BRAMPTON, ONTARIO – The Brampton Beast earned a big point in the standings to remain atop the North Division but Orlando Solar Bears netminder Ryan Massa made 36 saves in regulation time, had another four in overtime and stopped all three Beast shootout participants as the Beast dropped another close one, this time 3-2 in a shootout to the Solar Bears on Friday night.
David Pacan and Brandon Marino lit the lamp for the Beast and Zach Fucale was spectacular with a 37-save performance as the Beast remain winless in eight career contests against the Solar Bears.
With the Beast enjoying a four-minute power play, Pacan got the Beast on the board at the 10:23 mark of the opening period. He got his stick on a Brandon Marino shot in the high slot and sent a perfect redirection into the net, giving Pacan his 36th goal of the season.
Eric Faille picked up his third goal of the series late in the opening period to tie the game heading into the first intermission. Brampton outshot the Solar Bears 12-9 after the first period.
The lone goal of the second period belonged to Beast Captain Brandon Marino. After a flurry of activity in front of the Orlando goal, Marino settled a loose puck in the slot in front of a crowded net and found some room to squeeze the puck through the sea of bodies at 5:29.
The tough Solar Bears fought back to tie the game at 4:28 of the third period. The two teams battled hard to find the game-winner in regulation time but both Fucale and Massa stood tall to force the game to an extra period.
The end-to-end action in overtime brought the Powerade Centre crowd to its feet but neither team could find a goal, forcing the game to be decided via a shootout.
Justin Buzzeo scored the only goal of the shootout for Orlando, while Chris Auger, David Pacan and Luke Pither were all stymied by the Orlando netminder as the Solar Bears skated away with the victory.
Notes: Molson Three Stars 3) Fucale (BRM) 2) Marino (BRM) 1) Pacan. The Beast finished the game 1-for-2 on the power play and a perfect 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. The Beast will not have to wait long to seek their revenge against the Solar Bears as these two clubs finish their season series on Sunday, March 26 at the Powerade Centre at 2:00PM.
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