Late goal helps Grizzlies avoid OT, snap losing skid
Owen Van Tassel scored with 64 seconds remaining to lift the Rochester Grizzlies to a 2-1 win against the Milwaukee Power, snapping Rochester's rare three-game losing streak.
ROCHESTER — Nothing is coming easily for the Rochester Grizzlies right now.
But Saturday night, on their home ice, the Grizzlies kept working and got a bounce to go their way, as well as an excellent performance in goal from Rochester Mayo grad Tate Cothern.
Owen Van Tassel scored his fourth goal of the season on a nice feed from Spencer Klotz with 1:04 remaining in the third period to give the Grizzlies a 2-1 North American 3 Hockey League victory against the Milwaukee Power at the Rochester Recreation Center.
The Grizzlies salvaged a split of the weekend series — Milwaukee won Friday's game in a shootout, 4-3 — and snapped a three-game losing streak with Saturday's victory. The Grizzlies (15-4-1 overall) also maintain their slim lead atop the NA3HL Central Division standings; they're three points up on the Oregon (Wis.) Tradesmen (13-2-2) as the season nears the halfway point.
Rochester has six games remaining — beginning with two next Friday and Saturday at Wausau, Wis. — before the NA3HL Showcase in Blaine, Dec. 18-20.
Saturday, Rochester didn't lead the game until Van Tassel's goal with 64 seconds to play. On the game winner, Grizzlies defenseman Jake Lange spotted Klotz — a Northfield native who leads the Grizzlies in scoring with 22 points — alone low in the left circle and sent a pass toward him. Klotz didn't waste time catching the pass; instead, he one-timed it to Van Tassel, who was moving across the slot. Van Tassel spun as he stopped the puck and fired it past Milwaukee goalie Spencer Northway for a 2-1 lead.
Tate Cothern took care of the rest in goal for Rochester, stopping 14 of the 15 shots he faced.
Milwaukee took a 1-0 lead with 3:32 to go in the first period on Bryce Garber's ninth goal of the season. That's how the score remained until Austin Meers tied the score with 1:04 to go in the second period, a goal that was assisted by Ryan Berglund and former Dodge County Wildcats star defenseman Easton Hammill.
The Grizzlies' next home series is Dec. 2-3 against the Peoria (Ill.) Mustangs, their final home games until Dec. 30-31.