BRAMPTON, ONTARIO – Brampton Beast netminder Zachary Fucale put in an astonishing effort on Sunday afternoon, stopping all 30 shots he faced to earn First Star honours with his fourth shutout of the season as the Beast held on to defeat the Fort Wayne Komets 1-0 at the Powerade Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Luke Pither scored the lone goal of the game near the end of the second period to help the Beast end their season series with the playoff-bound Komets with an excellent 4-0-1-0 record.
The first period may have been scoreless but it wasn’t without its fair share of action. The Beast ran into penalty trouble in the opening frame and found themselves shorthanded three times, including a pair of 5-on-3 advantages for the Komets but Fucale and the Beast fended them all off. The Komets outshot the Beast 17-6 after 20 minutes.
Brampton’s stellar defensive play continued to hold in the second period as the Beast managed to kill off another two penalties. The Beast offense picked up as well, as they fired 12 shots on goal to Fort Wayne’s six.
Just as it seemed that there was going to be another straight scoreless period, Luke Pither sent a screaming one-timer toward Komets starter Pat Nagle at 19:47. After appearing to make save, the puck slowly tumbled over the goaltender’s glove and trickled over the goal line, giving Pither his 16th goal of the season.
It would have been a tense third period if it wasn’t for the stellar goaltending effort from Fucale. He added another six saves to his total and fended off a strong Fort Wayne attack to give the Beast some breathing room atop the North Division standings.
Brampton’s penalty kill was nothing short of incredible on Sunday afternoon as the Beast killed off all eight opposition opportunities.
Notes: Molson Three Stars: 3) Pat Nagle (FW) 2) Luke Pither (BRM) 1) Zach Fucale (BRM). The Beast hit the ice again on Thursday, March 23 as they host the Orlando Solar Bears for the first of three games against the Toronto Maple Leafs’ ECHL affiliate.
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