LA CROSSE, Wis. – The Rochester Grizzlies put up a four spot in the third period on the Coulee Region Chill, breaking a 1-1 tie and went on to beat the Chill 5-1. All four third period goals came with less than 10 minutes remaining in the period.
In the eighth and final meeting between the two teams this season, both were held scoreless in the first period. Mathias Backstrom stopped all nine Chill shots he saw in the period while Devin Naidow put aside nine Grizzlies shots.
Rochester broke out for 20 shots in the second period, starting to open things up. It would be the first to score as Hunter Wilmes scored in his second straight game, giving the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead. His 12th of the season was assisted by Lucas Newman and Jesper Hofling, coming at 9:37 of the second period. Coulee Region would convert on a power play with just one second remaining with the man advantage, tying the game at one at 14:39 of the second. Joey Wiczek scored the goal, as the Chill managed to get one past Backstrom despite putting up only five shots in the period.
The Grizzlies continued to rack up the shots in the third period and it seemed only a matter of time before more got past Naidow. It would come at 11:57 of the period when Joey Fodstad, celebrating his 20th birthday Sunday, would find the back of the net for his 25th of the season. Fodstad’s goal was assisted by Porter Haney and was his sixth game winning goal of the season. Noel Parker connected on a power play goal for Rochester at 14:03 of the period. The Grizzlies now have a power play goal in three straight games. Peyton Hart tacked on two more goals for the Grizzlies, with his first coming just 55 seconds after Parker’s goal. His second was a shorthanded marker, the 14th of the season for the Grizzlies, coming with just 27 seconds left in the game.
Backstrom shut the door the rest of the way, picking up his 17th win of the season. Rochester finished the regular season 5-2-0-1 against Coulee Region. The Grizzlies head into the last weekend of the regular season at 34-8-1-1, good for 70 points.
Rochester finishes off the regular season with three games in three days next weekend. Friday and Saturday are home games against the St. Louis Jr. Blues. Friday is Billet Appreciation Night and it will also feature a post game skate with the Grizzlies. Saturday is Fan Appreciation Night, as fans will be able to get team posters at the gate and there will also be a post game jersey auction. Fans will be able to get the jerseys they win in the auction at the end of the season. Puck drop for both games are 7 PM from the Rochester Recreation Center.