BRAMPTON, ONTARIO – To say it was an exciting Sunday afternoon tilt between the Brampton Beast and the visiting Fort Wayne Komets would be an understatement.
Brandon MacLean recorded a third-period hat trick, including the game-winner in the final two minutes of play and Beast captain Brandon Marino moved into first in all-time Beast franchise assists to help their club to a hard-fought 4-3 victory at the Powerade Centre.
Connor Crisp also scored for the Beast (21-14-2-2) while Reggie Traccitto, David Vallorani and Tim Billingsley each recorded a pair of assists to help the club pick up its first home victory of 2017.
The Komets were the first to find the back of the net near the halfway point of the opening period. Mason Baptista pounced on a rebound in front of Beast starting goaltender Zach Fucale and buried his eighth goal of the season to open the scoring at 10:19.
The Beast came out flying to start the second period and didn’t have to wait long to tie the game. Reggie Traccitto sent a slow shot toward the goal that fooled the defender. Crisp was waiting for the loose puck in the slot and was able to squeeze it through the pads of Komets starting goaltender P.J. Musico to tie the game at 1-1 at the 3:37 mark of the second period.
With just a pair of goals scored through 40 minutes of play, the action picked up in a big way in the third period.
The Beast took their first lead of the game just 4:03 into the final frame to kick off what would become a crazy finish. Traccitto sent a perfect stretch pass through the neutral zone and connected with a speedy MacLean. He cut into the high slot and sent a perfect wrist shot off the post and in for a 2-1 Beast lead.
The Beast defenders did a good job keeping the high-flying Komets off the board until the latter half of the third period when Fort Wayne took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play. Jamie Schaafsma got in behind the defense on a breakaway and beat Fucale with a low shot at 11:58 to tie the game at 2-2.
The resilient Beast once again roared ahead thanks to some more timely scoring from MacLean. This time, he gathered in the puck close to the blue line and sent a laser of a snap shot over the glove of Musico for a power play goal to restore the Beast lead at 15:20.
The Komets weren’t done just yet. With time running out in the third, Brett Perlini got one by the Beast netminder from close range, once again tying the game, this time at 3-3 with only 4:01 remaining in the third.
Just as Beast fans in attendance at the Powerade Centre were contemplating the possibility of overtime, MacLean struck again to put the Beast ahead for good. With Komets centre Perlini in the box for a late boarding minor, MacLean quickly snapped a low shot on goal from the right wing. The puck squeaked through the pads of Musico with 1:35 remaining in the third period, completing the hat trick and giving the Beast a 4-3 lead they would not relinquish.
Fucale stopped 29 of the 32 shots he faced and was rock solid in recording his 14th win of the season. Musico took the loss with 26 saves.
Notes: Molson Three Stars: 3) Traccitto (BRA) 2) Marino (BRA) 1) MacLean. The Beast finished the game 2-for-7 on the power play and 6-for-8 on the penalty kill. Brampton is now 3-0 against Fort Wayne this season. The Beast return to action on Friday, January 27 as they head to Kalamazoo to face the Wings.
Download the Beast Mobile App for FREE to get the latest news straight to your phone!
Download for and
The Brampton Beast will be bringing their exciting brand of ECHL hockey back to the Powerade Centre this fall. Don’t miss a minute of the action! 2016-17 Memberships are now available, starting at $34.78 plus HST per month.