ROCHESTER, MN – Kaleb Bents didn’t see a lot of shots, but he made sure to stop all the ones he saw. The second-year goalie stopped 17 Milwaukee Power shots to pick up his second straight shutout, helping the Rochester Grizzlies pick up a 2-0 win on home ice. Bents picked up a shutout a week ago on the road in St. Louis.
In the first matchup between the two Central Division clubs, it was the Grizzlies who struck first. Lyncoln Bielenberg-Howarth used a fake shot to his advantage to deke past a defender and slide the puck over to Owen Van Tassel who knocked in a shorthanded goal for Rochester at 7:24 of the first period. Bents was credited with the secondary assist on the goal in the box score at the end of the game. Van Tassel’s third of the year marked the sixth shorthanded goal of the season for Rochester which is second-best in the NA3HL. It would stay 1-0 until 14:54 of the first when Ben Tschida and Ben Oakland finished off a perfect two-on-one rush to make it 2-0. Tschida started with the puck in his own zone before dishing it to Oakland who timed his return pass perfectly, with Tschida beating Brett Holmer high to the glove side.
Rochester found itself in penalty trouble for the second period, needing to kill off three Milwaukee power plays. Bents was able to stop the six shots on net he saw that period to help keep the penalty kill perfect.
The first-place Grizzlies clamped down defensively the rest of the game, hardly allowing the second-place Power any time in the offensive zone. Rochester would go on to outshoot Milwaukee 30-17 in the game and finished a perfect six for six on the penalty kill.
With the win, the Grizzlies move to 11-2 good for 22 points. The two teams will meet again Saturday at 7:05 PM to wrap up the weekend series. Rochester is then home again next weekend for two games against the Wausau Cyclones.