PEORIA, Ill. — A long road trip turned out to be a great road trip for the Rochester Grizzlies.
Mathias Backstrom stopped all three shooters he faced in a shootout and Rochester Lourdes grad Lucas Newman scored the shootout-winning goal Sunday afternoon to give Rochester a 2-1 North American 3 Hockey League victory against the Peoria Mustangs.
The victory gave the Grizzlies (8-2-0 overall) a sweep of the weekend series against the Mustangs and it keeps Rochester firmly in second place in the NA3HL Central Division. The Grizzlies have 16 points in the standings, seven back of the division-leading St. Louis Jr. Blues, who have played four more games than the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies never trailed in Sunday's game. Clayton Shultz gave them a 1-0 lead 11:11 into the game, with assists from Porter Haney and Ethan Noonan. Peoria tied the score three minutes later on a Quinton Murphy goal.
That's how the score remained until Newman scored the shootout winner.
Former Rochester Century goalie Cole Walter took the tough-luck loss in goal for the Mustangs.
Rochester scored four third-period goals on Saturday to rally from a 2-1 deficit after two periods for a 5-3 win. Peyton Hart scored twice, while Devin Hays, Joey Fodstad and Haney had one goal each. Fodstad added two assists, while Haney, Hays and Smith (two assists) all had multi-point games. Shane Soderwall made 16 saves to get the win.
Rochester is back in action at home Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (7:30 p.m.) against Granite City.
GRIZZLIES 2, MUSTANGS 1 (SO)
Rochester: Clayton Shultz 1 goal; Porter Haney 1 assist; Ethan Noonan 1 assist. Goalie: Mathias Backstrom (W, 2-1-0).
Peoria: Quinton Murphy 1 goal; Austin Keil 1 assist. Goalie: Cole Walter (SOL, 1-3-0).
GRIZZLIES 5, MUSTANGS 3
Rochester: Peyton Hart 2 goals; Joey Fodstad 1 goal, 2 assists; Porter Haney 1 goal, 1 assist; Devin Hays 1 goal, 1 assist; Michael Heitkamp 1 assist; Clayton Schultz 1 assist; Garrett Smith 2 assists. Goalie: Shane Soderwell (W, 5-0-0; 19 shots-16 saves).
Peoria: Austin Keil 1 goal, 2 assists; Jaycob Bland 1 goal; Tristan Trudel 1 gaol; Quinton Murphy 2 assists; Zachary Eddington 1 assist; Atticus Helfer 1 assist. Goalie: Jaden Gardner (L, 1-3-0; 30 shots-28 saves).
BRUINS DROP SECOND STRAIGHT
AUSTIN — The Austin Bruins struck first on Saturday night, but the Minnesota Wilderness scored the rest of the goals in a 3-1 North American Hockey League victory at Riverside Arena.
Austin dropped to 5-3-2 with the loss, which came on the heels of an overtime loss at the Wilderness on Thursday.
Western Michigan University commit Barrett Brooks scored the lone goal of the game for Austin, at the 11:53 mark of the second period.
Lewis Crosby of the Wilderness answered with the tying goal three minutes later, then Nick Portz added two third-period goals — one an empty-net goal with 14 seconds to go — to seal the victory.
Mason McCormick and Joe Martin both had an assist each for Austin. Goalie Tyler Shea stopped 23 of the 25 shots he faced.
The Wilderness improved to 7-4-0 with the win and sit atop the Central Division standings by one point over Bismarck, while Minot and Austin are both two points back of the Wilderness.
Austin is back in action Friday and Saturday at Bismarck.
WILDERNESS 3, BRUINS 1
Minnesota: Nick Portz 2 goals; Lewis Crosby 1 goal; Ryan Nelson 1 assist; Nate Horn 2 assists; Kimball Johnson 2 assists. Goalie: Kaleb Johnson (W, 3-1-0; 25 shots-24 saves).
Austin: Barrett Brooks 1 goal; Mason McCormick 1 assist; Joe Martin 1 assist. Goalie: Tyler Shea (L, 2-2-0; 25 shots-23 saves).