GLENS FALLS, NEW YORK – Brampton Beast netminder Andrew D’Agostini turned in a stellar 34-save performance between the pipes for the Beast to help his squad mount a spirited third period comeback but the Adirondack Thunder got the last laugh as the Beast dropped a 4-3 shootout decision at the Glens Falls Civic Center on Saturday night.
Connor Crisp led the charge on the offensive end for the Beast with a goal and an assist while Mathieu Gagnon and Chris Auger each netted singles for Brampton who played what could be considered their most exciting game of the season.
Thunder forward Stepan Falkovsky netted a hat trick plus the shootout winner for Adirondack, who evened the season series at two wins apiece with their victory.
The Thunder opened the scoring at the 4:23 mark of the opening frame as Falkovsky received the puck in the high slot and sent a wrist shot over the glove of D’Agostini for his first of two power play goals.
The Thunder outshot the Beast 11-7 in the opening period and carried the 1-0 lead into the second before Falkovsky unleashed a heavy one-time slap shot that found the open net to give the Thunder a 2-0 lead by the 9:23 mark of the second frame.
Adirondack carried the two-goal lead into the final frame and thought they would coast to victory but the resilient Beast had other plans. Crisp got the Beast on the board just 29 seconds into the third period to start the Beast comeback, as he banged in a Tim Billingsley rebound over the shoulder of Thunder starter Tom McCollum to cut the deficit to 2-1.
The Beast hung tough as time ticked off the clock in the third period until Mathieu Gagnon broke out of his own zone and did his best Bobby Orr impression, carrying the puck coast-to-coast and beating McCollum for his fourth goal of the season at 8:50 to tie the game.
The Thunder pushed back as Falkovsky injected some life into the hometown crowd with his third goal of the night at 13:53, giving Adirondack a 3-2 lead.
Brampton pushed back hard in the late stages of regulation time and in typical Beast fashion, found a big goal when they needed it the most. Chris Auger got his stick on a Tim Billingsley shot and slipped the puck beyond the reach of McCollum, tying the game with only 3:33 remaining in the third.
Energy was high as the Beast and the Thunder skated through a full five minutes of overtime. Both D’Agostini and McCollum were nothing short of incredible during the extra period as each netminder made four saves, thwarting shooters left and right to force the game to a shootout.
That’s when the Thunder were able to pull ahead for good as Falkovsky scored the lone goal in the shootout. McCollum shut the door on David Pacan, David Vallorani and Lucas Venuto to seal the victory.
Notes: Molson Three Stars: 3) Kravchenko (ADK) 2) Crisp (BRA) 1) Falkovsky. The Beast are back at the Powerade Centre tomorrow afternoon to host the Florida Everblades on Mascot Day at 3:00pm.
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