WILLMAR, Minn. – Nic Leisen was in a bit of a goal drought going in to Friday’s game against the Willmar War Hawks. The forward had not scored since Dec. 1 against North Iowa. That would change Friday as he would be the big difference-maker in the Grizzlies’ 4-0 win on the road.
Leisen opened the scoring just 58 seconds into the game after getting his own rebound. The goal would mark his fourth of the season. Seth Bacon and Lucas Newman picked up the assists on the goal. His goal would start a solid period for the Grizzlies.
Vladislav Sorokin continued his strong season by scoring his 32nd goal of the season after a nice toe drag move around the defense. Brock Hildenbrand had the lone assist on the goal, coming at 10:41 of the first period. Less than two minutes later, Joey Fodstad extended the lead to 3-0 with his 13th of the season. Rochester would garner 26 shots on goal in the first compared to Willmar’s six.
The second period saw no scoring for either team, as both Liam Kelly and Lucas Ehrlich stood tall in their respective nets. Play proved to be much more even during the second period, as well.
Leisen scored his second of the game on an early power play in the third period, making the lead 4-0. This would mark Leisen’s first multi-goal game of his NA3HL career. Kelly would stop every shot the rest of the way to pick up his second shutout of the season.
With the win, Rochester improves to 25-11-0-0, good for 50 points. The Grizzlies jumped into second place in the West Division, one point ahead of the North Iowa Bulls and are four points back of the Granite City Lumberjacks. The Grizzlies are back on the road Saturday against the New Ulm Steel with a 7:10pm puck drop. That game can be found on Hockey TV.