ROCHESTER,MN- Led by four different goal scorers, the Rochester Grizzlies completed their two-game sweep of the Peoria Mustangs by winning 4-3 on home ice. Rochester now moves to 5-0 on the season and is still in first place in the NA3HL Central Division.
The scoring started relatively early for the Grizzlies as Adam Johnson tallied his first career NA3HL goal at 5:48 of the first period. Johnson beat Mustang’s goalie TJ DeMeulenaere high over his left shoulder. Peoria would tie it late in the first as Tristan Trudel would redirect a shot past Kaleb Bents just as a penalty expired, making it a 1-1 game.
Austin Meers continued his hot start to the season and his strong weekend when he scored a power-play goal at 5:41 of the second period. Cole Gibson created time and space and found a wide-open Meers in front of the net who had all the time in the world to beat DeMeulenaere for the goal.
Peoria would not go away, however, as Ryan Callahan tied the game early in the third period after intercepting a Mason Thingvold clearing attempt and beating Bents clean. However, the tie would not last long as newcomer Connor Mahony would have an answer. Mahony received a cross-ice feed from Jake Laurila and scored his third goal of the weekend through the five-hole. The goal marks Mahony’s fourth of the season and he now has goals in three straight games since joining the Grizzlies. Veteran Justin Wright made it a two-goal lead after intercepting a clearing attempt and firing a wrist shot on the glove side to make it 4-2. That goal was Wright’s first of the season. Thomas Kayner would add a late tally for the Mustangs.
Bents stopped 22 of 25 shots en route to his second victory of the season. Mahony led the offense with a goal and an assist while Blake Arneson and Laurila each had two assists.
Rochester is back in action next weekend with a home-and-home against the Mason City Toros. Friday’s game is in Mason City and then the Grizzlies are back home Saturday evening at 7:05 to welcome the Toros to the Rochester Recreation Center for the first time. The Toros were rebranded from the North Iowa Bulls after the 2020-21 season. For ticket information, be sure to check the Grizzlies website and social media pages.