BRAMPTON, ONTARIO - Chris Leveille scored the game-winning goal with 6:04 remaining in the third period, and added an assist, to lead the Brampton Beast to a 4-3 victory over the Quad City Mallards at the Powerade Centre on Wednesday afternoon.
Jordan Henry, Brandon Marino and David Vallorani also lit the lamp to secure the Beast (8-6-1-2) a triumph in the opener of a two-game home series against Quad City (10-7-0-1).
Beast starting goaltender Zachary Fucale also deserves a healthy amount of credit. Many of his 32 saves were of the difficult variety. He was at his best in a second period that saw him make13 saves on 14 shots.
The Beast thrilled the thousands of Peel Region students in attendance for this school day game by storming out to a 3-0 lead in the first 11 minutes of the contest.
Veteran defenseman Henry delivered the ice-breaking marker —his second tally of the year — at 5:18 by rifling the puck past Mallards’ netminder Adam Vay with a hard one-timer blast from the left face-off circle.
Just 62 seconds later, the Beast struck again. Marino had time and space in the high slot to drill a beautiful wrist shot into the opposition cage at the 6:20 mark to secure his fifth goal of the season.
Vallorani extended his point-scoring streak to a remarkable eight games at 9:30 by beating Vay with a cannon of a slap shot that popped the water bottle off the net. He has potted six goals and six assists during his run.
Brampton continued to relentlessly attack Quad City with a plethora of dangerous chances to close out the frame.
The home team outshot the visitors 16-8 in the opening period.
Quad City entered the second period as a club determined to climb back into this hockey game. The Mallards strong attacking-zone pressure to begin the middle stanza was rewarded when Michael Parks beat Fucale with a close-range forehand shot at 1:26.
The Mallards ultimately controlled the entirety of the second period with their strong transitional attack, but were unable to draw any closer on the scoreboard before the second intermission due to Fucale’s strong work.
Brampton was outshot 14-3 in period two.
After a back-and-forth opening five minutes of the third period, Quad City drew within one at 5:44 as Alex Gudbranson beat Fucale with a hard shot from the slot on an odd-man rush.
Leveille restored the Beast’s two-goal lead by deflecting the puck over Vay’s pad after receiving a beautiful tape-to-tape pass from David Pacan.
The Mallards did not buckle under the pressure of allowing this goal as Jack Nevins found the back of the net 49 seconds later to make the contest 4-3.
Despite some good chances, the Mallards were not able to earn the equalizer due to good defensive zone coverage by the Beast.
Brampton will attempt to sweep this two-game series when these teams meet at the Powerade Centre tomorrow night at 7:15 p.m.
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Notes: Brampton went 0-for-2 on the PP and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. Three Stars: 1) David Pacan, 2) Zachary Fucale, 3) Jordan Henry