Junior hockey roundup: Bruins win by a goal, Grizzlies lose by a goal
Alexandria scored twice in the first 10 minutes of the third period and rallied to beat the Rochester Grizzlies 4-3 in a North American 3 Hockey League game at the Rochester Recreation Center on Friday.
The Blizzard continue to have the Grizzlies’ number; Alexandria is the only team in the NA3HL West Division that the Grizzlies have not defeated this season.
Rochester built a 2-0 lead early in the second period on goals by newly acquired Hunter Hall and Peyton Hart.
The Blizzard got back within one on a controversial power-play goal by Brett Meister. The Grizzlies’ net appeared to be knocked off of its pegs before the puck was pushed in, but the officials allowed the goal.
“(The referee said) our goalie ran into the net and that the puck was going in,” Grizzlies coach Casey Mignone said. “I’ve never seen two games in a row with the same ref the net being off by their player and they count goals. It’s hard to wrap your head around.”
After Nic Leisen scored to give the Grizzlies a 3-1 lead, Alexandria pulled within 3-2 by the end of the second period, grabbing the momentum on Brett Meister’s goal with just 30 seconds to go in the period.
Meister scored again 2:46 into the third to tie the score, then Wesley Johnson notched the game winner at the 9:01 mark.
Rochester outshot the Blizzard 46-30. Liam Kelly made 26 stops in the loss for the Grizzlies.
This is the Grizzlies first loss of the season when leading after two periods.
Rochester (25-14-1) now sits seven points behind North Iowa for second place in the division standings. The top two teams in the division earn home-ice advantage for the first round of the postseason. Division-leading Granite City has already clinched a playoff spot.
Rochester plays host to Breezy Point at 7:05 p.m. tonight in the Grizzlies’ inaugural Pink In The Rink Night game. The team’s custom pink-and-black jerseys will be auctioned off following the game with proceeds going to the Mayo Clinic Cancer Research Center.
GRIZZLIES 4, BLIZZARD 3
Alexandria: Brett Meister 3 goals; Wesley Johnson 1 goal; Tucker Kruse 1 assist; Joe Dokken 2 assists; Dylan Giorgio 2 assists; Ike Taraszewski 1 assist. Goalie: Kyle Hayden 43 saves (46 shots).
Rochester: Joey Fodstad 1 assist; Hunter Hall 1 goal, 2 assists; Nic Leisen 1 goal, 1 assist; Brock Hildenbrand 1 assist; Peyton Hart 1 goal. Goalie: Liam Kelly 26 saves (30 shots).
AUSTIN 2, MINOT 1
AUSTIN – The Austin Bruins climbed back into sole possession of second place in the North American Hockey League’s Central Division on Friday, beating rival Minot 2-1 at Riverside Arena.
The Bruins (24-14-6) now lead the Minotauros (26-18-1) by a point in the battle for second place in the division, which carries with it the final home-ice advantage spot in the league playoffs.
Austin never trailed in Friday’s game.
The Bruins took a 1-0 lead on Ben Almquist’s second goal as a Bruin, 8:23 into the game. Minot answered in the second period, tying the score on a goal by Cole O’Connell.
That’s how the score remained until Hugh Larkin buried his 13th goal of the season 4:59 into the third period for a 2-1 Bruins lead. Austin goalie Kyle McClellan – who recently committed to play Division I college hockey at Mercyhurst University – and the Bruins defense did the rest. They limited Minot to 16 shots on goal, and McClellan stopped 15 of those. Austin put 36 shots on goal against Tauros goalie Nicholas Grabko (34 saves).
The Bruins and Tauros meet again at 7:05 p.m. tonight at Riverside.
BRUINS 2, TAUROS 1
Minot: Cole O’Connell 1 goal; Nick Strom 1 assist; Wilmer Skoog 1 assist. Goalie: Nicholas Grabko 34 saves (36 shots).
Austin: Ben Almquist 1 goal, 1 assist; Hugh Larkin 1 goal, 1 assist; Dante Sheriff 1 assist. Goalie: Kyle McClellan 15 saves (16 shots).
MINN. MOOSE 7, KASSON 2
BLAINE – The Kasson Vipers hung with the Minnesota Moose for two periods, but the Moose scored five third-period goals to pull away for a 7-2 U.S. Premier Hockey League victory against Kasson on Friday.
Justin Gibbons and Cameron Bennett scored for the Vipers (10-29-0).
Adrian Morales made 70 saves in the loss as Kasson was outshot 77-17.
The two teams play again at 7 p.m. tonight at Dodge County Ice Arena in Kasson.
MOOSE 7, VIPERS 2
Kasson: Justin Gibbons 1 goal; Cameron Bennett 1 goal; Ryan Stokes 1 assist; Thomas Chaulk 1 assist; Patrik Stastny 1 assist. Goalie: Adrian Morales 70 saves (77 shots).
Minnesota: Eli Kopish 1 goal; Philip DeSavva 1 goal; Tanner Booth 1 goal; Jake Peterson 2 goals, 2 assists; Alex Church 1 goal, 1 assist; Ian Devenport 1 goal. Goalie: Jaeger Reed 15 saves (17 shots).