The Norwich Sea Captains lost a 1-0 nailbiter to the defending Fraser Cup Champion Rochester Grizzlies during the opening day of the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) Showcase in Blaine, MN on Sunday evening, December 18. Andrew Yocum was played very well in the Norwich net making 27 saves. He was only beaten by a third period power play goal with 14:52 left in the game.
Rochester had the better of play in the first period, but Norwich was able to generate some quality scoring chances off their forecheck. During the second period Norwich had five power play opportunities and was able to get some pressure on the Grizzlies net, but the Rochester penalty kill kept the Sea Captains off the board.
The game was a fast and crisply played physical affair that saw both teams bring their A game. Norwich pulled Yocum for the extra attacker with just under a minute left to play and applied some strong pressure on the Rochester net, but a key clear was able to kill the clock and allow the Grizzlies to skate away with the 1-0 victory.
“I am extremely pleased with our compete level and poise in tonight’s game. Rochester is a very strong hockey team and a model franchise in the NA3HL. To be able to go toe to toe with them for 60 minutes is encouraging for our team. We had some chances to get the first goal in the game, but they were able to turn us away. We are looking forward to the rest of the Showcase and some more fast-paced, hotly contested games,” said Norwich Head Coach Kevin Cunningham.
Norwich will take on the Alexandria Blizzard at 6:15 PM (CST) on Monday evening as the NA3HL Showcase continues through Tuesday morning.