ROCHESTER, Minn. – It was a special night for Lucas Newman. The Rochester, MN, native picked up his first career NA3HL hat trick and tacked on two assists to help the Grizzlies defeat the Milwaukee Power 7-0. Rochester finishes the season series against the Power with a 5-1 record.
Much like yesterday, the Grizzlies started off hot. Zak Justice scored his eighth of the season at the 2:49 mark of the first period. Dylan Schneider, in his second game with the team, had the lone assist. Schneider would then continue his hot streak since joining the Grizzlies by tallying his second goal in as many games at the 14:51 mark of the first. Hunter Wilmes assisted on the goal. Newman would get his first of the night with just 34 seconds remaining in the first period. Luke McKinch and Garrett Smith assisted on Newman’s 16th of the season.
Newman would open the scoring just 59 seconds in the second period after getting a fortunate bounce. Power goalie Joey Greilich was out of position trying to play the puck when Newman retrieved it in the corner. He attempted to pass it out in front but it went off a Power defender and into an empty net. Wilmes then scored his sixth goal in as many games after a nice feed from Smith. Newman had the other assist on the goal that made it 5-0 Rochester.
Schneider and Newman scored the final two goals of the evening for Rochester in the third period. Schneider’s was his third since joining the team as he beat Greilich with a wrist shot from the bottom of the left circle. Newman earned his second assist of the night on that goal and Paul Hofbauer added the other one. Newman completed his hat trick at 12:34 of the third period with Ethan Noonan providing the only assist. With his five point effort Saturday night, Newman jumped up to 38 points, trailing team-leader Joey Fodstad by just one.
It was a relatively easy night for Shane Soderwall as he picked up a 20-save shutout for his second one of the season. Sean Guerin shutout the Power in Friday’s win, as well. Soderwall improved to 9-1 on the season with his victory.
Rochester now has a four point cushion for the top spot in the Central Division. It sits at 25-6-1 (51 points) and four clear of the St. Louis Jr. Blues. The Jr. Blues lost to the Coulee Region Chill Saturday evening.
The Grizzlies are back home Friday, Jan. 17 at 7 PM against the Alexandria Blizzard. The two teams have a home-and-home next weekend as Saturday’s game is in Alexandria. It’s also a three-in-four for Rochester next week as it will then play Monday the 20th against Coulee Region at home. That game is set for a 1 PM puck drop.