Konkle, Rush Push way Past Bloomington


Blaze fall to Rush in back-and-forth affair


RAPID CITY, S.D. - The Bloomington Blaze, fueled by Mid-Illini Credit Union, dropped a back-and-forth affair to the Rapid City Rush 5-3 on Saturday night at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

The Blaze opened the scoring with 9:28 left in the opening period on a blast by David Gilbert assisted by Tyler Gron and Jared Walker.  The Rush tied the game with 6:08 left in the first period when Jarrett Konkle deflected a face-off win by Damien Surma.  Blaze goaltender Dan Dunn left the game with 5:15 remaining in the first period when Rush defensemen Justin Sawyer knocked Dunn to the ice behind the Blaze net and drew a major and game misconduct for charging.  Jon Booras converted on the long power play with 41 seconds left in the first period on a rebound goal assisted by Steve Makway and Matthew Larke to put the Blaze ahead 2-1 at the first intermission.

The Rush tied the game at 2-2 when Scott Brannon found the net from the right circle just 18 seconds into the second period, assisted by Riley Weselowski and Jeff Lee.  Konkle gave the Rush a 3-2 lead on a power play with 11:00 left in the middle period on a redirected shot from Jamie Vanderveeken.  The Blaze tied the game in the final second of the middle period when Gilbert drove home a pass to the left post from Kyle Bochek, with the second assist given to Sebastien Trudeau to send the game into the second intermission even at 3-3.

Rapid City took a 4-3 lead just 1:01 into the third period when Rusty Masters grabbed a turnover in the right circle and scored.  The Rush increased the lead to 5-3 with 15:28 remaining when Konkle completed his hat trick on a 5-on-3 power play, assisted by Surma and Vanderveeken.  The Blaze emptied the net and were given a power play, but could not convert in the final seconds.

Gerry Festa took the loss with 11 saves, as the Blaze outshot the Rush 33-21.  Tim Boron picked up the win in net with 30 saves.  The Blaze were 1-for-9 on the power play while the Rush were 2-of-5.  The Blaze remain in third place in the Central Hockey League standings with the season series with the Rush evened at 2-2-0.

 



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