ROCHESTER, MN – It was about as hard-fought a victory as they could get. The Rochester Grizzlies fended off the pesky Wausau Cyclones, holding them to just 14 shots as Niko Goich stopped them all as Rochester went on to win 2-0. Friday night’s win at home marks the eighth win in a row for the Grizzlies, who continue holding onto first place in the Central Division.
Coming into Friday’s game, the Grizzlies and Cyclones were even in the season series, with each team winning two of the four games. The Grizzlies controlled the pace throughout the first period but could not solve Cyclones goalie Zach Dosan. The netminder stopped all 17 shots he saw in the first period while Goich stopped the six shots he saw.
The second period was more of the same with the Grizzlies pummeling Dosan with shots. None of the 19 shots in the second period could find the back of the net. The collective defensive effort remained strong for Rochester, holding Wausau to just five shots in the second period.
It wasn’t until the third period where miscommunication behind the Wausau net saw the puck trickle out in front, where Kolton Kane was able to knock it in the empty net to break the ice. Kane’s fifth goal of the year came at 2:39 of the third period. Just over two minutes later, Justin Wright finished off a great passing play between Kyle Bauer and Adam Johnson and tipped Johnson’s pass through the five-hole of Dosan, making it 2-0 for the home team. That marked Wright’s 15th goal of the season.
The defense and Goich shut the door the rest of the way as Wausau only put three shots on net in the final frame. Rochester now moves to 32-6-2 (66 points) and still sits seven points up in first place in the Central Division.
Rochester and Wausau are back at it Saturday evening from the Rochester Recreation Center. Saturday’s game is Pink in the Rink Night for the Grizzlies. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door one hour before puck drop, which is 7:05 PM.