Gibson, Liffrig, Bauer have big showings as Grizzlies avenge loss to Mason City
Three players had at least three points as the Rochester Grizzlies rallied to beat Mason City on Saturday.
The Rochester Grizzlies have two regulation losses on their record this season.
The first came back on Nov. 5 against the Wausau Cyclones. The Grizzlies avenged that loss the next night.
The second loss in regulation came on Dec. 12, a one-goal setback on the road against the Mason City (Iowa) Toros. Rochester needed just six days to avenge that one — and to do so in come-from-behind fashion.
The Grizzlies scored three times in the third period Saturday night — including twice in the first 79 seconds of the third period — to rally from a goal down to beat Mason City 6-4 in a North American 3 Hockey League game at the Rochester Recreation Center.
The victory was the beginning of a tough stretch of four games in five days against teams that either lead their division or are in second place, and knocking on the door of the leader.
Mason City (17-8-1) is in second place in the West Division, behind Granite City, the team Rochester will face Wednesday afternoon in the final game of the NA3HL Showcase at the National Sports Center Super Rink in Blaine.
Before that showdown, though, Rochester is set to face the East Division-leading Northeast Generals (Attleboro, Mass.) at 2:15 p.m. Monday, and the Frontier Division-leading Helena (Mont.) Bighorns at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The Grizzlies will carry some momentum into the Showcase after rallying past Mason City, a team that beat the Grizzlies 4-3 in Iowa on Dec. 12.
In Saturday’s game at the Rec Center, Rochester built a 3-2 11 minutes, 6 seconds into the second period after Kyle Bauer’s 19th goal of the season snapped a 2-2 tie.
But the Toros answered just 20 seconds later, a Nik Howell goal making it 3-3. Sota Isogai then scored in the final minute of the second to give the Toros a 4-3 lead.
Rochester didn’t need long to regain momentum, though. Justin Wright scored just 28 seconds into the third, then Bauer notched his second of the game and 20th of the season 41 seconds later to put Rochester up for good.
Cole Gibson added an insurance goal with 3:02 to play — his second of the game — to make it 6-4. Layten Liffrig also scored for the Grizzlies, in the first period.
Gibson added two assists for a four-point game; Liffrig had two assists, for a three-point night; and Bauer had one assist, also giving him a three-point game.
Rochester nearly doubled up the Toros in shots on goal, outshooting them 40-21. Zach Weise made 17 saves to earn the victory, while Nathan Dickey stopped 34 shots for Mason City in defeat.
Rochester’s three Showcase games will be their last action prior to a holiday break. The Grizzlies will then be idle until a Jan. 7-8 series at Peoria. Their next home games are set for Jan. 14-15 against the Oregon (Wis.) Tradesmen at the Rec Center.