FORT WAYNE, INDIANA – Fort Wayne Komets forward Brett Perlini outwaited Brampton Beast goaltender Zach Fucale and sent a perfect backhand shot into the open net, giving the Komets a 4-3 overtime win at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night.
Brandon MacLean led the way with a pair of goals while Brandon Marino and Tim Billingsley each chipped in with a pair of helpers for the Beast, who ended their five game road trip by recording points in four of five contests.
Prior to the game, the Komets honoured Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk by raising his number 91 to the rafters, much to the delight of the 9515 fans in attendance.
The Beast capitalized off the emotion in the building and got off to a quick start. Brandon MacLean got the scoring started early as he cut in on the left wing side and ripped a picture-perfect wrist shot into the top corner just 16 seconds into the contest, beating Komets starting goaltender Pat Nagle high over the glove.
Near the middle of the opening frame, the Beast kept their foot on the gas and were able to push their lead to 2-0 as Connor Crisp accepted a tape-to-tape pass out of the corner from Tim Billingsley and ripped a perfect wrist shot behind Nagle at 11:54.
Near the end of the first period, the Komets got one back as Trevor Cheek cut in alone on Fucale and lifted a backhand shot just under the bar, cutting the Beast lead to 2-1 at 18:01.
The Komets erased the Beast’s two-goal lead at the 9:36 mark of the second period as Mike Cazzola found some room between Fucale’s blocker and the post and squeezed in his 19th goal of the season to tie the game.
The Beast, who outshot the Komets 12-6 in the second period, kept throwing pucks on goal from everywhere to try and get their lead back and that strategy paid off big time at the 13:07 mark of the second period.
MacLean located the puck in the left wing corner and threw it out in front of the goal. It bounced off Nagle and ended up over the goal line, giving MacLean his second of the night, and sending the Beast into the second intermission with a 3-2 lead.
The Beast put on a defensive clinic throughout the first 19 minutes of the third period as Fucale stood tall to keep the Komets offense at bay. But Fort Wayne was able to break through with the equalizer in the final minute of play as Gabriel Desjardins crashed the net and pounced on a loose puck at 19:11 to send the game to overtime, where Perlini ended the game at the 2:03 mark.
Fucale was strong between the pipes for the Beast and finished the game with 22 stops, while Nagle earned the win with 22 saves.
Notes: Molson Three Stars: 3) Cazzola (FW) 2) MacLean 1) Perlini. Chris Leveille did not record a point, ending his eight-game point streak. David Pacan remains one goal shy of establishing a new Beast record for goals in a season. His 29 goals ties him with Andrew Fournier from the 2013-14 Central Hockey League season. Zach Fucale remains tied with 2013-14’s Kristofer Westblom for wins in a season with 18. The Beast return to action on Monday, February 20 as they host the Wheeling Nailers on Family Day at 2:00PM.