BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast’s inaugural Stick It To Cancer walk and postgame ice painting was a rousing success last Saturday, as the Beast raised over $4,100 for Wellspring-Chinguacousy, a cancer support centre located in a residential neighborhood in Brampton.
For the first time in Canada, fans painted the ice in memory of lost loved ones and those fighting a battle against cancer in a show of support and solidarity with victims and their families. The ice will remain painted with these messages for tomorrow’s Fan Appreciation Game, the Beast’s final game of the season.
The day began at 3:00pm as groups and teams from across the region registered for the walk around the Powerade Centre and surrounding grounds, and participated in a variety of activities from balloon popping to Zumba. Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey and Councillor Gael Miles were both in attendance, as awards were given for the highest-fundraising individual in both male and female categories, and to the highest fundraising and best costumed teams.
After a dramatic 1-0 overtime victory over their division rivals the Missouri Mavericks, fans took to the ice in groups to paint messages of love and support in preparation for the season finale.
Alternate captain Jason Pitton gave the hometown fans a treat in the Beast’s final game of the season, becoming the first player in Brampton Beast franchise history to notch 100 points. Pitton collected an assist on Mathew Maione’s third period goal to reach the milestone marker on Jersey Off Our Back Day at the Powerade Centre.
Maione led the offence for the Beast with a goal and an assist, while five other Beast players picked up points in the finale. Ryan DeMelo made 25 saves in his second straight start after shutting out the Missouri Mavericks last night in a 1-0 overtime thriller. Unfortunately for the home team, it wouldn’t be enough, as the comeback came up short in the third period and the Wheeling Nailers took away a 4-2 win.
Following the game, the Beast continued a tradition started a year ago of presenting game worn jerseys to fans at centre ice directly from the players themselves. Winners were chosen live from the Jersey Off Our Backs Contest to stand at centre ice after the match and receive their sweaters from the backs of the Beast players before a final postgame skate.
The first period started off with fireworks as Matt McCready laid a huge hit in the Beast zone to set the tone early. At the 9:51 mark of the frame however, it would be the Nailers who opened the scoring as captain Shane Bakker took the puck in the high slot and outwaited DeMelo before tucking it past his outstretched arm for a 1-0 lead. Forty seconds later, rookie sensation Derek Army broke into the Beast zone and rifled a wrist shot top shelf to give his team a 2-0 advantage.
The Beast came out roaring to start the second period, when just seconds in Matt McCready ripped a wrist shot past Hartzell only to see it ring off the crossbar. As the Nailers transitioned back down the ice, Sahir Gill found David Gilbert who went five-hole to push the lead to 3-0.
After a media time out half way through the second, the Beast offence went to work with renewed vigor. Mathew Maione made a play to keep the puck in the Nailers zone before finding David Ling hovering at the blue line. Ling, with classic veteran patience, fed a beautiful cross-ice pass to McCready who beat Hartzell to cut the lead to 3-1. The Nailers would respond with three and a half minutes left in the stanza as Gilbert added his second of the afternoon to restore the three goal lead.
Coming out for their final period of play this season, the Beast once again upped the ante as Jason Pitton carved out a piece of Beast history. On a late powerplay, the dynamic winger assisted Maione’s powerplay marker making him the first Beast player to record 100 points.
Fans joined the Beast for a final time this season on Wednesday at Oscar’s Roadhouse for the Player Awards Show, where the team presented player awards for multiple different categories, including Rookie of the Year, Team MVP and Offensive Player of the Year.
For more information on the Beast and their upcoming events visit bramptonbeast.com or call 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 28 teams in 21 states and one Canadian province 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.