BRAMPTON, ONTARIO – Reading Royals goaltender Martin Ouellette played like a brick wall shutting down Brampton’s high-powered offense with a 34-save performance, helping Reading to a 6-2 win over the Brampton Beast at the Powerade Centre on Friday night.
Connor Crisp and Jordan Henry each recorded a goal for the Beast while Olivier Labelle led the charge scoring two goals in the first period for Reading.
Labelle spaced the Royals to a 2-0 first period lead, scoring both his goals in similar fashion, off one-timers in the slot. Matt Willows registered assists on both goals which were scored at 0:38 to start the game and then again at 17:03 on a Reading power play.
Reading outshot the Beast 13-12 in the frame with Beast starter Zach Fucale turning away 11 shots.
Brampton took advantage of an early push in momentum in the second period to cut Reading’s lead in half just 43 seconds into the middle frame.
After Ouellette barely kept Connor Crisp’s initial wraparound attempt out of the net, Crisp tracked down his own rebound collecting the puck on his forehand, turning and firing a wrister into the top right shelf on the short side for his 10th goal of the season.
Brampton was unsuccessful on the power play after drawing the score within one goal and despite their best efforts, Reading took advantage of miscues to increase their lead further with two more goals to close out the middle frame.
Robbie Czarnik and Justin Danforth both tallied unassisted short-handed goals at 8:48 and 14:46 respectively to give the Royals a 4-1 lead heading into the third period.
Brampton continuously put every effort into scoring against Ouellette, but the Royals netminder continued his brick wall impression and stifled multiple high-end Beast scoring chances.
Early in the third period, Jordan Henry rocketed a shot past Ouellette for his second goal on Reading in as many days at 3:38. Henry blasted the puck into the Reading net utilizing a screen set by Corey Durocher who picked up his first career ECHL assist on the play.
As the intensity picked up the referee’s whistle continued to sound for penalties. Late in the game with the Beast net empty Reading scored their third shorthanded goal of the game with an empty netter from Derik Johnson to close out the scoring at 19:29.
Fucale finished the game with 33 stops in the loss. Brampton was 0-for-6 with the man advantage while Reading scored four special teams goals, including one power-play goal and three shorthanded.
Notes: Molson Three Stars: 3) Connor Crisp (BRM) 2) Martin Ouellette (REA) 1) Olivier Labelle (REA). The Beast will hit the road for their next three, starting with another North Division tilt against the Adirondack Thunder on Sunday afternoon.
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