MEQUON, Wis. — The Rochester Grizzlies entered the 2021-22 season wondering where their scoring would come from on a consistent basis.
While the team is only three games into the season, the answer is becoming clearer and clearer each time the Grizzlies take the ice.
Their scoring is going to come from every part of the lineup.
Rochester had 11 players record at least one point — and four different players scored goals — on Monday as it defeated North American 3 Hockey League Central Division rival Milwaukee 4-3 at the Ozaukee Ice Center in suburban Milwaukee.
The victory helps the Grizzlies improve to 3-0-0 overall in advance of their home openers, set for Friday and Saturday at the Rochester Recreation Center against the Peoria Mustangs, the team the Grizzlies defeated in the Central Division playoff finals last season.
Monday's game was originally scheduled to be held as part of a two-game series in Milwaukee this past weekend, but was pushed back due to lack of hotel availability in the area, thanks to the Ryder Cup being held just north of the suburban Milwaukee area. The second game of that scheduled series will be made up on Wednesday, Dec. 1, a pit stop for the Grizzlies on their way to St. Louis for a two-game series Dec. 3-4 against the Jr. Blues.
The Grizzlies never trailed in Monday's game, though they let a three-goal lead get trimmed to one late in the third period. Goalie Zach Wiese stood tall, though, making 28 saves to earn his second victory in as many starts this young season.
Rochester led 3-1 after one period, then tacked on another goal in the second to make it 4-1 after two.
Former Shattuck St. Mary's and Blake School standout Connor Mahony opened the scoring for Rochester in his first game with the team, putting the Grizzlies up 6:14 into the first period. Mahoney, who played three games with the NAHL's Minnesota Magicians before joinging the Grizzlies, was Blake's third-leading scorer last season, with six goals and 13 points. He had 14 goals and 34 points in his two high school seasons at Blake.
Milwaukee tied the score less than 3 minutes later on a Mason Ausmus unassisted goal. It marked the first point in seven games against the Grizzlies for Ausmus, a second-year Power forward.
The tie score didn't last long, though, as Duluth Denfeld grad Kade Shea notched his first goal as a Grizzly just 21 seconds after Ausmus had tied it. The goal by Shea — who scored 50 goals and had 119 points in three seasons at Denfeld — put Rochester ahead for good.
Kolton Kane notched his second as a Grizzly at the 13:43 mark of the first, then Max Breon scored his second goal as a Grizzly with just 10 seconds to go in the second period for a 4-1 lead. Breon's goal held up as the game winner.
Austin Meers had two assists for Rochester — the only Grizzly with a multi-point game Monday — while Jake Laurila, Jacob Gunderson, Jameson Folden, Matthew Shaw, Luke Morrisette and TJ Norris had one each.
Milwaukee cut its deficit to 4-2 on Michael Dalaly's goal midway through the third period, then Easton Nick scored with just 2 seconds remaining in the game to make it a 4-3 final.
Rochester's home openers are set for 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Rochester Recreation Center.
BOX SCORE: Rochester Grizzlies 4, Milwaukee Power 3