Toronto, ON – Three members of the Brampton Beast suited up for the Edmonton Oilers’ AHL affiliate Oklahoma City Barons Wednesday morning as David Ling, Jason Pitton and Brett Lyon brought their talents to bear in Thursday’s game against the Toronto Marlies.
Pitton, who is second on the Beast in both goals and points this season, showed off his vision setting up several linemates for quality scoring chances while Lyon, who leads the entire ECHL in penalty minutes provided a physical presence for the Barons throughout the game.
It was veteran forward David Ling however who stole the show for Beast supporters by dazzling fans in scoring the first goal of the game on Christopher Gibson. In doing so, Ling proved he still has what it takes to compete at the AHL level of professional hockey despite entering the game as the oldest active player in the league. The goal also marked the first time a Beast player has been called up and scored at the AHL level.
“In over 1200 professional games that might have been the first time I was really nervous,” laughed Ling after the game. “Pitton and I were joking earlier about whether or not we would be able to keep up out there. But scoring is scoring, and getting that first goal, seeing it go in, it allowed me to relax and have fun.”
After the teams traded markers back and forth just over a minute apart in the second period, the Barons looked to be in good shape to avoid a season-high five game losing streak entering the third frame with a 2-1 lead.
Just four minutes in, however, Byron Froese scored to knot the game 2-2 before converting again eleven minutes later to give the Marlies their first lead of the game with just 3:55 to play. It would prove to be all the home team needed as they shut the door with good defensive play during the final minutes to emerge with the 3-2 victory.
Ling was one of the players selected by Barons coach Gerry Fleming to be on the ice for the last minute of the game as the Barons looked for the equalizer with their net empty. All three players will be back in Beast uniforms tomorrow night when the Beast take on former head coach Mark DeSantis and the Rapid City Rush for the first of a three-game set on Business Networking Night at the Powerade Centre.
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.