ROCHESTER, Minn. – Hockey season is officially back in Rochester. The Rochester Grizzlies picked up a preseason victory over NTG Norway, 4-0, Saturday night from the Rochester Recreation Center.
The first period was mostly dominated by the Grizzlies but no score would be seen until very late in the period. Second-year forward Lucas Newman (Rochester, MN) buried a shorthanded goal with less than a minute to go in the first, giving Rochester a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
Newcomer Zak Justice doubled the lead for the Grizzlies at 12:25 of the second period. The forward from Bemidji, MN received a pass from veteran Joey Fodstad (Rogers, MN) and roofed a backhand shot on a breakaway. Rookie goalie Sean Guerin (Oaklawn, IL) stopped all shots he saw before switching with fellow rookie Shane Soderwall (Algonquin, IL) about halfway through the second, as planned by Head Coach Chris Ratzloff.
Rochester would pour it on in the final period. Another rookie, Andrejs Bogdanovs, made the lead 3-0 at 11:08 of the third period. The defenseman from Riga, Latvia beat the goalie with a nice shot in the top corner. Fellow rookie defenseman Isaac Leeman (Austin, MN) got a fortunate bounce as his shot form the point beat the goalie at 14:06 of the third, giving the Grizzlies a 4-0 lead.
The game would stay 4-0, with Rochester picking up the victory in its lone preseason game before the season officially begins next weekend. Guerin and Soderwall combined for a 20-save shutout. The Grizzlies out-shot NTG Norway 57-20 in the game.
Rochester begins the season Sept. 13 on the road against Milwaukee and is in Peoria the next night. Friday night’s game is an 8pm contest while Saturday’s game in Peoria is slated for 6:45pm. Both games can be found on Hockey TV.
The Grizzlies’ home opener is Sept. 20 at 7pm from the Rochester Recreation Center against the Wausau RiverWolves. The two teams meet that Saturday, as well, in another 7pm contest from the Rec Center. Season tickets can still be purchased and start as low as just $150. For more information regarding tickets, contact the Grizzlies front office at 507-722-0415.