MASON CITY, Iowa – After a strong outing Friday night, the Rochester Grizzlies could not get the weekend sweep after dropping Saturday’s game 5-2 to the North Iowa Bulls.
The Grizzlies (15-6-0-0, 30pts) were in command most of Friday’s game, earning a 6-3 victory to start the two game road stand. The Bulls (16-6-0-0, 32pts) opened the scoring Saturday and didn’t look back.
North Iowa opened the scoring at the 8:49 mark of the first period as Jack Giddings beat goalie Max Clouser for his seventh of the season. Clouser earned the start today after Nick Bucklin picked up the win in Friday’s game. Brendan Studioso gave the Bulls a two goal lead at the 10:53 mark of the first.
Rochester would respond and cut the lead in half. Nic Leisen capitalized on the power play, scoring his third of the season. Brock Hildrenbrand picked up the lone assist on the goal.
The second period would yield a different result for the Grizzlies, as North Iowa would score two more goals to make their lead 4-1. Jimmy McDermott scored his eighth of the season 7:13 into the second. That would be the end of the evening for Clouser, as he was pulled in favor of Bucklin.
Bucklin would not fare much better to start, as the Bulls would score a power play goal almost three minutes after their third goal.
Joey Fodstad cut the lead in half after scoring his ninth goal of the season just 2:21 into the third. Stepan Jirovec picked up the assist, which would be his first point as a member of the Grizzlies. North Iowa added an empty net goal with 1:54 left to seal the deal.
With the loss, the Grizzlies now sit four points back of first place Granite City (34pts) and two points back of second place North Iowa in the West Division.
Rochester is back home Friday to take on the Coulee Region Chill for the first time this season. It is the first of two in what is a home and home for the Grizzlies and Chill.
Friday’s game is Teddy Bear Toss Night at the Rochester Rec Center. Fans are encouraged to bring a teddy bear to the game which will be thrown on the ice after the Grizzlies’ first goal. The bears will be donated to local charities.
It is also Mayo Clinic Night at the Rec Center. All Mayo Clinic employees who attend the game and show a valid ID get free entry. Puck drop is 7:05.