Bradley University put its Missouri Valley Conference record 16-game streak of games decided by no more than one goal to rest Monday night by powering past visiting Oral Roberts for a 5-2 victory on Senior Night at Shea Stadium. After the Braves honored its nine seniors in a pregame ceremony, the underclassmen took over once the game started by combining for three goals and four assists on the night. Sophomore midfielder Keegan Balle led the charge by scoring his first goal of the season and adding a pair of assists for a career-best four points. The five-goal outburst was Bradley’s largest since a 7-1 win against Alabama A&M Sept. 12, 2010 at Evansville’s tournament and the best offensive output at home a 7-0 win against Drury Sept. 12, 2003 at Shea Stadium. Bradley broke the game open with a flurry of goals to end the half. Balle finished off a Bryan Gaul cross at the right post for the go-ahead goal at 31:52. After hitting the cross bar on a empty-net, point blank shot moments earlier, junior defender Matt Kuehl pounced on a Wojciech Wojcik service that caromed off the left post and poked home what proved to be the game-winner at 39:26.
I was privileged to be asked to photograph the 2nd Annual Middle Eastern Ball to benefit Easter Seals at the beautiful Par-A-Dice Hotel in East Peoria, IL. The event was co-chaired by Mina Shams and David Bozeman. The guests were entertained with music by the Jad Soudah Band from Detroit, MI and middle eastern dancer Khazna Khalil from Chicago, IL. Special invited guests included Senator Darin LaHood, Peoria Mayor and Mrs. Jim Ardis, Mr. and Mrs. Maurice M. Taylor Jr., Mr. Jim Maloof and Ambassador and Mrs. Yousif B. Ghafari. It was a fantastic evening of fine food, music and entertainment for the crowd in excess of 500. A huge special thanks to my best friend and exceptional photographer Rod McClanahan of Creative Photography for all his help.
The Chicago Wolves came up short in their bid for a third Illinois Lottery Cup win in a 50-hour stretch as the Peoria Rivermen pulled off a 5-2 victory Sunday night at Carver Arena before 3,001 fans. The Peoria Rivermen (2-3-1-1), playing for the third night in a row, received 2 goals from 2011 AHL all-star T.J. Hensick. He opened the scoring just 3:17 into the game when a fortuitous missed shot left him with an open net. Former Wolves standout Brett Sterling assisted on the goal.
Game Box Score: Peoria 2 2 1 — 5 Chicago 1 1 0 — 2
First Period—1, Peoria, Hensick 3 (Sterling, Nesbitt), 3:17; 2, Connauton 2 (Schroeder, Oreskovich), 4:00; 3, Cracknell 2 (Syvret, Cheechoo), 12:09. Penalties—Cole, Peoria (high-sticking), 4:52; Clackson, Chicago (fighting), 7:37; Hagel, Peoria (fighting) 7:37; Ponich, Peoria (slashing) 16:25.
Second Period—4, Peoria, Cheechoo 3 (Cracknell), 4:15; 5, Hensick 4 (Cundari), 6:34; 6, Mancari 2 (Strong, Sweatt), 10:32. Penalties—Doell, Chicago (hooking), 10:55.
Third Period—7, Nigro 1 (Cheechoo, Cracknell), 17:50. Penalties—Cundari, Peoria (interference), 1:58; Fairchild, Peoria (interference), 7:55; Baumgartner, Chicago (tripping), 14:38; Barriball, Peoria (tripping); 14.58. Shots on goal—Chicago: 11-9-9—29. Peoria: 11-16-10—37. Power plays—Chicago: 0-5. Peoria: 0-2. Goalies—Chicago, Lack (32-37). Peoria, Bishop (27-29). Referees—Terry Koharski and Jarrod Ragusin. Linesmen—Brian Oliver and Mathieu Chenier.
The Bloomington Blaze used a second-period offensive surge to win their first-ever game in the CHL, 5-4 in overtime over the Dayton Gems on Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington before 3,375 energetic fans. Jason Dale scored the game-winner on a rebound with 1:32 left in the extra session. Dayton scored first with just 2:15 gone in the game when Damien Surma took a centering pass from behind the net from Nick Fanto and buried it on the glove side of Blaze goalie Marco Emond.
Game Box Score: Bloomington 0 4 0 1 – 5 Dayton 1 1 2 0 – 4
First Period – Dayton, Surma (Fanto), 2:15 (pp).
Second Period – Bloomington, Laughlin (Krantz, Fournier), 4:53 (pp); Dayton, Naurato (Duff, Lutes), 6:27; Bloomington, Sheahan (Krantz, Dale), 8:52 (pp); Bloomington, Sheahan (Booras, Dale), 11:15 (pp); Bloomington, Znutas (Zbriger), 15:04.
Third Period – Dayton, Ornelas (Duff, Townsend) 10:58; Dayton, Fanto (unassisted), 16:16 (sh).
Overtime – Bloomington, Dale (Sheahan, Krantz) 3:28 Shots on goal – Dayton 8-5-10-3-26; Bloomington 7-14-6-4-31. Penalties-minutes – Dayton 7-25; Bloomington 4-8.
Goalies – Dayton – Westblom (26 shots, 31 saves, 63:28); Bloomington – Emond (20 shots, 24 saves, 62:14), DelBuono (2 shots, 2 saves, 1;14).
Power play opportunities – Dayton 1 of 4; Bloomington 3 of 6;
Illinois State beat a ranked opponent for the second-consecutive week, as the Redbirds topped No. 16 Indiana State, 17-14, Saturday afternoon at Hancock Stadium. The Redbirds (5-3, 3-2 Missouri Valley Football Conference) were led by Nate Palmer who recorded two sacks, three tackles-for-loss and five total tackles. Shelby Harris also had two sacks, with two tackles-for-loss and six tackles. The Redbird offense was keyed by Ashton Leggett, who carried 23 times for 57 yards and one touchdown, while Shakir Bell led the Sycamores (5-3, 3-2) with 123 yards. Redbird quarterback Matt Brown finished 13-for-19, for 172 yards and one touchdown. His Indiana State counterpart, Ronnie Fouch, was 10-for-25 for 175 yards and one touchdown. The Redbirds play their final regular-season road game next Saturday when ISU travels to Carbondale to face Southern Illinois.