ROCHESTER, MN- The Rochester Grizzlies have appeared to find their game-breaker. After arriving a few weeks ago from the Minnesota Magicians of the NAHL, Connor Mahony has done nothing but score for the Grizzlies.
The Lakeville, MN native scored three goals Saturday night and the Grizzlies defeated the Mason City Toros for the second night in a row, winning 5-2. Kyle Bauer and Justin Wright also picked up goals for Rochester.
Mahony, who scored two goals in Friday night’s 9-4 win in Mason City, opened the scoring with his seventh of the season at 6:36 of the first. Cole Gibson sprung Mahony on a partial breakaway as he beat Ryan Knight on the backhand. Bauer tallied his fifth of the season, intercepting a clearing pass and scoring on a breakaway to make it 2-0 Rochester at 14:01 of the first.
The Toros would not go away as Cullen Hogan potted his third of the season at 7:49 of the second period to cut the lead in half. The Grizzlies would be on their heels for quite a bit of the second period, getting outshot 13-10 in the middle frame.
Mason City finally tied the game on a major power play as Sota Isogai finished off a centering feed at 6:21 of the third. Max Clark was ejected from the game and given a five-minute major penalty for charging after he collided with Toros’ goalie Knight.
Rochester’s leading goal scorer Mahony continued his flair for the dramatics by catching the puck out of mid-air and settling it down before beating Knight to the far side, giving the Grizzlies the 3-2 lead late in the third. The team would never look back as Mahony finished off his hat trick with an empty-net goal at 18:16 of the third. Wright also added an empty-net tally for the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies improve to 7-0-0 (14 points) on the season, sitting atop the Central Division. Zach Wiese stopped 33 of 35 shots for the win. Rochester is on the road next weekend for two games against the Oregon Tradesmen and will be back home the last weekend of the month against the Peoria Mustangs.