WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA — After surrendering the first four goals of the game, the Brampton Beast turned up the heat and unleashed an unrelenting storm of pressure on the Wheeling Nailers to fall just shy of a epic comeback at WesBanco Arena on Tuesday afternoon. Ultimately, the Nailers escaped barely with a 6-5 win to sweep the home-and-home series between these two North Division clubs.
This near-miraculous finish occurred because of the Beast’s dominance of all three zones for the last 35 minutes of this affair. Wheeling defenders were at times reeling under the relentless pressure of the Brampton Beast cycle attack.
Tim Billingsley and Luc Olivier-Blain led the way for the Beast with a goal and assist apiece. David Pacan, Matthieu Gagnon and Brandon MacLean scored the other goals for the Beast (5-3-1-2).
The Nailers (7-3-0-1) ultimately prevailed by controlling the opening period of the game with the speed game that powered them to victory on Sunday.
Garrett Meurs drew first blood for the home team by scoring a power play marker at 4:38.
Less than seven minutes later, at 11:23, Nick Sorkin increased the Wheeling lead to 2-0.
Cody Wydo’s goal with 1:20 remaining in the period to increase the lead to 3-0 was back-breaking for the Beast since they mounted a strong push to get on the scoreboard in the latter half of the period. Brampton headed to the locker room with a 13-8 edge in shots after one period.
Wheeling managed to recover and generate some strong chances to start the second period and were rewarded for those efforts when Ryan Segalla scored at 6:15 to make the game 4-0.
Beast scoring leader David Pacan got his team on the board 35 seconds later with an electrifying breakaway goal at 6:50. The sniper beat Doug Carr with a beautiful hard and low forehand shot that hit the bottom left corner of the net.
Brampton capitalized on the momentum and lit the lamp again 15 seconds later. Billingsley stole the puck and buried the puck past Carr, after his first shot deflected off of a defenseman’s leg, for his second goal of the season.
Josh Shalla and Jordan Kwas pushed the Nailers lead back to four goals by the midway point of the period with goals at 9:16 and 9:56 respectively.
Zach Fucale was called into the game after this goal and he provided a spark for the Beast by stopping all 11 shots he faced.
Luc-Olivier Blain gave the Beast life with 2:22 remaining in the second period by deflecting a hard shot from the blue line by Brandon Marino to make the game 6-3 heading into the second intermission. Brampton outshot Wheeling 10-7 in the frame.
It was evident that the Beast players smelled blood after this goal. The road team roared out of the gate to start the third part of the game by piling up 10 shots by the midway point.
Gagnon drew the Beast to within two goals with his second goal of the season on, remarkably, his second shot of the season. He beat Carr with a backhand shot from the lip of the crease at 4:50.
MacLean pulled the Beast within one goal of the improbable when he beast Carr off of a frantic scramble in front of the Nailers net at 8:54 of the period.
Despite multiple dangerous chances, the Beast were not able to capitalize on late man-advantage chances to score the game-tying goal.
While not completing this comeback does sting, there are plenty of positives that the Beast can take away from this resilient effort. For one, they dominated on the shot clock by a 35-23 margin, and they managed to score at least four goals for the seventh time this season.
They will try and snap their two-game skid when they host the Elmira Jackals on Friday night at the Powerade Centre for Montreal Canadiens Day. Game time is 7:15 p.m.
Notes: The Beast have had at least three different goal scorers in eight of their past nine games. The Beast scored their first power play goal in the month of November. They went 1-for-9 on the power play and 6-for-8 on the penalty kill. Molson Three Stars: 3) Jacklin (BRA) 2) Sorkin (WHL) 1) Schulze.
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For more information or general media inquiries on the Brampton Beast, please contact Chris Ballard, Public Relations Coordinator at (905) 564-1684 or email@example.com.