BRAMPTON, ONTARIO – The Brampton Beast stuck it to the Reading Royals early with a strong two-goal first period before starting goaltender Zachary Fucale held down the fort in his own end, making 25 saves to lead the Beast to a 2-1 victory at the Powerade Centre on Tuesday night.
Chris Auger and David Vallorani both lit the lamp in the opening period to help lead the Beast to a 2-1 series lead in the North Division Semifinal.
It was Auger who kicked off the game’s scoring just beyond the halfway point of the opening frame. Luke Pither was circling with the puck along the right wing wall before sending the shot toward the hash marks. Auger was in a perfect location to redirect the Pither pass over the glove of Reading’s starter Mark Dekanich and into the net at 12:28. Beast defenceman and Game Two overtime hero Jordan Henry also recorded an assist on the play.
Just over two minutes later, the Beast’s pressure in the offensive zone paid off as they pushed their lead to 2-0. Beast defenceman and Brampton native Matt Petgrave stole the puck in the Beast zone off an unsuspecting Royal before breaking up the right wing side with speed. He found a streaking David Vallorani who uncorked a heavy slapshot that zoomed past Dekanich’s glove into the top corner, for a two-goal lead at 15:00.
The Beast held onto the 2-0 lead after 20 minutes of play while outshooting Reading 14-8.
After a back-and-forth start to the second period, Reading scored the only goal of the period, making it 2-1, with Matt Willows scoring on the power play at 15:15. Willows scored the Royals’ power-play goal circling the top of the slot before firing a shot through traffic past Fucale to get Reading on the scoreboard.
Through 40 minutes, the Beast still held an edge in shots 25-20.
In the third period Zachary Fucale shut the door on the surge of offense from the Royals stopping all six shots made by Reading in the third period. Late in the game all the pressure was placed on the Beast netminder when the Beast got into penalty trouble late, giving the Royals an empty-net 6-on-4 power play. The Beast’s penalty kill held strong and Brampton took the 2-1 victory for their second win of the seven-game series.
Notes: Molson Three Stars: 3) Zachary Fucale (BRM) 2) Chris Auger (BRM) 1) David Vallorani (BRM). Both teams scored power-play goals. Brampton was 1-for-6 on the man advantage while the Royals were 1-for-5. Every game of the series has ended with a 2-1 final score. The Beast will look to keep up their win streak when they host the next two games of the North Division Semifinal at the Powerade Centre with Games Four and Five slotted for Thursday and Saturday night.
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