TOLEDO, OHIO – Brampton Beast forward David Pacan added to his league lead in goals as he scored his 34th tally of the season but the hometown Toledo Walleye spoiled his celebration as they earned a close 3-2 win on Sunday afternoon at the Huntington Center in Toledo.
The Beast were the better team all night long but ran into a solid goaltending performance from Jeff Lerg, who made 32 saves. Pacan and David Ling each lit the lamp for the Beast who have now lost back-to-back games for the first time since January 28.
The Walleye opened the scoring early in the first period as Zach Nastasiuk located the puck off a scramble in front of Beast starting goaltender Andrew D’Agostini and pounced on a loose puck, beating the goaltender between the glove and the pads to open the scoring at 6:29.
The shots were 8-8 in the first period as both teams played well defensively but the Walleye were able to capitalize on the power play late in the period to hold a two-goal lead heading into the first intermission. Shane Berschbach took a nice pass from Alden Hirschfeld on the doorstep and beat D’Agostini at 14:49 for the 2-0 lead.
The Beast came out of the first intermission with renewed energy as they took it to the Walleye from the period’s opening faceoff.
It took 7:40 to break through the armour of Walleye starter Jeff Lerg as defenseman Reggie Traccitto sent a puck on goal from the point that pinballed around the high slot before landing on the stick of Pacan. He made no mistake and beat Lerg cleanly, making it a 2-1 game.
Just over two minutes later, the Walleye got the goal back as Simon Denis netted his 11th goal of the year and the eventual game-winner at 9:44.
The Beast continued to press throughout the remainder of the second period and owned a 13-8 shot advantage in the frame.
With the Beast on a 5-on-3 man advantage, David Ling batted a Lerg rebound out of mid air off a shot from Willie Corrin, tapping the puck into the open cage, giving Ling his ninth goal of the season at 15:22, sending the Beast into the second intermission trailing by only one.
The Beast were once again the better team in the final period and swarmed the Walleye goal at every opportunity but the Walleye netminder Lerg kicked out all 13 shots he faced in the third period to help the Walleye squeak out a win.
NOTES: Molson Three Stars 3) Nastasiuk 2) Hirschfeld 1) Denis. The Beast will now return home for their next two games, starting with a match against their North Division rivals, the Reading Royals, on March 9 at 7:15PM.
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