ROCHESTER, Minn. – The Rochester Grizzlies found out this weekend that two points won’t come easy in the Central Division, no matter who the opponent is. After a back-and-forth regulation, the Grizzlies found themselves in overtime for just the second time this season. Rochester native Dylan Schneider capped off a brilliant evening with his second goal of the night, giving Rochester a big 4-3 win.
Much like Friday night’s game, Saturday started off rather even. This time, the visiting RiverWolves opened the scoring. Ethan Cumming scored his third goal of the weekend at 8:55 to give Wausau the 1-0 lead. Rochester was able to storm back and get two goals of its own in the first period. Garrett Smith continued his strong weekend with his second goal in as many games, coming at 15:36 of the first. Schneider and Matt DeRosa added the assists on the tying goal. DeRosa would get his second of the weekend at 18:14 of the first, flipping the puck up and over RiverWolves goalie Caleb Sauer. Smith and Logan Kroyman assisted on DeRosa’s 13th of the season.
Rochester would extend its lead in the second period with Schneider’s first of the evening. Logan Kroyman had a shot-pass to Schneider, who redirected it past Sauer to make it 3-1 Grizzlies. DeRosa picked up the secondary assist on the goal. The lead would only last till the 15:39 mark of the second, as Cumming beat Soderwall high to the glove side for a power play goal. Cumming’s second of the game also marked the first power play goal given up by Rochester since Nov. 13 against the Peoria Mustangs.
With Wausau searching for the tying goal in the third, Cumming played hero again. This time he made a cross-ice feed to Kaidden O’Connor who tipped the puck past a sprawling Soderwall to make it 3-3. Soderwall got a piece of the shot, but not enough.
For the second time this season, the Grizzlies made it to overtime where Schneider worked his magic again. Smith made the feed in front of the net where Schneider flipped the puck over Sauer, giving the Grizzlies a 4-3 win, their first overtime win of the season.
Rochester now improves to 22-4-0-1 and sits atop the Central Division with 45 points, seven points up on the Mustangs. Soderwall picked up his 13th win of the season, stopping 24 shots. The Grizzlies are off next weekend before traveling to Peoria for the final time this regular season in two weeks. Rochester is back home in three weeks, Feb. 19 and 20 for two games against the Milwaukee Power.