In a game where neither team could get a cushion, the Bloomington Blaze escaped with a 5-3 victory over the Dayton Gems.
Neither team gained more than a two-goal lead, and Kyle Laughlin's goal in the third period proved to be the difference maker.
Bloomington got the win behind a great game by Laughlin, who had two goals and one assist. Laughlin scored the first of his two goals at 7:56 into the third period to make the score 4-3 Bloomington. Laughlin's next tally made the score 5-3 Bloomington with 2:09 left in the third period. Vladimir Nikiforov provided the assist.
The Blaze's goal total was higher than their season average. This season, Bloomington averages 2.9 goals per contest. With 34 shots on target during the contest, the Blaze exceeded the 26.4 shots they average per game this year.
Bloomington also got points from Brandon Richardson, who also grabbed one goal and one assist. Omar Pacha also scored for Bloomington. Other players who recorded assists for Bloomington were Jon Booras, Brent Clarke, Doug Krantz, and Luke Popko, who each chipped in one.
Dayton forced Bloomington goalie Zane Kalemba to work between the pipes, taking 42 shots.
The Gems were led by Damian Surma, who registered two goals. Surma scored the first of his two goals on the power play at 12:53 into the first period to make the score 1-0 Dayton. A roughing penalty on Lee McClure had put Dayton on the power play. Tim Hartung picked up the assist. Surma's next tally on the power play made the score 3-2 Dayton with 16:54 left in the third period. The Gems had gotten the advantage when the Blaze's Travis Granbois was sent off for interference. Kyle Bochek provided the assist. Dayton also got a goal from Brandon Naurato as well. In addition, Dayton received assists from Dustin DeGagne, Jonathan Ornelas, and Brett Lutes, who contributed one a piece.
Kalemba recorded 39 saves for Bloomington. The Blaze totaled 15 minutes in penalty time with five minors and one major and went 0-for-2 on the power play. Dayton's Dan Dunn stopped 29 shots out of the 34 that he faced. The Gems totaled nine minutes in penalty time with two minors and one major and went 2-for-5 on the power play.