Jason Feldman email@example.com Sep 23, 2018 Post Bulletin
Peyton Hart tucked his hockey stick behind his neck and threw his head back.
It was halfway through the third period Saturday night at the Rochester Recreation Center,
in a game where the outcome had long been decided. But Hart thought his best chance to get his first goal as a Rochester Grizzly might have passed him by, at least for the night.
But just more than a minute after being stopped by Evansville goalie Noah Brandau on three consecutive attempts from the top and side of the crease, Hart again found himself alone with the puck and some space.
He didn’t miss on his next best chance, burying a backhand high over Brandau’s glove to put an exclamation point on his four-point game and the Grizzlies’ 10-0 blowout victory against the Thunderbolts in a North American 3 Hockey League game.
“I’ve been waiting for one the past couple games,” Hart said. “I had a couple chances (Friday) and didn’t get it, couldn’t bury it, hit the post on one. I just had to keep going, and eventually I got one to go.”
Hart, a 17-year-old, 6-foot, 175-pound forward from Milwaukee suburb Pewaukee, is accustomed to scoring goals. He did a lot of it last season for the Kettle Moraine/Mukwanago/Oconomowoc high school program.
After spending six seasons in the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals program, Hart led KMMO in goals (26) and points (38) in 25 games played last season. He has a goal and four assists through his first three games with the Grizzlies.
“He’s a good kid, works hard, a good skater,” Grizzlies head coach Casey Mignone said. “He’s been the best player on the ice for most of the time. … We just want to see him generate chances. They’ll go in eventually if you keep getting them.
“He’s scored some nice goals in practice, in our shootouts we do. Like I said, he shoots the puck hard and I think he’ll score a lot of goals for us.”
Hart assisted on the Grizzlies’ two first-period goals, both scored by Caden Duggan. He added another assist on one of two second-period goals scored by Rochester Lourdes graduate Lucas Newman.
Rochester’s victory gave it a sweep of its inaugural home series, coming on the heels of a 10-1 victory on Friday night at the Rec Center.
“We were able to get a lot of shots and chances, got a lot of guys on the scoresheet,” Hart said. “But we have to keep working, using our teammates and get rolling like we did (Friday). We have to keep doing that, that’s the fun part of playing this game.”
Through just three games, the Grizzlies have seen both extremes of the NA3HL. They lost their season-opening game 10-0 to the Granite City Lumberjacks — a team that has won three of the past six league titles — before sweeping Evansville, a team that has lost its five games this season by a combined score of 53-1. The Grizzlies outshot the Thunderbolts 71-5 on Saturday and 203-19 for the two-game series.
“We’ll enjoy this, but it’s time to go back to work (today),” Mignone said. “We weren’t great, we were good. We still have a lot of stuff to work on, so we’ll put the hard hats on (today) and try to tighten things up.
“We know the division games we have coming up are big and we need to get back in the win column there.”
Saturday, for a second consecutive night, the Grizzlies had 14 players record at least one point, including goalie Liam Kelly, who recorded an assist on one of Newman’s goals.
Newman, who also had one assist, joined Caden Duggan as two-goal scorers. Duggan got the Grizzlies going by notching their only two goals of the first period. Porter Haney, Vladislav Sorokin and Vincent Palade all scored once each for Rochester (2-1-0 overall).
The Grizzlies host a pair of division opponents this weekend at the Rec Center. They face North Iowa at 7:05 p.m. Friday, then play Willmar at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.
“We had some guys getting their first goals, gaining some confidence. You can’t understate that stuff,” Mignone said. “…We know that the measuring stick, though, is teams like Granite and North Iowa. Those are the teams we want to be in the conversation with, but I’m happy for the guys to get their first couple wins.”
GRIZZLIES 10, THUNDERBOLTS 0
Evansville 0 0 0 — 0
Rochester 2 5 3 — 10
First period — 1. R, Caden Duggan 1 (Peyton Hart 2, Nick Latvala 1) 8:20. 2. Duggan 2 (Latvala 2, Hart 3) 10:39 (pp).
Second period — 3. R, Richard Szabo 1 (Bradley Postula 1, Vladislav Sorokin 1) 6:47. 4. R, Lucas Newman 2 (Porter Haney 1) 8:26. 5. R, Newman 3 (Hart 4, Liam Kelly 1) 13:39. 6. R, Vincent Palade 1 (Szabo 1, Logan Olson 3) 15:31. 7. R, Sorokin 1 (DeRosa 2, Olson 4) 19:00.
Third period — 8. R, Haney 2 (Newman 2, Brock Hildenbrand 2) :50 (pp). 9. R, Szabo 2 (Sorokin 2, Latvala 3) 2:12. 10. R, Hart 1 (Ryan Lemker 2, Palade 1) 8:06.
Shots on goal — E 4-1-0—5; R 23-29-19—71. Goalies — E, Noah Brandau (L, 0-3-0; 71 shots-61 saves); R, Liam Kelly (W, 1-1-0; 5 shots-5 saves). Power-play opportunities — E, 0-for-4; R, 2-for-4. Penalties — E, 2-4 minutes; R, 2-4 minutes.