BRAMPTON, ONTARIO— This Hockey Day in Brampton tilt at the Powerade Centre on Saturday night was a tale of two halves.
In the first half, the Brampton Beast and Toledo Walleye battled to a draw in terms of territorial play and creating scoring chances. The second half saw the Walleye display their scoring prowess. The final score at the end of 60 minutes read 6-0 Toledo.
Jake Paterson stymied many difficult scoring attempts en route to earning a 23-save shutout for Toledo (28-7-1-0). As a result of the loss, Brampton (20-12-2-2) was not able to capitalize on their big 5-4 overtime win over the Kalamazoo Wings the night before.
Period one of this clash was an evenly played affair that saw momentum get traded back and forth between the two clubs. Whistles were scarce during this frame, and fans were treated to many sequences of quick-paced end-to-end action.
Nolan Zajac drew first blood on the scoreboard for the Walleye at the 15:28 mark of the opening period as he drilled a low, hard wrist shot into the net past Fucale.
Toledo held a slight 9-7 edge in the shots at the end of 20 minutes of play.
Although Brampton kept pace with Toledo in terms of generating attacking zone pressure in the middle stanza, they were not able to answer the three goals scored by their opponent.
Alden Hirschfield ignited the Toledo goal-scoring at 5:13 by rifling home the puck after Chris Leone’s shot off the right post bounced right to him in the left faceoff circle
Natastiuk made the score 3-0 for Toledo at 12:49 by beating Fucale on the short side with a backhand shot from the side of the Beast net.
Brampton was put into a four-goal hole just 71 seconds later at 14:00 as Matthew Santos punched the puck into the net with a hard forehand drive from the slot.
Fucale was pulled out of the game after allowing the fourth Toledo goal in favour of Andrew D’Agostini. He ended his night with 16 saves on 20 shots.
Even though they dominated in terms of goal scoring in the middle period, the Walleye only managed to outdo Brampton 13-11 on the shot clock.
The Walleye continued their offensive dominance in the third period with two identical goals: J.P. Lafontaine and Natastiuk scored at 2:40 and 9:14 respectively by tapping the puck into a wide open net due to the Walleye’s quick tic-tac-toe passing.
Toledo outshot Brampton 8-5 in the third period and 30-23 overall in the contest.
These two teams will square off at the Powerade Centre again at 2 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.
Notes: The Beast went 0-for-1 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill. Brandon Marino will take another stab of tying Jason Pitton’s franchise assist record tomorrow. Marino has 50 and Pitton has 51.
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