ROCHESTER, Minn. – In a game that saw a lot of drama, some lead changes and teddy bears being tossed on the ice, Matt DeRosa would be the star. The Rochester Grizzlies trailed 3-1 and 4-3 at times in the game and came back to win in overtime, 5-4 over the Coulee Region Chill.
Joey Fodstad would open the scoring just 1:01 into the game, allowing the fans to toss their teddy bears on the ice as part of Teddy Bear Toss night for the Grizzlies (16-6-0-0). All of the stuffed animals will be donated to the Salvation Army.
“It’s an experience you can’t really put into words, when you see about 800 or 900 teddy bears coming flying after you score. It’s a special moment and something I won’t forget,” Fodstad said.
The Chill would come back and score two unanswered to end the first period. Blake Holmes would score on a wrist shot from the point, beating goalie Nick Bucklin. Thomas Magnavite would then score on a penalty shot for the Chill, beating Buckling with a nice backhand.
The second period would not see a goal until less than two minutes left in the period. Matt Janke beat Bucklin on a nice feed from Holmes at the 18:07 mark of the second. The Grizzlies would respond less than a minute later as Vladislav Sorokin scored his 20th goal of the season, cutting the lead to one. Just 41 seconds later, Fodstad scored his second of the game to tie it all at two entering the second intermission.
“I thought we were pretty good in the middle of the second period. Their goalie made some top-notch saves. It was nice we could get two late ones there. I thought the second period was our best period,” Head Coach Casey Mignone said.
Coulee Region would capitalize on an early third period power play as Peyton Hart would take a seat for hooking just 28 seconds into the period. Rochester native Brandon Ratzloff made it a 4-3 game just 57 seconds into the third.
There would not be another goal until 1:41 left in the third when Sorokin would fire home his second of the game to tie the game at four. It would be an extra attacker goal for Rochester.
Coulee Region would have a power play carrying over into overtime, which the Grizzlies would successfully kill off. It would be the sixth penalty kill out of seven opportunities for the Grizzlies.
Defenseman Logan Olson made a nice play on a 3-on-1 for the Chill in overtime and proceeded to chip the puck up to DeRosa. This led to a 2-on-1 the other way with Sorokin and DeRosa would fire the puck past Chill goalie Devin Naidow for the winner. This is DeRosa’s second overtime winner on the season.
“Logan chipped it out and Vlad and I went down on the 2-on-1. I looked over to Vlad and the defenseman bit and laid his stick down and got on the ground. I knew I had to shoot it. I was going more for five-hole or pad, if it was going to hit, bounce off and rebound for Vlad to get back door. The goalie wasn’t fast enough,” DeRosa said.
DeRosa’s other overtime winner came back on Oct 13 at home against Breezy Point.
Rochester improves to 32 points on the season and is back at it Saturday night on the road against Coulee Region. It’s a 7pm puck drop.
The Grizzlies are back home at the Rec Center Dec 28 and 29.