ORLANDO, FLORIDA — For the second time in three nights, the Orlando Solar Bears’ Tony Cameransi provided the heroics as his third period goal was the difference in a narrow 5-4 victory over the Brampton Beast on Monday night at the Amway Center.
Connor Crisp potted two goals and an assist, and David Pacan scored two goals, to lead the way for a Beast club that played a very solid and resilient game to close out a three-game road series against their Eastern Conference foe. Each matchup between these clubs in Orlando’s rink were highly competitive, but the home team ultimately found a way to earn the coveted spot in the win column all three times.
The Solar Bears came out flying to start the first period — just like they did in the first two affairs against Brampton.
Mason Marchment drew first blood with a forehand shot on a breakaway at 2:42, and then Eric Faille put the puck into the net while his team was shorthanded with a backhand deke on a breakaway at 5:09 to pace Orlando to a quick 2-0 lead and a 9-2 lead on the shot clock.
However, Brampton began turning the tide by producing some strong offensive zone pressure of its own. Crisp got the Beast on the board at 12:02 by knocking a loose puck in the crease into a wide open after Tim Billingsley wristed the rubber disk through the pads of goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo.
Pacan knotted the game at two goals apiece with a power-play goal at 15:31 as he ripped a low shot from the slot through the wickets of Kaskisuo after receiving a perfectly-placed centering pass from Crisp.
The Beast turned the tide around to the point where they led Orlando 13-12 in shots heading into the first intermission.
After a wild first period, the game settled down in the middle stanza as both teams only combined for 13 shots. Both Beast goalkeeper Andrew D’Agostini and his counterpart, Kaskisuo made multiple solid saves as both teams nearly battled to a scoreless draw.
Chris Crane spoiled a strong defensive period for the Beast by sniping a wrist shot past D’Agostini with 55 seconds left in the second period.
Orlando held a 9-4 edge in shots during the second frame.
The tenacious Beast prodded hard in the Orlando zone in the opening minute of the final period in order to get the equalizing goal. Their efforts were successful as Crisp propelled a backhand shot into the net at point-blank range just 41 seconds into the period.
The Solar Bears did not buckle under the pressure of allowing the tying goal, and instead showed some resiliency of their own by striking for two goals in 49 seconds not long after Crisp’s marker. Denver Manderson found the net at 5:27 to restore Orlando’s lead, and then Cameransi struck at 6:16 to make the game 5-3.
Pacan ignited his team’s strong push to close out the game with a highlight reel goal at 9:19. He propelled down the ice on a coast-to-coast rush before beating Kaskisuo with a hard forehand shot from just outside the crease.
Brampton was resolute in their pursuit of the game-tying goal after this midway-point marker but were not able to solve Kaskisuo again.
D’Agostini made 30 saves on 35 shots in his first start since late October for the Beast, while Kaskisuo stopped 22 of 26 shots to earn the victory.
The Beast will seek to bounce back from this road series sweep when they open a two-game home set with the Quad City Mallards at the Powerade Centre on Monday night.
Notes: The Beast were 2-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. This was the first time they managed to score multiple power play goals in a game this month. David Vallorani’s assist on Pacan’s first period goal extended his point-scoring streak to seven games (four goals and seven assists for 11 points).
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