BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast came out with pistols drawn, but it wasn’t enough to take down the Allen Americans, as the Beast ultimately fell by a score of 5-2 on the first ever Jersey Toss night at the Powerade Centre.
Grant Rollheiser anchored the Beast, making 25 saves after coming in to begin the second frame in relief of Trevor Cann. Justin Donati scored his sixth goal of the year and Steve Tarasuk added his first in a Beast uniform, in a game highlighted by exciting up-and-down play and the Beast’s inaugural jersey toss.
Hockey fans, pundits and even casual twitter users from across the GTA all came out and held their breath, waiting in anticipation for the Beast to score their first goal so they could participate in the first ever jersey toss. At 12:11 of the second period, the Beast made fans wishes come true, as jersey’s rained onto the ice in piles. The Beast decided to add a positive twist to the recent trend circulating around GTA hockey circles. All jersey’s that were tossed onto the ice during the game were donated to the Moss Park Hockey League, a league that provides free hockey opportunities to kids aged 4-14, regardless of their socioeconomic background. The Beast were able to accumulate over 100 jerseys to donate to the MPHL.
The first period started in the exact fashion the Beast planned. It was a tight-checking, low scoring affair that only saw two total shots by the teams during the opening six minutes. Just under 10 minutes into the frame, the Beast turned the puck over near their blueline and the Americans countered with a quick 2-on-1. Jessie Messier looked off his other winger and potted a wrist shot under the blocker of Trevor Cann. Towards the end of the first period with the Beast on the power play, Allen’s Greger Hanson broke out of his own zone on a partial break and put a beauty right under the bar to put the Americans ahead 2-0.
The second period was arguably the Beast’s best all season. They dictated the play from start to finish, and never let their foot off the gas pedal. The Beast’s constant pressure finally turned into results when just under eight minutes into the frame, Tyson Fawcett hit David Ling with a perfect outlet pass to spring he and Justin Donati on a 2-on-1. Justin took the pass from Ling and roofed a shot that sent the crowd into a jersey tossing frenzy. Later in the frame, Steve Tarasuk, a defenceman playing forward, walked out of the corner and shot a laser top shelf for his first goal with the Beast, tying the game at two.
The momentum in the third period transferred back to the Americans when just under six minutes into the frame, Allen’s Aaron Gens walked across the blueline and took a shot that went bar down to beat a screened Grant Rollheiser. Allen made it 4-2 at 8:35 of the third on a power play marker by Gary Steffes. Steffes also potted his 31st goal of the year into an empty net to seal the 5-2 victory for the Americans.
The Beast finish up a quick two-game home stand against the Americans today, February 6. It will be Guaranteed Fun Night at the Powerade Centre! If you don’t have fun, get your money back! After that, the Beast hit the road, travelling to South Dakota, to take on the Rapid City Rush for a three-game series. To listen live during games, click the ‘radio’ button found at the top right of the Brampton Beast website’s home page. Tickets can be purchased online at bramptonbeast.com or by calling 905-564-1684.
About the ECHL
Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 21 teams in 14 states for its 27th season in 2014-15. There have been 541 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 29 who made their NHL debuts in the 2013-14 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 28 of the 30 NHL teams in 2014-15, marking the 18th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Brampton Beast
The Brampton Beast was founded in January 2013. The Brampton Beast finished in sixth place and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in their inaugural year. The team was recognized as the he Community Relations Franchise of the Year in their first year of operation.