Year was awarded to David Gilbert, Defensive Player of the Year was given to Steve Makway, Travis Granbois was named the Fan Favorite, and Jon Booras was named Mid-Illini Credit Union Most Valuable Player.

The Blaze conclude their second season on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. against the Mallards at iWireless Center in Moline. Pre-game on WJBC.com and CHL-TV is at 3:45 with links to the online broadcasts on www.bloomingtonblaze.com. Blaze updates can also be found on Facebook and Twitter (BLMBlaze).

Season ticket holders are invited to the Blaze post-season reception on Monday from 5 to 7 p.m. in the restaurant at U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Team members will be present and official team photos will be given to season ticket holders. Light refreshments and snacks will be served and a cash bar will be available.

Junior Blaze season ends: The Junior Blaze lost Game 2 of the Midwest Junior Hockey League semifinal playoff series on Saturday 9-2 to the Hartland Hounds in Brighton, Mich. Matt Donley and Cody Phillips scored the Junior Blaze goals and Gavin Carlson took the loss despite 40 saves.

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