BRAMPTON, ON – Toledo Walleye goaltender Jeff Lerg made 31 saves through three periods of regulation and the overtime period and Alden Hirschfeld scored the shootout winner as the Toledo Walleye came back to defeat the Brampton Beast 4-3 in a shootout at the Powerade Centre on Thursday night.
Eddie Pasquale, in his first appearance with the Beast since November 22, was solid between the pipes and finished with 27 saves, while Jordan Henry, Jeff Brown and Luke Pither lit the lamp for Brampton.
The Beast jumped out to an early lead in the opening frame as Henry unleashed a shot from the point that Lerg had trouble tracking down. He lost the puck in his skates and knocked it into his own net, giving Henry his first goal of the season at 2:52.
Zach Nastasiuk tied the game before the end of the first period as he one-handed a goal behind Pasquale at 17:30.
The Beast came out flying in the second period and were rewarded for their efforts. After a mad scramble in front, Jeff Brown was able to poke the loose puck behind Lerg at 2:32, giving the Beast a 2-1 lead.
Pither made it 3-1 later in the period as he entered the zone on an odd-man rush, elected to keep the puck and sent a bullet to the to corner beyond Lerg’s glove hand at 12:18.
Hirschfeld cut the lead to 3-2 later in the second period and beat Pasquale for his team-leading 12th goal of the season at 17:51 on the power play.
Austin Wuthrich completed the Toledo comeback at 2:40 of the third period as Pasquale inadvertently knocked the puck into his own net on a clearing attempt.
Both teams played well defensively for the remainder of the third period and into the overtime period, but both Pasquale and Lerg were up to the task and forced the game into a shootout.
Scott Howes gave the Beast an early edge in the shootout as he changed his speed as he approached the goaltender, then tucked a low shot behind Lerg for the 1-0 edge.
The next two Toledo shooters, A.J. Jenks and Alden Hirschfeld, beat Pasquale, while Luke Pither and Brandon Marino were both stopped by Lerg, giving the Walleye their fourth win over the Beast in five games this season.
Notes: The Beast finished the game 0-for-4 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill. Molson Three Stars: 3) Jeff Lerg 2) Jeff Brown 1) Luke Pither.
The Beast will now hit the road and head to Fort Wayne to take on the Komets on Saturday night. The Beast will return to the Powerade Centre on Sunday, December 27 to take on the Reading Royals. Single game tickets are now available, starting at $16.25. For more information or general media inquiries on the Brampton Beast please contact Chris Ballard, Public Relations Coordinator at (905) 564-1684 or firstname.lastname@example.org.