BRAMPTON, ONTARIO – Brampton Beast netminder Zach Fucale turned in what could be considered the greatest single-game goaltending performance in club history on Sunday afternoon at the Powerade Centre as he stopped all 42 shots he faced to lift his club to a massive 3-0 victory over the powerful Florida Everblades.
Chris Auger netted the game winner late in the second period and David Pacan took over the league lead in goal scoring with his 32nd tally of the season while David Vallorani added an insurance marker in the final period to lead the Beast to victory in front of a record-setting crowd of 4,221 fans assembled at the Powerade Centre. The loud Sunday afternoon crowd is the largest non-school day attendance number in Beast history.
It was the Everblades who came out firing to start the game and outshot the Beast 13-7 in the opening frame alone. The Beast found themselves shorthanded five times in the first period and stood tall on the penalty kill, killing off each and every one, including a pair of first period 5-on-3’s.
As the offensive pressure from both teams continued to pick up, Everblades goaltender Anthony Peters and Fucale continued to turn away shot after shot in the middle frame.
As the second period was winding down, the Beast found finally solved Peters with the game’s first goal at 17:06. Chris Auger scored a goal for the fourth straight game, firing a wrist shot past Peters into the top corner. Auger got the shot off following an eye-opening spin move around his defender. He poked the puck around the Florida defenceman, spun to his forehand and lifted in his 17th goal of the year from between the hash marks to finish off a pass from Luc Blain.
The Beast were outshot 27-17 heading into the final frame but remained in front thanks to highlight-reel save after highlight-reel save from Fucale.
It was the Beast who capitalized on their scoring chances early in the third period. Just 93 seconds into the third, the Beast doubled their lead when Pacan tipped defenceman Willie Corrin’s one-time blast behind Peters, sending the massive Powerade Centre crowd into a frenzy.
Just over four minutes later, the Beast fans were sent to their feet again as Vallorani padded the lead with the club’s third goal of the game. After picking off a breakout pass from an Everblades defenceman, the 2017 ECHL All-Star curled around the right circle towards the half-boards and fired a quick shot that surprised Peters and found the net on the far side for his 25th goal of the year.
As the buzzer blew to signal the end of the game the 4,221 in attendance gave the Beast’s starting goalie a standing ovation for his outstanding performance in his second shutout of the 2016-2017 campaign.
Notes: Molson Three Stars: 3) Willie Corrin (BRM) 2) Chris Auger (BRM) 1) Zachary Fucale (BRM). The Beast will go toe-to-toe with their North Division rival, the Adirondack Thunder, for the second time in less than a week for the Beast’s final school day game of the 2016-2017 season on Tuesday, February 28 at 11:00AM.
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