ROCHESTER, Minn. – Joey Fodstad came into this season with the Rochester Grizzlies as the leading returning goal scorer from last season. The forward finished third on the team in 2018-19 with 20 goals. He is more than a quarter of the way there after this weekend, as the Rogers, MN native scored six in two games against the Wausau RiverWolves, including five Saturday night in a lopsided 11-2 victory in front of the home crowd.
After a 7-0 victory Friday night, Rochester (3-1-0-0, 6 points) struck first again as Porter Haney put a backhand past RiverWolves goalie Tyler Klatt at 13:19 of the first. Wausau would respond, however. The Grizzlies would get themselves into penalty trouble and Tanner Eskro would capitalize on a five-on-three power play for the RiverWolves, tying the game at one. The tie wouldn’t last two minutes, as Peyton Hart got a fortunate bounce off a Wausau defender and the Grizzlies regained the lead with 1:28 to go in the first.
Much like Friday night, the second period proved to be the difference-maker in Saturday night’s game and Fodstad was at the forefront for Rochester. Just 53 seconds in to the second, Fodstad beat Klatt to give Rochester a two-goal lead. The RiverWolves would get a chance to come back, as Grizzlies forward Paul Hofbauer was given a game misconduct and a five minute major for checking from behind. It took just 43 seconds for Wausau to score on the major power play as Mitchel Idalski beat Sean Guerin on a rebound, cutting the lead to one.
That would be all Wausau would get. On the same power play, Fodstad got past the defense to score a breakaway shorthanded goal. Klatt robbed Fodstad on two breakaways in Friday night’s game, but the second-year veteran of the Grizzlies would not be denied a third time. Not too long after, Rochester would go on its own power play. Nic Leisen knocked home a rebound, increasing the lead to 5-2. Just 18 seconds later, Leisen had a great saucer pass to a streaking Lucas Newman who beat Klatt to increase the lead to 6-2 with another power play goal.
Fodstad would go on to score the next three goals for the Grizzlies, two coming late in the second period and the last of his five goals coming at 5:49 of the third. Zak Justice and Logan Olson scored the final goals of the evening for Rochester. Sean Guerin picked up his first career NA3HL victory, stopping 17 of the 19 shots he saw.
The two wins this weekend mark a successful start to the home portion of the season for the Grizzlies. They’re back on the road next weekend, with two games against the Milwaukee Power, the only team to beat Rochester this season.
The Grizzlies are back in action at the Rochester Rec Center October 4th and 5th (Friday and Saturday) against the Coulee Region Chill. Both of those games are at 7pm. For information on tickets, contact the Grizzlies front office at 507-722-0415.