Beast Prevail With Special Teams Success


The Wheeling Nailers had the advantage over the Brampton Beast when the teams were playing at even strength on Friday night. Unfortunately, special teams turned out to be the story. Brampton netted two power play goals, including the winning strike with 9:46 left in the third period, then added a shorthanded empty netter for a 4-2 victory at Powerade Centre. The setback is only Wheeling’s second in ten historical visits to Ontario.

The two teams battled to a scoreless first period, with Wheeling outshooting Brampton, 11-6. The first goal of the game came at the 5:54 mark of the second period, while Brampton was on the power play. Luke Pither whipped a shot in from the top of the right circle, which was denied by Doug Carr. However, the rebound kicked out to David Vallorani, who deposited his team-leading 14th of the year. The Nailers answered that tally at the 11:58 mark. Garrett Meurs sped down the left side of center ice and entered into the offensive end. As he got close to the slot, Meurs drove to the middle, and proceeded to slide a shot around Zachary Fucale’s left leg for the equalizer. However, the Beast went back on top with 5:17 to go. Luc-Olivier Blain floated a pass into the left circle, where Chris Auger batted the puck out of the air and into the cage.

Wheeling pulled even for the second time, thanks to a fortunate bounce at the 17-second mark of the third period. Derek Army’s dump in from center ice clipped off of the corner glass, and tumbled into the right circle. With the netminder out, Milos Bubela shoveled a shot into the top-left corner of the cage for a 2-2 deadlock. With 9:46 left, the Beast regained the lead for the third, and what turned out to be the final time. Pither appeared as though he was going to take a shot from the top of the right circle, but instead set up Auger, who redirected the attempt along the ice for the eventual game winning goal. David Pacan added a shorthanded goal in the last minute for a 4-2 final score in favor of the home side.

Zachary Fucale had a strong game in goal for Brampton, as he earned the win, turning away 34 of the 36 shots he faced. Doug Carr took the loss for Wheeling, making 21 saves on 24 shots.


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