A weekend road trip to Rochester for a showdown of the top two teams in the NA3HL Central Division ended with the first two-game losing streak for the Oregon Tradesmen. Rochester swept the series winning 5-2 (Friday) and 4-0 (Saturday).
The Tradesmen got their first taste of the lone unbeaten team in the division Friday night and looked up to the challenge. Rochester scored first, but Carter Stobb answered with his second of the season. Later in the period a Grizzlies powerplay goal made it 2-1 before Parker Severson evened things just before intermission.
For Severson, who leads the team in scoring with 13 points, it was his eighth tally of the season – also a team best. The 2019-20 NA3HL Central All-Rookie Team has elevated his game after a solid rookie season with the Coulee Region Chill.
Hunter Wilmes scored what turned out to be the game winner just 2:00 into the second as things went sideways for Oregon. The Grizzlies outshot the visitors 31-12 over the final two periods to cruise to victory.
Rochester scored first again in the Saturday finale at 6:05 as the two teams played fairly evenly to begin.
That changed at the 14:50 mark with an odd altercation between Ethan McCormick and Logan Kroyman of the Grizzlies. After a hard check on the boards the two began scuffling before Kroyman dropped his gloves and threw punches. McCormick never threw a punch (or took off his gloves), but both players received a five minute penalty for fighting and a game ejection.
Down 1-0 at intermission the Tradesmen competed with little effort the rest of the game. Rochester added three goals in the second on their way to 42 total shots on netminder Hunter Adams. The Tradesmen were credited with just five shots on net in the final 40 minutes of the game.
The Tradesmen will get their opportunity at redemption in two weeks when they host the Grizzlies on November 20-21.
Next week Oregon Tradesmen (5-4-0-0) are in action playing host to the St. Louis Jr. Blues (2-4-1-0) on Saturday night and Sunday. Due to COVID-19 restrictions in Dade County both games will be played at the Stateline Ice and Community Expo in Monroe.