Grizzlies fall in Game 2, season on the line Sunday at Rec Center

The Rochester Grizzlies lost at Peoria on Saturday in Game 2 of an NA3HL Central Division semifinals series. Their season will be on the line in Game 3 on Sunday at the Rochester Recreation Center.

Rochester Grizzlies logo
Rochester Grizzlies

PEORIA, Ill. — The Rochester Grizzlies had to battle to the final day of the regular season to win the North American 3 Hockey League Central Division championship and earn home-ice advantage throughout the division playoffs.

The Grizzlies can be thankful they did.

After opening the postseason at home Friday with a victory against the Peoria (Ill.) Mustangs, Rochester came up empty in Game 2 of the best-of-3 Central Division semifinal series on Saturday, losing 3-0 to the Mustangs at the Owen Center in Peoria.

That makes Sunday's Game 3 — set for 5:05 p.m. at the Rochester Recreation Center — a do-or-die game for both teams.

The winner will face the Oregon (Wis.) Tradesmen in the best-of-3 division finals next weekend. The loser will see its season end.


If there is good news for the Grizzlies about having to play a Game 3, it's that history is on their side.

Though the franchise has only been around for five seasons, Rochester has historically been significantly better at the Rec Center than away from it during the divisional playoffs. Following Saturday's loss at Peoria, the Grizzlies are 10-5 all-time in divisional playoff games — they are 9-0 at home and just 1-5 on the road.

Another stat in the Grizzlies' favor: Rochester is 3-1-0 this season at home against the Mustangs.

None of that guarantees anything, though, for the Grizzlies in the decisive Game 3. They'll have to improve on both ends of the ice after falling 3-0 to the Mustangs on Saturday. The loss marks the first time the Grizzlies have ever been shutout in the postseason.

Peoria's Christopher Kondiles opened the scoring 7:15 into the game, with a goal that held up as the game winner. Ethan Peterson added a second goal with 1:14 to play in the first, putting the Mustangs up 2-0. That's how the score remained until Ethan Chesney sealed the victory with 1:26 to play in the third period.

Rochester outshot Peoria 32-24, but couldn't solve Mustangs goalie Cam Pendleton, who followed a sharp 28-save performance Friday with a 32-save shutout on Saturday.

Grizzlies goalie Tate Cothern stopped 21 shots in the loss.



Rochester 0-0-0 — 0

Peoria 2-0-1 — 3

First period — 1. PEO, Christopher Kondiles 1 (Massimo Polistina 1) 7:15. 2. PEO, Ethan Peterson 1 (Perry Lagatuz 1, Tristan Trudel 1) 18:46. Second period — no scoring. Third period — 3. PEO, Ethan Chesney 1 (Joseph Rancilio 1, Jaycob Bland 1) 18:34.

Shots on goal — ROC 11-17-4 — 32; PEO 11-4-9 — 24. Goalies — ROC, Tate Cothern (L, 1-1-0; 21 saves-24 shots); PEO, Cam Pendleton (W, 1-1-0; 32 saves-32 shots). Power-play opportunities — ROC, 0-for-2; PEO, none. Penalties — ROC, none; PEO, 3-27 minutes.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
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