BLAINE, Minn. – The Rochester Grizzlies opened the North American 3 Hockey League Showcase Tournament Sunday afternoon in dominating fashion. After a big win Friday night over the North Iowa Bulls, Rochester carried some momentum into Sunday’s game with the Elmira Jr. Soaring Eagles and picked up a 5-1 win from Schwan Super Rink 4.
This is the only meeting between the two clubs this season, barring a future game in the Fraser Cup Playoffs. Elmira came into the game sitting in second place in the Northeast Division while Rochester was two points up of St. Louis for first in the Central Division.
Rochester opened the scoring as leading goal scorer Joey Fodstad potted his 18th of the season just 1:59 into the first. Fodstad banked it off an Elmira defender and the puck crept past goalie Thomas Held. Porter Haney and Ethan Noonan added the assists. The lead wouldn’t last long, however. The Jr. Soaring Eagles, coming into the game with the second worst power play in the league, converted on their first man-advantage of the game. Ryan Reifler received a pass down low and beat Sean Guerin to the glove side, tying the game at one at 4:58 of the first. The tie would last less than three minutes as Matt DeRosa stole the puck and beat Held, making it 2-1 at 7:27 of the first. Just about four minutes later, Porter Haney would double the lead to 3-1 for the Grizzlies. Rochester had Elmira hemmed in its own zone for an extended time before Haney finished off a Fodstad pass. Noonan added the other assist.
The scoring would let up in the second period. Rochester would still control play, as it held Elmira to just two shots in the second period after giving up six in the first. DeRosa scored his second of the game at 8:20 of the second period. His goal came right at the end of a Grizzlies power play. Logan Olson and Garrett Smith picked up the assists. Rochester put up 19 shots on net in the second period alone.
Devin Hays converted on a major power play for Rochester at 7:53 of the third to make it 5-1. Hays’ eighth goal was assisted by Haney and Fodstad. Guerin shut the door the rest of the way in the third period.
Fodstad and Haney each finished with a goal and two assists. DeRosa and Noonan also had multi-point efforts for the Grizzlies. Guerin picked up his third win of the season in net.
Rochester improves to 18-5-1 on the season, good for 37 points and still sitting in first place in the Central Division. The Grizzlies take on the Bozeman Icedogs Monday afternoon at 1:15 from Schwan Super Rink 2 and end the Showcase Tournament Tuesday at 9:30 AM against the Texas Brahmas. All games can be found on Hockey TV.