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ROCHESTER GRIZZLIES

Zach Wiese carried on the Rochester Grizzlies' tradition of strong goaltending in the 2021-22 season, leading the franchise to its first-ever Fraser Cup championship, as postseason champions of the North American 3 Hockey League. Now he's made more franchise history, becoming the first Grizzlies player to commit to a Division I college. And it's not just any D1 program. It's the home-state University of Minnesota.
Rochester native Mike Aikens has guided the Anchorage Wolverines to the North American Hockey League's Robertson Cup, the league's final four tournament, in the franchise's first year of existence. He's done it with some names familiar to southeastern Minnesota hockey fans: Albert Lea's Campbell Cichosz, a Minnesota State commit, and former Rochester Grizzlies Collin Pederson (an Owatonna native) and Shane Soderwall.
Rochester can wrap up its third consecutive NA3HL Central Division championship this weekend. But it'll have to go through its top rival to do so.
Mike Aikens helped build his hometown Rochester Grizzlies into a national championship contender in just three seasons. Now he'll try to do the same thing in the North American Hockey League, as head coach of the expansion Anchorage Wolverines.

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An upper-body injury derailed Zak Justice's first season of junior hockey, just as he was beginning to heat up. The Bemidji native is healed and healthy, and ready to help the Grizzlies chase another NA3HL Central Division championship in 2020-21.
Chris Ratzloff and Steve Howard have a combined three decades of hockey coaching experience between them. So the head coaches of the Rochester Grizzlies and Austin Bruins, respectively, know what it takes for players to advance to higher levels.
The Alexandria Blizzard dropped down to fourth place in the NA3HL last weekend after losses to Rochester and Granite City.

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