ST. LOUIS — Rochester Grizzlies goalie Zach Wiese had his best game of his young junior hockey career here Saturday afternoon.
And the Grizzlies needed every one of the former Owatonna goalie's 34 saves to pull out a 1-0 victory against their North American 3 Hockey League Central Division rival St. Louis Jr. Blues at Affton Ice Rink.
The victory allowed the Grizzlies (17-3-0 overall) to remain alone in first place in the division, just two points ahead of the Peoria Mustangs, who have tracked down the Grizzlies by going 9-1-0 in their past 10 games. Peoria is now 15-13-2 and sits just two points back of Rochester in the NA3HL Central standings.
The spotlight belonged to Wiese on Saturday, though.
The 6-feet-1, 175-pounder earned his fifth consecutive victory in his eighth start of the season. He stopped double-digit shots in all three periods, lowering his already-miniscule goals-against average to 0.88, and increasing his already-impressive save percentage to .960.
Wiese has recorded three shutouts and hasn't allowed more than two goals in a game this season.
While a rookie backstopped the Grizzlies to the important victory, a veteran took care of the scoring. Third-year Grizzlies forward Joey Fodstad scored with 14 seconds to go in the first period, with an assist from Cody Reagle, for the game's only goal.
Jr. Blues goalie Owen Carlson also had a standout performance, stopping 27 of the 28 shots he faced.
The teams are scheduled to meet again Sunday at 1 p.m. in St. Louis.
GRIZZLIES 1, JR. BLUES 0
Rochester 1 0 0 — 1
St. Louis 0 0 0 — 0
First period — 1. ROC, Joey Fodstad 6 (Cody Reagle 4) 19:46. Second period — no scoring. Third period — no scoring.
Shots on goal — ROC 11-8-9—28, STL 11-13-10—34. Goalies — ROC, Zach Wiese (W, 7-1-0; 34 saves-34 shots); STL, Owen Carlson (L, 3-6-0; 27 saves-28 shots). Power-play opportunities — ROC, 0-for-2; STL, 0-for-3. Penalties — ROC 4-10 minutes; STL 3-8 minutes.