KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN – Brampton Beast goaltender Zach Fucale turned in what could be considered his best performance in a Beast uniform as he made 37 saves, including several highlight-reel stops, but Tanner Sorenson was the only skater to find the back of the net in the shootout as the Kalamazoo Wings topped the Beast 2-1 at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo on Friday night.
Connor Crisp scored in regulation time for the Beast, who have now collected points in back-to-back games for the first time since January 13.
The Beast came out flying to start the opening period and were quickly rewarded for their efforts. Crisp was in the right place at the right time to bang in a quick rebound in front of K-Wings netminder Joel Martin, giving Crisp his sixth goal of the season, with David Pacan and Brandon Marino earning the helpers at 2:23.
The Beast were outshooting the Wings heavily to start the contest but the relentless home team were able to tie the game just over two minutes later. Justin Taylor located a loose puck behind the goal line and banked one in off Fucale, giving Taylor his 20th of the season at 4:20.
The K-Wings picked up momentum throughout the remainder of the first period but Fucale made several incredible saves to keep the game tied at 1-1.
Dajon Mingo had a great opportunity to give the K-Wings the lead in the latter half of the period, as he was awarded a penalty shot, but Fucale threw out his arm to rob Mingo of a sure goal, keeping the game tied heading into the first intermission. The Beast outshot the Wings 15-11in the first period.
The score remained 1-1 through the end of the second period as both goaltenders settled down and made some brilliant saves. Fucale was the busier of the two netminders in the middle stanza but he stopped all 16 shots he faced.
The trend of hot goaltending continued into the third period. The K-Wings outshot the Beast by a slim 10-9 margin but both Martin and Fucale remained perfect, forcing the game into overtime.
The Beast and the Wings traded chances in the extra period and each recorded a shot on goal, but neither goaltender would let one in, bringing the game to a shootout.
David Ling, David Pacan and David Vallorani were all denied by Martin, while Sorenson was the only Kalamazoo skater to beat Fucale, giving the K-Wings the victory.
Notes: The Beast finished the game 1-for-1 on the penalty kill and 0-for-1 with the man advantage. Defenseman Mackenzie Braid made his Beast debut and recorded one shot on goal. The Beast return to action tomorrow night as they head to Wheeling for a big divisional tilt against the Nailers.
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