AFFTON, MO. – There would be no late game heroics for the Rochester Grizzlies Sunday afternoon. The Grizzlies lost Sunday afternoon to the St. Louis Jr. Blues 3-2 and ultimately split the weekend series between the two teams. St. Louis is now tied once again with the Grizzlies in points (33), however the Grizzlies are still in first place in the Central Division due to a better win percentage.
Rochester elected to start Sean Guerin in net this afternoon. Guerin has not started in net for Rochester since an overtime loss to the Alexandria Blizzard back on Nov. 9.
The Jr. Blues would start the scoring in this contest. Clayton Dawe beat Guerin at 8:47 of the first period for his fifth goal of the season. Just 59 seconds later, Sean Hofstetter found the back of the net for the Jr. Blues to make it 2-0 for the home team. St. Louis would then be given a power play opportunity 17 seconds later as Lucas Newman took a seat for hooking minor penalty. However, the Grizzlies would be the ones scoring despite being down a man. Porter Haney finished off a two-on-one with Joey Fodstad to score his eighth of the season, just 17 seconds after Newman was assessed the penalty. The shorthanded goal was Rochester’s 10th of the season. Clayton Shultz picked up the secondary assist on the goal.
The score would stay 2-1 Jr. Blues for the rest of the first period and much of the second. Rochester would be awarded a power play just a little over halfway through the period as Jacob Wiethaupt was assessed a tripping penalty. The Grizzlies would capitalize as Matt DeRosa scored his ninth goal of the season at 12:18 of the second, tying the game 2-2. The power play marker was assisted by Peyton Hart and Garrett Smith.
St. Louis had a power play carry over in the third period as Joey Fodstad took a late slashing penalty in the second period. Just 37 seconds into the third period, Evan Ross beat Guerin for a power play goal to make it 3-2 Jr. Blues. Rochester managed to fire nine shots on net in the third compared to just four for St. Louis, but it could not beat goalie Brett Tome to find the equalizer.
The Grizzlies now sit at 16-5-1 on the season. Sunday’s game marked the final time they travel to St. Louis during the regular season, as the two new Central Division opponents only see each other four times this season. St. Louis will be in Rochester March 6th and 7th. The Grizzlies are back home Friday evening at 7 for a date with the North Iowa Bulls. This is the final game before the North American 3 Hockey League Showcase Tournament in Blaine, MN. The Showcase starts Sunday the 15th and goes through Tuesday the 17th.