ROCHESTER, MN– The Rochester Grizzlies saw their win streak reach 12 to continue their dominant start to the season. TJ Norris tallied two goals to lead the offense as Rochester defeated the Peoria Mustangs 5-1 on home ice to open an eight-game homestand. The Grizzlies’ previous season-opening win streak record was nine coming last season but has since been toppled by the current win streak.
Peoria opened the scoring at 7:16 of the first period as Perry Lagatuz beat Zach Wiese with a wrist shot high to the glove side to make it 1-0 for the visitors. The lead would last until the one-minute mark of the third period when Grizzlies captain Justin Wright collected his own rebound and chipped the puck past Mustangs goalie Joe Ambroffi to tie the game at one.
Norris’ first of the game came at 14:49 of the second period as he knocked down a bouncing puck and in one motion, fired it between the legs of Ambroffi to give Rochester a lead it would not lose.
Noah Roitman gave the Grizzlies an insurance goal early in the third period with a dandy of a wrist shot that beat Ambroffi high to the blocker side. That goal marked Roitman’s first since joining the Grizzlies from the Minot Minotauros of the North American Hockey League. Norris would then score a highlight-reel goal for his second as he slid a backhander through the goalie’s legs on a shorthanded breakaway, making it 4-1 for the home team. Kyle Bauer would add on a power-play goal late in the third to make it 5-1. Bauer’s goal was his ninth of the season, tying him for the team lead with Connor Mahony.
Norris’ two goals marked his first career multi-goal game in the North American 3 Hockey League. Wiese stopped 20 of 21 shots to pick up his seventh win of the season.
Rochester is now sitting comfortably on top of the Central Division as 12-0-0 (24 points). These two teams will meet for the final time from Rochester this regular season Saturday evening at 7:05.