CINCINNATI, OHIO – The Brampton Beast exploded for four first-period goals and locked it down defensively throughout the remainder of the contest as they held on to defeat the Cincinnati Cyclones by a score of 5-2 at US Bank Arena in Cincinnati on Wednesday night.
Jordan Henry scored a pair of goals in the opening period, giving him a total of 16 goals on the year, breaking former Beast defenseman Mathew Maione’s record for goals by a Beast blueliner in a single season, previously set at 14 tallies.
Luc Blain, David Vallorani and Brandon MacLean also lit the lamp for Brampton, who picked up a crucial victory in their first ever matchup against the Cyclones.
It didn’t take long for the Beast to find the back of the net. Henry picked up his first goal of the game just 50 seconds into the contest, sending a quick snap shot from the hash marks behind Cyclones starter Michael Houser on the first shot of the game.
The strong start continued for the Beast as they made it 2-0 less than two minutes into the game. Blain picked up a loose puck in tight and buried his seventh goal of the season at the 1:53 mark for the early two-goal lead.
And the Beast kept coming. Henry picked up his second of the night at the 4:43 mark, beating Houser through the legs with another snap shot for a power play goal.
Henry’s second of the game spelled the end of the night for Houser, who was yanked from the contest after allowing three goals on only six shots. Mark Visentin entered the game in relief.
The Beast matched their highest output for goals in a single period as they found the back of the net again late in the opening period. Vallorani was in the right place at the right time as a loose puck found him at the side of the goal. He made no mistake in lifting the puck over a sprawling Visentin at 16:25, giving Vallorani his 30th goal of the season.
Both teams started the second period in a defensive stalemate before the Cyclones finally managed to beat Beast starter Andrew D’Agostini.
Christiaan Minella and Shane Walsh each lit the lamp in the second period to cut the Beast lead to 4-2 heading into the final period with the Cyclones enjoying a 23-18 edge on the shot clock.
The Beast turned in a perfect third period, allowing only eight shots toward their goal. D’Agostini was rock solid down the stretch and finished the game with 29 saves to earn his tenth win of the season.
Brandon MacLean sealed the deal with just over a minute remaining, hitting the open net from his own blue line at 18:21.
Notes: Molson Three Stars: 3) M. Lefevbre (CIN) 2) J. Henry (BRM) 1) L. Blain (BRM). The Beast finished the game 1-for-2 on the man-advantage and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill. The Beast will attempt to clinch a playoff spot on Friday, March 31 as they head to WesBanco Arena to face the Wheeling Nailers.
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