INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - Chris Auger scored two goals and added an assist and Luc-Olivier Blain and Willie Corrin each netted a tally and a helper apiece, to lead the Brampton Beast to a decisive 6-3 New Year’s Day road win over the Indy Fuel at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.
Auger and company did most of their damage in a second period that saw the Beast outscore the Fuel 3-1. The 2015-16 top Beast goal scorer netted two of his team’s tallies to earn his third multi-goal effort of the season.
Mike Folkes and Mitch Zion also scored for the Beast (19-9-1-2), who will now head home to the Powerade Centre after completing their seven-game road trip with a remarkable 6-1 record. This is the most successful stretch the Beast has ever enjoyed away from their home confines.
These two clubs commenced 2017 on the best of notes as they combined to produce an entertaining, end-to-end first period. Both teams passed the puck with pinpoint precision in the first frame, which led to the creation of many dangerous scoring chances.
Indy landed the first blow at 5:58. Alex Guptill fended off a couple Beast rearguards to complete a spinning backdoor pass to Matt Rupert, who tapped the rubber disk into a gaping cage for a 1-0 lead.
Brampton responded to this deficit by exhibiting more diligence on the forecheck. They began to gain a territorial edge in this affair by generating a couple sequences of extended cycle pressure in the Fuel’s end of the rink.
This relentlessness in the attacking zone paid off as defenseman Mike Folkes delivered the equalizing goal at 12:58, by wiring a perfectly-placed wrist shot from the blue line into the top right corner of the net.
The Beast outshot the Fuel 14-9 in the period.
The Beast’s momentum in the offensive zone carried over to the middle frame, and as a result Fuel goaltender Jake Hildebrand was under siege for most of the period.
Auger lifted the Beast to their first lead of the game at the 3:47 mark as his desperation shot from behind the net ricocheted off of Hildebrand’s pads into the net.
Less than four minutes later, at 7:22, the Beast sniper struck again to give the Beast a 3-1 lead. Auger cashed in his second goal by slamming home the loose puck in the crease after Blain’s wrist shot handcuffed Hildebrand.
Zion’s first goal of the season increased the Beast’s lead to a three-goal edge. The second-year Beast forward netted the tally at 10:40 with an in-the-slot snapshot after receiving a picturesque centering pass from David Vallorani.
Tristan King made the score in the game 4-2 at 14:42 by wristing the puck past Beast netminder Andrew D’Agostini from the right point.
Brampton outshot Indy 11-4 in the second period.
Strong pressure out of the gate for the Beast led to them getting their three-goal lead back at 6:01 as Willie Corrin unleashed a powerful slap shot from the deep slot that connected with the top half of the net behind Hildebrand.
The Fuel refused to buckle quietly. They mounted a strong push in the second half of the third period to chip away at the Beast lead. Guptill pulled the Fuel within two goals at 10:35 by rifling a rebound past D’Agostini after the Beast goaltender made an initial tremendous sliding-pad breakaway save off of a backhand deke from King.
Indy did not close the gap any further as D’Agostini had the answer for every over attempt that came his way.
Blain put the nail in the Fuel’s coffin by backhanding a rebound off of an Auger wrist shot into the net with 1:48 remaining on the clock.
D’Agostini made 27 saves on 30 shots to earn his fifth win of the season.
Hildebrand allowed six goals on 39 shots in a losing cause.
Brampton will play its first home game since mid-December on Friday, January 6th against the Kalamazoo Wings. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
Notes: The Beast went 1-for-5 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. The Beast has now won all five of their ECHL matchups against the Indy Fuel. Three Stars: 3). Willie Corrin 2). Tristan King 1). Chris Auger
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