ROCHESTER, Minn. – Another weekend. Another sweep.
The Rochester Grizzlies are making quite the impression on the NA3HL through the first few weekends, finishing off this weekend with a 6-2 win over the Willmar War Hawks.
Rochester already had an impressive win yesterday, defeating the North Iowa Bulls 3-1. The Grizzlies made another statement Saturday.
“We showed our identity and who we could possibly become. We showed the league who we are,” defenseman Seth Bacon said.
This one would start out slow for the Grizzlies as Willmar forward Jacob Berkowitz would score just 11 seconds into the first period. It was a bit of an unlucky bounce that led to a breakaway.
“That’s just us not being ready to play when the puck drops…It actually kind of woke us up. We’ll address being ready to go on time,” Head Coach Casey Mignone said.
Richard Szabo would keep up his hot streak and respond for the Grizzlies just a couple minutes later, tying the game at one. That would be Szabo’s fourth goal in two games. Rochester would then get a power play chance at the 9:32 mark in the first and wouldn’t take long to score. Bacon would get what would be his first of the night after a beautiful feed from Szabo.
The second period saw more even play between the two teams, as neither would score in the first half of the second period. The War Hawks would tie the game after a mad scramble in front, as Angelo Perry would net his first of the year at 11:50 of the second period.
Caden Duggan would answer for the Grizzlies, with a nice move to get around a defender and fire one past Willmar goalie Moritz Ertl, giving Rochester a 3-2 lead with three minutes remaining in the second.
At the start of the third period, it would be the Grizzlies with the fast start. The puck would make its way back to Bacon at the point and he would fire a pass to a waiting Peyton Hart in the slot, as he would slap it home giving Rochester a 4-2 lead.
“I saw Seth [Bacon] pick it off…I was expecting a shot and it just came right at me and I just redirected it in. It was one of the greatest goals I’ve probably ever had. An even greater pass by Seth,” Hart said.
Porter Haney would add to the lead at the 4:01 mark of the first with an unassisted goal. Bacon would get his second of the game, and second on the power play, at the 9:41 mark of the third to make it 6-2 Rochester.
The Grizzlies would go on to out-shoot the War Hawks 48-28, as Rochester goalie Maxim Clouser would make 26 saves to earn the win in net.
Rochester and Willmar will become even more familiar with each other next weekend, as the teams play two games against each other. Friday will be a home game for the Grizzlies before they travel to Willmar for a Saturday matchup. Friday’s home game has a 7:05 puck drop.