Willmar and Rochester pick up road wins on Thursday
Rochester 6 @ Wausau 2 – Dylan Schneider had a hat-trick and an assist and Garrett Smith picked up five assists as the Rochester Grizzlies moved closer to locking up a division title thanks to a 6-2 road win on Thursday. The Grizzlies scored three times in each period as Schneider, Hunter Wilmes, and Sam Williams scored in the 1st period and then Schneider added two more goals in the 2nd period, along with a tally from Joey Malugani. The RiverWolves goals came from Hayden Shoemake and Isaac Wickersheim. Grizzlies goalie Zach Wiese made 25 saves in the win, while Caleb Sauer made 57 saves in the loss.
Willmar 4 @ North Iowa 2 – Willmar forward Dylan Gajewski had a hat-trick and goalie Lukas Haugen made 30 saves as the WarHawks went on the road and beat the division-leading Bulls on Thursday, 4-2. Willmar jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back, thanks in large part to the natural hat-trick from Gajewski and another goal from Lewis Rowan. The Bulls tried to mount a comeback late in the 2nd period with goals from Nick Mohs-Messerli and Jack Campion, but it would not be enough as Haugen held the fort the remainder of the 3rd period. Bulls goalie Evan Babekuhl took the loss with 12 saves on 16 shots.