BRAMPTON, ONTARIO – It was full steam ahead toward the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the Brampton Beast on Wednesday night. Both Chris Auger and David Vallorani scored two goals apiece and netminder Andrew D’Agostini made 35 saves to help the to their 39th victory of the season, defeating the Wheeling Nailers by a score of 5-2 at the Powerade Centre.
The first twenty minutes of the game were back and forth with neither team giving an inch as the two opponents traded chances early in the game. It looked as though the first frame was going to be scoreless, until David Vallorani scored to put the Beast ahead 1-0 with 75 seconds left in the first period.
Chris Leveille caused a Nailers turnover inside Beast territory before finding Vallorani streaking down the left wing. He entered the zone with speed and ripped a perfect wrist shot into the top right corner, sending the water bottle airborne for his 31st goal of the campaign.
The Beast finished ahead of the Nailers on the shot clock through twenty minutes by a margin of 15-12.
The Beast’s second goal came after Connor Crisp outraced the Nailers defence on an icing call. He sent a perfect blind backhand feed to Willie Corrin in the slot, who sent a perfect shot into the far corner for his tenth goal of the season at 6:30.
After the Corrin goal, Auger singlehandedly doubled the Beast’s lead to 4-0 with scores at 8:15 and 9:55 for an amazing two-goal shift.
Off the draw at Wheeling’s blueline, Mike Folkes and Tim Billingsley helped to set up Auger with a shot from the half-boards fooling Maguire for the third goal of the game.
Just 1:40 later, Auger connected on a flawless pass from David Pacan driving the net to redirect the puck into the net for his 20th goal and Pacan’s 40th assist of the year.
Finding themselves down 4-0 heading into the final period, Wheeling came out firing on all cylinders early in the final frame. The visitors scored two straight goals from Nick Sorkin and Riley Bourbonnais to cut the Beast’s lead in half by the 6:30 mark of the third period but Brampton, as resilient as ever, weathered the storm with a goal of their own to push their lead back to three.
Working the give-and-go on the power play, Vallorani and Brandon Marino dished the puck back and forth with each other before Vallorani picked the top corner for his second goal of the game to make it 5-2 at 12:27.
Andrew D’Agostini held his ground for the remainder of the game stopping a total of 35 shots to earn his 11th win of the season.
Notes: Molson Three Stars: 3) Andrew D’Agostini (BRM) 2) David Vallorani (BRM) 1) Chris Auger (BRM). The Beast host their North Division Rival the Manchester Monarchs for a pair of back-to-back games this Friday and Saturday to finish off the regular season. Prior to the game, the Beast signed goaltender Brandon Billie as an emergency backup.
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