ROCHESTER, Minn. – The power play woes of the Rochester Grizzlies, including not scoring on it in seven straight games, seem to be long gone. The Grizzlies scored twice on the man advantage tonight as they came back to beat the St. Louis Jr. Blues, 2-1. This completed the weekend sweep of the Jr. Blues and helped them win the season series 3-1.
Both games this weekend against the Jr. Blues had a playoff intensity to them. This game started no different. But unlike Friday’s game, the Jr. Blues were the first to break the ice Saturday.
While Jacob Wiethaupt was serving a minor penalty, Sean Hofstetter took advantage of a Shane Soderwall miscue. Soderwall came out of the Grizzlies net to play the puck but handed it right to Hofstetter, who fired it into an empty cage with Soderwall way out of the net. The Jr. Blues took the 1-0 lead into the first intermission, despite the Grizzlies outshooting St. Louis.
The power play woke up in the second period for Rochester. Nic Leisen redirected a Noel Parker point shot past Brett Tome from the high slot, tying the game 1-1 at 7:53 of the second. Peyton Hart picked up the other assist on Leisen’s 10th goal of the season. Rochester would get a late power play as Clayton Dawe was served a five minute major for cross checking and a game misconduct.
With the major penalty carrying over into the third period, Matt DeRosa finished off a Porter Haney pass, beating Tome to give the Grizzlies a 2-1 lead. Leisen added his second point of the night with the secondary assist.
The rough stuff continued throughout the third period as at the end of the game, the teams combined for 117 penalty minutes. The Jr. Blues had 67 while the Grizzlies had 50. Five different 10-minute misconducts were handed out in the game.
Soderwall stopped 23 of the 24 shots he saw as he won his 11th game of the season. Tome stopped 30 of 32 shots.
The Grizzlies improved to 36-8-1-1 for 74 points as they wrapped up the home portion of the regular season. They’re on the road tomorrow afternoon for a 3 o’clock start time against the Alexandria Blizzard. This marks the final game of the regular season before the Fraser Cup Playoffs start. Rochester’s first home playoff game is Saturday the 14th at 7 PM and it will be game two of the best-of-three series against the Peoria Mustangs.