ST. LOUIS — The Rochester Grizzlies left here Sunday afternoon in the same position in which they arrived 48 hours earlier: Tied for first-place with the St. Louis Jr. Blues and with four games in hand on them.
The Grizzlies dropped a tight 3-2 game on Sunday, but their 4-2 victory on Saturday assured them of remaining atop the division.
Sunday, the Jr. Blues handed Rochester just its fifth loss in 22 games this season by scoring on the first shift of the third period to snap a 2-2 tie. The Evan Ross power-play goal 37 seconds into the third held up as the winner, though the Grizzlies had rallied to tie the score after falling behind 2-0 in the first 10 minutes of the game.
Rochester's Porter Haney scored a short-handed goal 34 seconds after St. Louis' second goal, then Matt DeRosa scored midway through the second period on a power play to tie it.
Joey Fodstad, Clayton Shultz, Peyton Hart and Garrett Smith had one assist each for Rochester, and Sean Guerin made 20 saves in his first start since Nov. 9.
St. Louis (16-9-1) received goals from Clayton Dawe, Sean Hofstetter and Evan Ross.
Rochester's victory Saturday was highlighted by Mathias Backstrom's 32-save performance, his fifth consecutive victory. Joey Fodstad, Zak Justice, Nick Leisen and Haney scored for Rochester.
The Grizzlies (16-5-1) host North Iowa at 7 p.m. Friday at the Rochester Recreation Center, then close out their pre-Christmas schedule with three games at the NA3HL Showcase in Blaine, Dec. 15-17.
BRUINS GET BOUNCE-BACK WIN
ST. CLOUD — The Austin Bruins bounced back from a last-minute loss on Friday by scoring three third-period goals to beat the St. Cloud Blizzard 5-2 on Saturday at the St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex.
Brett Miller made 19 saves for Austin and Peter Jacobs scored twice to lead the way.
Hugh Quinn, Dante Sheriff and Hugh Larkin also scored for the Bruins. Sheriff added two assists and Connor Mylymok had two.
The Bruins (13-9-4) remain in fourth place in the North American Hockey League Central Division, just three points back of third-place Minot and six points back of Bismarck and Aberdeen, who are tied for the division lead.
The Bruins host Minot at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Riverside Arena, Austin's final games before Christmas break.