For just the second time this season the Oregon Tradesmen took to the ice at Oregon Ice Arena hosting a weekend series against the division leading Rochester Grizzlies. Success this time around was more elusive as the Grizzlies swept the two games.
Playing in front of an empty arena is not the ideal situation for any team, but for the Tradesmen any “home” game in Oregon is welcome. The team has spent the first four-and-a-half months away from their home rink due to COVID-19 restrictions. The team played its first game in Oregon on February 19 defeating Wausau.
This series saw the games look like mirror images of themselves. Jacob Best scored the opening goal for Oregon on both nights while Rochester would answer to even things by intermission.
It was the second period that decided each game as the Grizzlies scored four times on Friday leading to a 6-3 win.
Oregon showed no quit though as Mac Reed and Devin Hays scored third period tallies before an empty net goal by Rochester clinched the result.
Goaltender Cole Garver stopped 47 of 52 shots in the loss while the Grizzlies Shane Soderwall made 30 saves to earn the win.
After a 1-1 opening frame on Saturday the Grizzlies would come out flying, scoring three times to take a 4-1 lead into the final period.
Oregon once again would battle back and cut the lead to two when Abe Laggis found the back of the net at 11:05. That is all the Tradesmen could muster this night as another empty net goal in the final minutes made the final 5-2.
Hunter Adams played well in net for Oregon making 52 saves. Soderwall earned his second victory of the weekend finishing with 37 saves.
Next up for the Tradesmen is a home-and-home series with the Wausau Riverwolves. Oregon will host the opener on Friday before traveling to Wausau on Saturday night.