BRAMPTON, ON – The Beast entered Tuesday night’s game against the Toledo Walleye on a nine-game winless streak. The Walleye, for their part, came in on an eight-game winning streak. That streak started when the Walleye were last in Brampton and beat the Beast 2-1 in overtime.
Brampton came out humming after a nice school concert band played the national anthems, getting three shots on net right off the hop. The Walleye proved why they are on a winning streak and hammered back with seven of their own, including two on the power play. Mike Folkes got the only time in the penalty box in the first for a hooking infraction. However, it was Brandon Marino touch pass to David Vallorani who put it by Matej Machovsky to give the home team a 1-0 lead at 12:17 of the opening stanza.
After that goal, the Beast found their legs again and managed to limit the Walleye’s chances of scoring. With a push in the final seconds of the period, Cody Donaghey managed to give the Beast a 2-0 lead with only five seconds left on the clock.
The second period was more of an even affair as both teams had their time on the attack, trading ends for multiple shots. Just before the six minute mark, Tyler Barnes beat Driedger with the rebound to make it a 2-1 game. With the shutout opportunity taken away, Driedger refocused and kept the rest of the shots out of the net.
Late in the period, Donaghey got two minutes for cross-checking, and the Beast held the Walleye to just a single shot on net during that penalty kill. With just over one minute left in the period, and with the Beast only recently back to full strength, Driedger ended up putting the puck out of play, which gave the visiting Walleye another crack at the power play. This penalty was successfully killed off thanks to some excellent forechecking by Brandon MacLean, who had two different breakaways on Machovsky but was not able to beat him.
The third period would prove to be the game decider. The Beast would get two more penalties in the period, and held the Walleye to no shots on net on both penalties. The Beast went a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill Tuesday night but did not get a power play chance of their own.
Driedger proved to be the difference maker, stopping 23 of 24 Walleye chances on Tuesday night, helping the team get their first win since January 21. The final goal came with 17 seconds left as MacLean was finally rewarded with a goal, albeit on an empty net as Machovsky had been pulled with just over a minute left.
In the end, the Beast broke their club-record winless streak at nine games and stopped the Walleye from getting their ninth win in a row. The Beast also beat the Walleye for the first time since February 11, 2017, and marks only the sixth time they have ever beaten the Walleye in their four years in the ECHL.
Score: Walleye 1 – Beast 3
Shots: Walleye 24 – Beast 26
Penalties: Walleye 0 – Beast 5
Walleye goal scored by Barnes from Mike Embach.
Beast goals scored by Vallorani (1), Donaghey (1) and MacLean (1). Assists came from Jackson Leef (1), Marino (1), Nathan Todd (1) and Tyson Wilson (1).
The Beast will hit the road for a pair of games against the Adirondack Thunder & Reading Royals this weekend, before coming home for another Tuesday night game against the Adirondack Thunder next week. Follow @SinBinBeast on Twitter for live game updates.
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