BLAINE, Minn. – A dramatic finish to end the North American 3 Hockey League Showcase Tournament never hurt anyone. The Rochester Grizzlies lost a 2-0 lead to the Texas Brahmas before Porter Haney scored in overtime to win the game 3-2, helping Rochester go a perfect 3-0 at the Showcase Tournament.
The Grizzlies and Brahmas went into Tuesday morning’s game both sitting in first place in their respective divisions. Rochester in the Central and Texas in the South. The teams were in opposite spots in the Showcase as Texas, the defending Fraser Cup Champions, was 0-2 on the first two days.
Rochester controlled play for much of the first period. Peyton Hart found the back of the net at 10:35 of the first for his 11th goal of the season. Hart, who was playing his fifth game in five days after playing two with the Austin Bruins (NAHL) this weekend, received a pass from Cody Reagle and beat Brahmas goalie Bryce Runyan high. Andrejs Bogdanovs picked up the secondary assist on the goal. The Grizzlies would keep racking up shots in the period with Runyan answering the bell for most of them. Devin Hays beat Runyan with a backhand at 17:13 of the first, making it 2-0 Grizzlies. Haney had the lone assist. Rochester outshot Texas 15-3 in the first period.
The second period was more evenly matched between the two teams. Neither team would score in the first half until Texas caught a break just over halfway through. Logan Olson was sent to the penalty box for head contact and Andrue Trelstad beat Mathias Backstrom to score a power play goal and make it a 2-1 game at 12:26 of the second.
The Grizzlies would hold on to a 2-1 lead for much of the third period before Trelstad found a loose puck with 2:27 left and beat Backstrom to tie the game. The Brahmas had a couple chances prior to the goal but Backstrom made the necessary saves. Trelstad’s shot was not picked up entirely by Backstrom, who had several players in front of him blocking his view.
With 1:30 remaining in overtime, the Duluth, MN native Haney worked his magic. Noel Parker won a puck battle in the corner and passed the puck to Joey Fodstad. Fodstad then found Haney who was wide open in the slot and he beat Runyan to win it for the Grizzlies. The win marked Rochester’s first overtime victory of the season.
Rochester heads into the winter break still on top of the Central Division at 20-5-1, good for 41 points. The Grizzlies will have off for nearly two weeks before a road game Sunday, Dec. 29 against the Wausau RiverWolves. The Grizzlies are home New Year’s Eve for a 7 PM puck drop against the RiverWolves.