BRAMPTON, ONTARIO – The Brampton Beast struck first in the opening period but couldn’t muster another goal against Manchester Monarchs starter Sam Brittain who stood on his head, making 23 saves to help the Monarchs edge the Beast 3-1 to even the North Division Finals at a game apiece on Saturday night at the Powerade Centre.
Beast goaltender Zach Fucale turned in another strong performance and made 31 saves, earning third star honours for his stellar play.
The Monarchs once again jumped out to a quick start in the opening frame, outshooting the Beast 13-8, but it was the Beast who drew first blood. Jordan Henry fired the puck on goal and it pinballed through a crowd and ended up behind Brittain, giving Brampton the 1-0 lead on the power play at 13:24.
The second frame was an evenly-matched affair but the tenacious Monarchs fought hard and tied the game at 6:22 as Daniel Ciampini found the puck on the back door and slammed home his first of the postseason to tie the game.
The Monarchs earned their first lead of the game at 11:01 as Quentin Shore cut in on the right wing and sent a perfect shot that beat Fucale for a 2-1 Monarchs lead.
The Beast had several Grade A chances late in the third period but could not beat Brittain. David Vallorani hit the crossbar with the goaltender down and out near the halfway point of the period, but somehow, the puck stayed out.
With time running out in the period, Connor Crisp was sprung on a shorthanded breakaway, but Brittain made a big blocker save to keep the Monarchs ahead.
Craig Wyszomirski iced the game with an empty net goal with 30 seconds remaining to seal the Monarchs’ first victory of the series.
NOTES: Molson Three Stars: 3) Zach Fucale (BRM) 2) Quentin Shore (MAN) 1) Sam Brittain (MAN). The Beast finished the game 1-for-5 on the man advantage and killed all five Manchester power play opportunities. The teams will now head to Manchester for Game Three at SNHU Arena on Monday, May 1.
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