SAUK RAPIDS, Minn. – The Grizzlies waited two months for this opportunity and they finally got their payback. Rochester went on the road to Granite City and defeated the Lumberjacks 4-3 to end their 13 game win-streak. These two teams have not played since the season opener back on Sep. 15, where Rochester lost 10-0 to Granite City.
It was a rough start for goaltender Nick Bucklin and the Grizzlies (13-4-0-0) as they surrendered the first goal of the game just 1:38 in to Hunter Schwehr. Granite City would continue to have control of the first period, as Jake Hessinger would make it 2-0 Lumberjacks at the 11:07 mark.
The Grizzlies would not go into the first intermission quietly as Vladislav Sorokin scored his team leading 15th goal (for the time being) cutting the lead to 2-1. Lucas Newman and Colin Mehren would get the assists on the goal.
Granite City would extend its lead to 3-1 at the 3:43 mark of the second as Jordan Olson would score his seventh of the year. Neither team would score again in the second period, as Rochester would go into the third trailing by two.
The third period proved to be the difference maker, as Rochester would score three unanswered goals to complete the comeback. Richard Szabo scored his 15th goal of the season coming at the 8:13 mark of the third, swinging momentum back towards the Grizzlies. Szabo would then score his now team leading 16th goal just a little over two minutes later, tying the game up at three.
Bailey Sommers took a slashing penalty for the Lumberjacks at the 12:05 mark of the third, giving the Grizzlies their third power play chance of the game. Rochester did not convert on the previous two chances before Logan Olson scored his first goal of the season and the eventual game winner. Olson’s shot from the point made it past Granite City goalie Michael Janke at the 13:18 mark of the third. Sorokin and Brock Hildenbrand got the assists.
The Grizzlies and Bucklin would have to stop a few good Lumberjack chances in the last couple minutes to seal the victory. Bucklin ended with 26 saves in the win.
This was a much needed two points for the Grizzlies as they are still chasing the Lumberjacks for the top spot in the West Division. North Iowa defeated Breezy Point Saturday to tie Granite City for first in the division with 28 points.
Rochester and Granite City are back at it next Saturday from the Rochester Rec Center. This is the first visit to Rochester for the Lumberjacks this season. Puck drop is set for 7:05.