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Gems Comeback Spoiled in 3-2 Shootout Loss

March 10, 2012 - Central Hockey League (CHL) - Dayton Gems News Release

Dayton, OH - The Dayton Gems would battle back from an early two goal deficit to send the game into extra time, but would be unable to stop the Bloomington Blaze from earning the victory in a shootout on Cassano's Italian Ice inside Hara Arena for "Kids Eat Free" night Saturday. Scoring for the Gems were Matt Larke and Damian Surma.

The Blaze saw a two-goal lead disappear, but was able to secure the win in a shootout. Bloomington made the score 2-0 on a goal by Jon Booras at 11:14 in the second period. Dayton evened things up at 2-2 on a goal by Damian Surma at 17:21 in the third period.

The Blaze were led by Nikiforov, who tallied one goal. Nikiforov scored 16:07 into the first period to make the score 1-0 Bloomington. Craig Cescon assisted on the tally. Bloomington was led by Nikiforov, who had one goal. More assists for Bloomington came via Laughlin and Brandon Richardson, who each chipped in one.

The Gems put up an impenetrable defensive front on the penalty kill, and did not allow the Blaze to score on any of their three power plays. By firing 29 shots on goal, Dayton exceeded the 26.0 shots it averages per game this year.

The Gems were helped by Matthew Larke, who racked up one goal. Larke scored 8:36 into the third period to make the score 2-1 Bloomington. Surma picked up the assist. Other players who recorded assists for Dayton were Brett Lutes, who had two.

The shootout featured six attempts between both teams. In addition to the clincher, Bloomington got shootout goals from Nikiforov and Kyle Laughlin. Vladimir Nikiforov scored the clinching goal in a shootout, and the Bloomington Blaze picked up the extra point in a 3-2 win over the Dayton Gems.

Bloomington's Zane Kalemba stopped 27 shots out of the 29 that he faced. The Blaze ended with 15 minutes in penalty time with five minors and one major. Larry Sterling recorded 32 saves for Dayton. The Gems totaled 15 minutes in penalty time with five minors and one major and went 1-for-3 on the power play. With the shootout loss, the Gems earn one point in the Turner Conference standings while seeing their record fall to 20-26-13. The win pulled the Blaze even with the Gems in the standings, tied with 53 points apiece.

Dayton returns to action on Cassano's Italian Ice inside Hara Arena on Friday, March 16 when they host the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees on "Police & Fire Night". For tickets and information, call the Gems office at 275-7777 or visit the all new

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