Moline, IL – In their 15th and final game of the season against the Quad City Mallards, multiple Beast players stepped up in a big way, leading the team back from separate two-goal deficits on their way to a 6-5 victory. The resilient Beast showed fight in snapping their own five-game losing streak, while halting the Mallards three-game winning streak and denying them a chance to clinch the playoffs tonight in the process.
Mathew Maione had a goal and two assists to give him 20 points in 15 games against the Mallards this season, and push him into sole possession of first place in ECHL rookie defence scoring. Bobby Hughes and Jason Dale also added three points apiece while Adam Chapman’s first professional goal turned out to be the game winner. Parker Van Buskirk made 32 saves to collect his first win in a Beast uniform in a frantic night at the iWireless Centre.
The first period didn’t start in favour of the Beast. The Mallards were skating with swagger, coming into the game winners of three straight and looking to guarantee themselves some postseason hockey. At the 3:04 mark of the frame, the home team struck, when Kevin Baker beat Van Buskik for a 1-0 lead. Rookie forward Adam Chapman sparked his team with a spirited tilt just minutes later, but it would be the Mallards who would add another goal off the stick of Joe Perry to make it 2-0 at the half way mark of the period.
After Dalton Thrower drew a Mallards penalty, the Beast responded on the scoreboard with a power play goal with just 30 seconds left in the stanza. Maione broke into the Mallards zone and swung the puck to Justin Donati, who found Jeff Brown in the high slot; Brown ripped the puck past Parker Milner for his second pro goal to cut the deficit to 2-1 heading into the second.
Quad City restored their two goal lead 4:40 into the period, firing a shot on goal that was poked home by Baker for his second of the night. Less than a minute later, the Beast caught a bounce as Maione blocked a clearing attempt and fired a shot that deflected over the net, off the glass behind the net, off of Parker Milner and into the back of the Mallards cage for the rookie’s 13th goal of the season.
At 2:22 of the period, Maione went to work yet again, breaking into the Mallards zone and firing a shot on goal that was mishandled by Milner. Jason Dale was on the door step to whack in his fifth of the season to tie the game at 3-3.
Eighteen seconds into the third, the Beast took their first lead of the game. Brayden Rose dumped the puck into the Quad City zone and Pitton took over, using his big frame to protect the puck, shook off his defender and find Bobby Hughes in front for Hughes’ fourth goal in his past seven games. Just over two minutes later with Donati in the box for tripping, Hughes flipped the puck over the Mallards blueline onto the stick of a streaking Dale, who went high glove shorthanded for his second of the night and a 5-3 Beast lead.
Mario Lamoureux answered for the Mallards at 8:15 of the frame before Adam Chapman notched the first goal of his professional career 23 seconds later to once again restore the Beast’s two-goal lead. The game was an old fashioned shootout as Quad City potted another 76 seconds later that bounced over the shoulder of Van Buskirk to cut the Beast lead to 6-5. It was as close as the home team would come however as the Beast stood firm to defend the lead through the final seconds and take the season series against the Mallards eight games to seven.
The Beast continue their four game road trip Friday in Allen to take on the Americans, which precedes stops in Wichita and Missouri for a game each before returning home on Friday April 10, to take on the Missouri Mavericks for two games. April 10 is Picture Day at the Powerade Centre, where fans are encouraged to bring their cameras and take pictures of and with the Beast after their game. April 11 is Cancer Awareness Day, where the Beast will be hosting their Stick it to Cancer walk before the game, which precedes a barbeque and other fun activities for fans including painting the ice after the game.
April 12 is Jersey Off Our Backs Day at the Powerade Centre, where, directly following the game, the Beast players will be giving their jerseys to the lucky winning fans. Also Sunday is the Beast’s last team skate of the year, where fans have the chance to bring out their skates and hit the ice with the Beast after their game. For more information or tickets please visit www.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.