11/07/2014 9:51 PM
BRAMPTON – Just six games into the schedule and the Brampton Beast remain looking for answers and their first win of the season as they found themselves on the wrong end of a 7-2 decision against the Quad City Mallards on Friday.
Despite out-shooting, out-hitting, and out-playing the Mallards for long stretches of the game, the Beast were unable to capitalize on several key opportunities to gain momentum and put the match away against their former CHL rivals.
For the second straight contest the Beast came roaring out of the gate like a team posessed, with captain Cal Wild nearly opening the scoring early only to hit the goalpost in the opening minute. The Beast went on to log 10 of the first 11 shots on goal, forcing Quad City netminder Parker Milner to make several highlight-reel saves in order to keep his team in contention. The high-octane Beast offence would eventually break through at 9:05 of the first when Jason Pitton fired a perfectly placed shot far-side past Milner to put the Beast up 1-0. Brayden Rose and Tyler Donati picked up assists on the play, stretching Donati’s point streak to five games.
Brampton looked to increase their lead shortly after the goal on three consecutive powerplay opportunities, but were unable to build on the early momentum with the first period winding down. Then, with just over 90 seconds to play in the to play in the frame, Quad City’s Mario Lamoureux converted a pass from Jeff Baker past Beast goalie Trevor Cann to even the game at one.
With the score looking like a deadlock heading into the intermission, the Beast took their foot off the gas pedal in the dying seconds of the first, allowing a late surge by the Mallards which ended with Jeff Lee burying a bouncing puck in the slot past Cann on an innocent-seeming play. In the span of 72 seconds, the Beast lead had evaporated and the team found themselves down by one heading into the break, despite outshooting their opponents 22-9.
The late goal would prove to be a pivotal moment in the game, setting the stage for the wheels to fully come off the Beast wagon in a similar fashion to the previous night, where Brampton allowed a late second period go-ahead goal to the Mallards before giving up three unanswered in the third.
In tonight’s contest, Lamoureux would go on to give his team the two-goal advantage with his third marker of the season, coming just three minutes into the second period. Over the course of the next few minutes, Todd Fiddler and Matt Duffy each added goals of their own to essentially put the game out of reach 5-1, while Brampton would go on to hit an additional three goalposts.
Even with the four-goal deficit heading into the third period, the Beast would not go quietly. Stephon Thorne and Mike Monfredo were both awarded fighting majors earlier on in the game, before heavyweights Phil Oreskovic and Paxton Leroux dropped the gloves for some late-game sparring of their own in the third.
Cal Wild would cut the Mallard lead to three with his first goal of the season coming at 9:37 of the final frame, but that would prove to be as close as the Beast would get as Joe Perry would go on to score two goals in the second half of the period to hand the Mallards the 7-2 win.
While the Beast fall to 0-5-1 on the young season, the team continues to progress in many important ways as players begin to find chemistry with each other on the ice. Head coach Brent Hughes showed little allegiance to former line combinations as he tried mixing up the Beast’s scoring lines, the most successful of which seemed to be the combination of Tyson Fawcett, Jason Pitton and Donati, who saw the bulk of the team’s top offensive minutes.
The Beast look to make up ground in the season series when they welcome the Mallards back to the Powerade Centre on Sunday November 9th for their Remembrance Day celebrations. Doors open at 12:45 pm while puck drop is scheduled for 2:00 pm. The Beast will be wearing their specialty red-and-white jerseys, which will be auctioned off live after the game.