KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN – Brampton Beast forward David Pacan netted his team-leading 20th goal of the season in the second period but Kalamazoo Wings sniper Justin Taylor had a pair of goals and an assist to help the K-Wings to a topsy-turvy 5-3 win over the Beast on Saturday afternoon at Wings Event Center.
Pacan, Willie Corrin and David Vallorani each lit the lamp for the Beast and netminder Andrew D’Agostini was solid between the pipes with 26 saves plus an assist as the Beast suffered their first loss since December 16.
The first period was an evenly-matched affair with the Beast holding a slight 8-7 edge on the shot clock. Kalamazoo was the first to find the back of the net as Justin Taylor netted his 13th goal of the season just 5:52 into the game, giving the K-Wings a 1-0 lead they would carry into the first intermission.
Pacan got it back while down a man near the halfway point of the second period. He took an outlet pass from Beast captain Brandon Marino on the left wing side and rifled a quick shot against the Kalamazoo netminder. The puck got through the armour of K-Wings starter Joel Martin and trickled just over the line, tying the game at 1-1 at 10:31.
The K-Wings maintained pressure throughout the remainder of the second period and got goals from Scott Hennegar and Tanner Sorensen to take a 3-1 lead heading into the final frame.
Corrin got the Beast to within a goal with his second tally in as many games while Brampton was enjoying a man advantage. The defenseman joined the rush and made no mistake in lifting the puck over Martin to keep the game close at 3-2 at the 8:14 mark of the third period.
In spite of a hard push from the Beast down the stretch in the third period, it would be the K-Wings who would pull away late in the game.
Tyler Shattock scored his sixth of the year into the empty net with under two minutes remaining to push the Kalamazoo lead to 4-2.
With D’Agostini back between the pipes, Taylor quickly netted his second of the game on a partial breakaway at 18:33, giving the K-Wings a three-goal edge with time running out.
The Beast made it interesting with a power play goal with 45 seconds remaining. Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk once again elected to pull his goaltender, this time in favour of a 6-on-4 power play and it paid off handsomely.
Marino found Vallorani on the doorstep with a perfect cross-ice pass and the Beast leading scorer made no mistake and snapped home his 18th goal of the year but that’s as close as the Beast would come as the K-Wings held on for the victory.
The Beast are back on the ice tomorrow, January 1 as they head to Indianapolis to take on the Indy Fuel. Game time is scheduled for 3:00 PM.
Notes: Molson Three Stars: 1) Sorensen (KAL) 2) Henegar (KAL) 3) Taylor (KAL). The Beast finished the game 2-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. Prior to the game, the Beast’s AHL affiliate, the St. John’s IceCaps, reassigned Mathieu Gagnon to the Beast.
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