Grizzlies Suffer Another Tough Loss to the Blizzard

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. – As has been an unfortunate trend this season, the Rochester Grizzlies can’t seem to beat the Alexandria Blizzard. After suffering a loss Friday at home, the Grizzlies fell to the Blizzard on the road, 3-0.

Nick Bucklin was given his third straight start for the Grizzlies and was tested early. Alexandria put up 13 shots in the first period compared to five for Rochester. Bucklin stopped all he saw, as did Blizzard goalie Kyle Hayden.

The second period proved to be similar to the first. The Grizzlies found themselves in penalty in the second period, taking four in the 20 minutes, including three within 1:08 of each other. Bucklin and the penalty killers stood tall, as the game would be scoreless through two periods. The Blizzard heavily out-shot the Grizzlies in that period, 17-6.

Alexandria took advantage of an early power play chance in the third period, though, as Brandon Connett found the back of the net at the 3:37 mark to open the scoring. The goal came while Nic Leisen was serving a penalty for hooking.

About four minutes later the Grizzlies would have another chance at the power play after Joe Dokken would sit for cross checking. Just over a minute later, Rochester would have a 5-on-3 chance as Sam Prisbe was called for tripping. However, the Grizzlies could not get anything going with the man-advantage and were still trailing 1-0.

That only lasted for a couple more minutes as Ike Taraszewski scored his second goal in as many games to give the Blizzard a 2-0 lead at 14:27 of the third. Wes Johnson added an empty net goal to seal the deal for Alexandria.

The loss for the Grizzlies puts them at 0-5 against the Blizzard this season. Alexandria is the only team Rochester has yet to beat in the West Division. The Grizzlies (24-11-0-0, 48 points) still sit in third place in the division, one point back of the idle North Iowa Bulls and three back of the Granite City Lumberjacks, who suffered a loss Saturday to Willmar.

The Grizzlies’ next game is Friday on the road against the Willmar War Hawks. Game time is 7:10pm and that game can be found on Hockey TV.