WAUSAU, Wis. — The Rochester Grizzlies continue to receive production from their veteran forwards.
They continue to receive strong performances from their goaltenders.
And they continue to win.
Third-year Grizzly Matt DeRosa scored 37 seconds into Friday's game and Rochester never trailed in winning its fifth consecutive game, 5-2 against the Wausau RiverWolves.
Rochester improves to 14-2-0 overall with the win. During its five-game winning streak, it has outscored its opponents 31-4, and for the season has outscored its opponents 70-22, the second-best goal differential in the NA3HL.
Rochester now holds a six-point lead in the Central Division standings over Peoria (10-2-2), with two games remaining before the Grizzlies take a two-week holiday break.
The Grizzlies jumped on Wausau from the get-go Friday, with DeRosa scoring his ninth goal of the season less than a minute into the game. That started another impressive night for the Grizzlies' veterans, as DeRosa had a goal and an assist, Peyton Hart had two goals and an assist, and Garrett Smith scored, giving him at least one point in 12 of Rochester's 14 games this season.
Rochester scored three of its goals on specialty teams, as it notched two power-play goals (one each by DeRosa and Smith), and a short-handed goal by Hart.
The Grizzlies also received a second-period goal from rookie Alex Villa, his first NA3HL goal, in his sixth game with the team. Villa scored 2:07 into the second period to give Rochester a 3-0 lead, with assists from defenseman Yotaro Nakadate and goalie Zach Wiese (27 saves).
Nakadate and fellow defenseman Tommy Gordon had two assists each, and defenseman Logan Kroyman had one.
Rochester outshot Wausau 34-27.
The Grizzlies close their pre-holiday schedule with games at Peoria (Ill.) at 7:15 p.m. Saturday night and 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
GRIZZLIES 5, RIVERWOLVES 2
Rochester 2 2 1 — 5
Wausau 0 1 1 — 2
First Period — 1. ROC, Matt DeRosa 9 (Peyton Hart 8, Yotaro Nakadate 6) :37 (pp). 2. ROC, Garrett Smith 4 (Tommy Gordon 6) 12:28 (pp). Second Period — 3. ROC, Alex Villa 1 (Nakadate 7, Zach Wiese 1) 2:07. 4. WAU, JJ Berdal 1 (Nolan Gifford 5, Dale Rodriguez 2) 9:47. 5. ROC, Hart 11 (DeRosa 5, Gordon 7) 12:11. Third Period — 6. WAU, Max Beste 4 (Berdal 2) :25. 7. ROC, Hart 12 (Logan Kroyman 5) 9:24 (sh).
Shots on goal — ROC 13-14-7—34, WAU 8-8-11—27. Goalies — ROC, Zach Wiese (W, 5-1-0; 25 saves-27 shots); WAU, Joseph LaForge (L, 2-7-1; 29 saves-34 shots). Power-play opportunities — ROC 2-for-4; WAU 0-for-1. Penalties — ROC, 1-2 minutes; WAU, 4-8 minutes.