Bloomington Blaze Weekly
The Bloomington Blaze, fueled by Mid-Illini Credit Union, host the Rapid City Rush on Wednesday before traveling to South Dakota this weekend for three crucial late-season games, after capturing four out of six possible points last week.
Last week: Tuesday, Feb. 12- Blaze 4, @Quad City Mallards 1 --Jon Booras registered 2 goals including the game-winner to put distance between the Blaze and Flock.
Friday, Feb. 15- @Missouri Mavericks 3, Blaze 2
--The Mavericks scored the game-winning goal during a five-minute power play in the third period with Blaze goals recorded by Travis Granbois and Steve Makway.
Saturday, Feb. 16- @Blaze 6, Rapid City Rush 4
--Dan Barczuk and Jon Booras each scored twice in front of the second-largest home crowd of the season.
Wednesday, Feb. 20, 7:05 p.m., U.S. Cellular Coliseum- Rapid City Rush at Blaze
--Rescheduled from Sunday, Feb. 17 and again from Monday, Feb. 18 due to Luke Bryan concerts. Scout Night (discounted admission for scout troops) and Casey's 8 Gallons Night (for each 8 gallons of gas purchased at area Casey's General Stores, receive a voucher to present at box office for only $8 admission)
Friday, Feb. 22, 8:05 p.m. Central, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center- Blaze at Rapid City Rush
Saturday, Feb. 23, 8:05 p.m. Central, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center- Blaze at Rapid City Rush
--Watch road games at Gill Street Sports Bar and Restaurant, 3002 Gill St., Bloomington
Eight-team monte: The top eight teams will move into the playoffs at the end of March, and the Blaze enter the week moving up to seventh place in the Berry Conference Central Hockey League standings with 52 points. Rapid City sits in sixth in the airtight race just one point ahead of the Blaze as the teams face each other for the next three games. Only five points separate fourth from eighth place, and Quad City is only three points out of a playoff spot in ninth place.
Blaze anatomy: The Blaze roster turnstile continues to spin. In February alone, eight Blaze players who started the month have been out of action, accounting for 40 player games missed in the eight games of the month so far. Forward Nicklas Lindberg was moved to 14-day IR and forward Matthew Larke was placed on 7-day IR; both are questionable for this weekend.
Defenseman Matt Suderman was placed on 14-day IR. Forward Brett Lutes returns from a one-game suspension while forward Leo Thomas remains suspended until Feb. 28. Forward Tom Boudreau was granted a league leave of absence. The Blaze signed defenseman Nello Ferrara and called up defenseman Leland Fidler, a third-year pro who has played all but six of his 153 games at the A level. Also called up was forward Brayden Metz, who recorded 22 goals and 47 assists for 69 points in 36 games with Dayton of the Federal Hockey League.
Junior Blaze split: The Junior Blaze split games last weekend at Allen Park, Michigan with the Michigan Grrrowl, winning Saturday 6-3 behind two goals and an assist from Ty Gehrken, but losing 7-5 on Sunday after the Grrrowl scored four straight goals in the third period. The Junior Blaze return to action at home on Friday, March 1 and Sunday, March 3 against the Great Lakes Lightning.
Get on the bus:The Blaze booster club is sponsoring a bus trip the final regular season game on Sunday, March 24 at Quad City. Cost is $38 and includes a game ticket. Contact Mike Corzine at [email protected] or stop by the booster club table at Blaze home games.
Following the Blaze: All Blaze games can be heard on WJBC.com and fans inside U.S. Cellular Coliseum can listen to the WJBC broadcast on 93.7 FM. Fans are invited to watch all Blaze road games at Gill Street Sports Bar and Restaurant, 3002 Gill St. west of Airport Road in Bloomington. Like the Blaze on Facebook and follow the team on Twitter (BLMBlaze) and at www.bloomingtonblaze.com. Group and multi-game ticket packages are available by calling the Blaze office at 309-TC SPORT (827-7678). For single-game and game day tickets, stop by or call the U.S. Cellular Coliseum box office at 309-434-2679.
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