ROCHESTER, MN- The Rochester Grizzlies have tied a record and not in a good way. After leading 2-0 at the end of one, the Grizzlies surrendered three straight goals and lost 3-2 to the second place Oregon Tradesmen Friday night on home ice. This marks the first time since the 2018-19 season Rochester has lost four straight games.
The recently tender signed Adam Johnson (with the Minot Minotauros of the NAHL) opened the scoring for Rochester at the eight-minute mark of the first. Johnson pounced on a loose puck left after a Mason Thingvold point shot was saved by Tradesmen goalie Ian Hedican. Lyncoln Howarth picked up the secondary assist on the goal. At 17:03 of the first, Matthew Shaw found the back of the net after one-timing a blocked shot past a sprawling Hedican to make it 2-0 for the home team. Thingvold and Johnson assisted on Shaw’s fifth goal of the season.
Oregon would not be denied, as in the second period it mounted its comeback. Gunnar Schiffman let go almost a seemingly innocent shot that managed to beat Grizzlies goalie Niko Goich. Carter Stobb appeared to have set a moving screen, as Oregon took advantage of a turnover by Rochester. After being in penalty trouble during the game, it finally caught up to the Grizzlies. Sam Vanderhoeven finished off a pass from Jason Tenezaca, beating Goich from in close to tie the game at two late in the second.
Abe Laggis would complete the comeback for Oregon at 6:27 of the third after dancing around one defender and beating Goich to the far side from a wrist shot in the slot.
Friday’s loss marked the first loss to the Tradesmen this year for the Grizzlies. Rochester was 4-0 coming into the game, all of those wins were on the road. Rochester now has a five-point lead over Oregon for first place in the Central Division (50-45). The two teams are back at it Saturday at 7:05 PM from the Rochester Recreation Center.