BRAMPTON, ONTARIO — Mere hours after being named as one of Canada’s Spengler Cup goaltenders, Brampton Beast netminder Zachary Fucale demonstrated why he was appointed to this elite team by making 22 saves to backstop his team to a 3-1 road win over the Indy Fuel on Tuesday night.
Because of this road triumph, Fucale’s record improves to 12-3-0-1 on the season. His win total is tied with the Manchester Monarch’s Sam Brittain and the Allen American’s Riley Gill for second most in the league. He has ascended up the goalie win leader rankings rapidly over the past month as a result of him winning eight of his past nine starts.
Chris Leveille, David Vallorani and David Pacan scored for the Beast (15-8-1-2), who have now won eight of their past 10 games and have moved into a tie for second place in the North Division with the idle Adirondack Thunder.
Fucale and Fuel goaltender Eric Levine made a statement in the first frame that this contest would be a goaltending duel as they both refused to yield a goal in the opening period. Both of them were forced to make some massive, acrobatic saves in order to keep this affair scoreless.
Brampton outshot Indy 10-7 in the first period.
The Beast took their game to another gear in the middle stage of the contest, and as a result they enjoyed some long sequences of pressure in the attacking zone.
They broke through for the ice-breaking goal at 6:57. Brandon Marino made a gorgeous behind-the-net pass to Leveille, who then hammered the puck into the net with a hard one-timer blast from the slot.
This sustained attacking pressure by Brampton continued for the remainder of the period. The road team enjoyed a 12-7 edge on the shot clock during the middle frame.
The Fuel’s Robin Press struck fifty seconds into the final period to knot the game at one goal apiece with a hard shot from the blue line. This goal ended Fucale’s shutout streak at one hundred and twelve minutes and eighteen seconds.
Vallorani restored the Brampton lead for good with 8:32 remaining in the game by beating Levine with a close-range shot after receiving the puck via a lucky bounce off the backboards.
Pacan sealed the deal with a power-play goal with 21 seconds remaining in the game by tapping the puck past an unsuspecting Levine after accepting a quick centering pass from Chris Auger.
Both teams registered nine shots in the final period. Brampton outshot Indy 31-23 in the game.
Levine stopped 28 shots in defeat.
Brampton will attempt to sweep their two-game road series with the Indy Fuel (8-16-1-1) on Thursday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Notes: Brampton went 1-for-6 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. The Beast are now 13-0-0-0 in games where they surrender three goals or less. The Beast improved their head-to-head record against Indy to three wins and zero losses.
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