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Ice Hawks close showcase with loss to Granite City

BLAINE — After starting the North American Tier 3 Hockey League Showcase with an impressive win, the Rochester Ice Hawks struggled during the final two days of the event, including a 4-0 loss to the Granite City Lumberjacks on Saturday.

The combined record of the three teams the Ice Hawks played at the NA3HL Showcase is 61-15-5.

The Ice Hawks played well defensively against Granite City on Saturday, especially over the final two periods. They allowed just 17 total shots in the last 40 minutes of the game.

But Granite City scored twice in the first frame and added two insurance goals in the third.

Tanner Skaja had a goal and two assists to pace Granite City.

Zach Mains took the loss in net, stopping 26 of 30 shots.

Nathan Isaacson recorded the shutout in net for Granite City with 16 saves.

Granite City assistant coach D.J. Vold is a former Lumberjacks player and a Byron native.

The Ice Hawks' schedule doesn't get any easier. They play the top team in the nation, the North Iowa Bulls, on New Year's Eve at 7:05 p.m. at the Rochester Recreation Center. North Iowa is 24-0-1 this season and has already clinched a playoff spot. The Ice Hawks are 7-16-0.