Mayo grad Cothern backstops Grizzlies to bounce-back victory, spot in NA3HL playoffs
One night after the Rochester Grizzlies allowed five goals, Mayo grad Tate Cothern recorded a shutout to help Rochester split a weekend NA3HL series at Milwaukee.
MILWAUKEE — Tate Cothern has come through for the Rochester Grizzlies nearly every time he's been given a chance this season.
That was true again Sunday afternoon for the Rochester Mayo graduate and all of his Grizzlies teammates.
Cothern stopped all 14 shots he faced and the Grizzlies took advantage of their scoring opportunities early to pull out a 3-0 North American 3 Hockey League victory against the Milwaukee Power at the Kettle Moraine Ice Center.
The win helps Rochester salvage a split of the two-game Central Division series. Milwaukee won Saturday night's opener 5-2.
More importantly, it helped Rochester (24-8-4 overall) clinch a berth in the NA3HL Central Division playoffs for the fifth time in the franchise's five-year history. The Grizzlies are currently tied with the Oregon (Wis.) Tradesmen for first place in the division, though the Tradesmen have two games in hand.
Sunday, Rochester's leading scorer struck quickly. Northfield native Spencer Klotz scored his 16th goal of the season just 1:39 into the game to put the Grizzlies up for good.
Just more than five minutes later, Rochester's second-leading goal-scorer, veteran forward Austin Meers, notched his 15th goal of the season to make it 2-0 in the Grizzlies' favor. That's how the score stood after one period.
Erik Hernborn added his fifth goal of the season midway through the second period to cap the scoring and give Rochester some breathing room. Klotz had an assist on the goal for his second point of the game and team-best 35th this season.
Cothern — who is now 9-2-0 with a 1.36 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage — took care of the rest in goal, stopping three shots in the first period, six in the second period and five in the third. Rochester outshot Milwaukee 43-14 in the game. Power goalie Brett Holmer made 40 saves.
The Grizzlies continue a stretch of nine out of 11 games on the road next weekend when they play at the Peoria (Ill.) Mustangs at 7 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday.