After a tough weekend on the road in Oregon last weekend, which saw the Rochester Grizzlies lose 5-3 and 8-1 respectively, the team was looking to bounce back on home ice Friday night. Instead, it was a heartbreaking 4-3 shootout loss to the visiting Milwaukee Power. Friday’s loss marks the first time the Grizzlies have lost three in a row since last season when they went on a four-game losing streak from late December into early January.
Rochester started off strong, tallying 12 shots in the first period and controlling play for the most part. Spencer Klotz finished off a great pass from Ryan Berglund and tallied his 11th goal of the season to make it 1-0 at 10:17 of the first. Austin Meers picked up the secondary assist on Klotz’ goal as he continues to lead the Grizzlies in points this season.
The second period belonged to Milwaukee. Max Erstad, former Grizzly, knocked home a rebound from Kaleb Bents and tied the game at one 5:46 into the second period. Riley Dueber would break the tie with a rather innocent-looking point shot, beating Power goalie Adam Prokop along the ice for his third of the season. Dueber’s goal came at 14:13 of the second with Leo Milan picking up the only assist. Just 50 seconds later, Patrick Toomey flipped the puck past Bents on an odd-man rush to tie the game at two. Jack Wojnowski picked up his first goal of the season as his point shot deflected off a Rochester player and past Bents, making it 3-2 Milwaukee after two.
The game would stay 3-2 Power for most of the third period despite Rochester racking up the shots and controlling possession. Fourteen seconds after another failed power play for the Grizzlies, Marco Sandelgard’s wrist shot from the point snuck past Prokop to tie the game at one with 1:56 left in the third. That marked Sandelgard’s first career NA3HL goal after joining the Grizzlies a few weeks ago from the Austin Bruins.
Neither team would score in overtime, despite Rochester having another power play chance. The Grizzlies finished 0-for-4 on the power play.
The shootout wouldn’t see a goal until round four when Bryce Garber snapped a shot past Bents on the glove side. Sandelgard had a chance to extend the shootout but Prokop stopped him with a glove save.
Rochester out-shot Milwaukee 35-17 in the game. The Grizzlies are now 14-4-1 on the season, good for 29 points and still in first place in the Central Division. Rochester and Milwaukee finish off the Rochester portion of the season series Saturday evening at 7:05.