BRAMPTON, ONTARIO— The Brampton Beast delivered a consistent offensive push throughout 60 minutes, but ultimately found themselves undone by the strong netminding of veteran goalkeeper Joel Martin and a two-goal performance from Lane Schiedl.
Brampton outshot the Wings 43-25, with 35 of those attempts being earned in the last 40 minutes but was only able to solve Martin twice in a 5-2 win for the Wings at the Powerade Centre on Friday night.
Daultan Leveille — making his Beast debut— and Chris Auger scored for the Beast (19-10-1-2), who have lost all three of their matchups against the Wings (13-17-0-3) this season.
Kalamazoo’s path to victory began with a spirited start to the first period as they picked up six of the first eight shots on net. Their solid work paid dividends as Jason Pitt found an opening to beat Beast goaltender Zachary Fucale — starting his first game for the Beast since leading Canada to a Spengler Cup title — with a hard wrist shot from the left circle at 5:32.
This early hole did not discourage the Beast skaters as they pushed back with some strong forechecking pressure, which led to many dangerous close-range scoring opportunities. Their late surge put them ahead on the shot clock 8-7 at the end of the first frame.
A power-play goal 35 seconds into the second period allowed the Wings to regain momentum as Scheidl jammed a loose puck in front of the crease past the left pad of Fucale.
Schiedl struck again at 12:18 to make the score 3-0 by elevating the puck over the right pad of Fucale after receiving a backdoor pass from Tyler Shattock.
The Beast finally got on the board at 15:28 of the middle stanza as Daultan Leveille slammed home a rebound after a hard blast from Jordan Henry bounced off Martin’s pad.
This marker was the lone shot of Brampton’s that found the net in a frenetic second frame that saw the Beast outshoot the K-Wings 18-14.
Momentum generated in the final minutes of period two by the Beast carried over to period three as it only took Auger 29 seconds to pump a perfect wrist shot into the Wings net to make the game 3-2. Auger now has five goals and eight points over a six-game point streak.
Ben Wilson pounced back for the Wings at the 2:17 mark to make the score 4-2.
The Beast punched back at the Wings with a cannonade of shot attempts to try and cut into the deficit. They pumped the puck on net an eye-popping 17 times but Martin continued to stand tall to close out the game. Conversely, Kalamazoo only managed three shots on net in the final frame.
Justin Taylor confirmed a victory for the K-Wings with a goal with 38 seconds left to make the score 5-2.
Fucale stopped 20 of the 25 shots he faced in defeat.
Brampton will attempt to bounce back tomorrow night on the road as they tangle with the league-leading Toledo Walleye starting at 7:15 p.m.
Notes: The Beast power-play went 0-for-3 and their penalty kill was a stout 6-for-7. Two of Brampton’s next three games are against Kalamazoo. The next assist for Brandon Marino will be his 51st as a member of the Beast, which will put him in a tie with Jason Pitton for the franchise lead. Three Stars: 3). Daultan Leveille 2). Joel Martin 1). Lane Schiedl.
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