11/09/2014 4:28 PM
BRAMPTON – Right from the pregame ceremony, it was obvious that something special was happening in Brampton on Sunday, as the Beast were able to record their first win as an ECHL franchise in a shootout thriller 4-3 against the Quad City Mallards.
With the matinee scheduled against the Mallards beginning at 2:00 pm, the Beast put on a phenomenal Remembrance Day ceremony involving former and current members of the Canadian Armed Forces as well as the local Cadets division. But the magic was only beginning.
Very much like their last three games the Beast opened the contest as the team in control and getting the bulk of the scoring chances early on. Despite several near-misses in the opening minutes, it would be Quad City that would score first, a rebound goal by Todd Fiddler after Logan Nelson was denied on a partial breakaway by Trevor Cann. Brampton would head into the intermission down by one despite outshooting their opponents 18-15.
Not to be discouraged playing from behind, the Beast continued to keep up the pressure at the start of the second period, when a defensive pass from Elgin Reid hit Mike MacIsaac in full stride to score on Mallards netminder Evan Mosher for his first of the season. It was a pivotal moment in the game, as just over a minute and a half later Jason Pitton and Tyson Fawcett were able to force a turnover from the Quad City defense down low and feed a wide open Tyler Donati in the slot. With time and space to pick his shot, Donati hesitated a split second before sniping one perfectly past Mosher to give the Beast the lead 2-1.
As in previous games, the Beast were forced to fight the bounces all night long, and tonight was no different. The Mallard were able to respond halfway through the second period on Evan Haney’s first of the season, when the centreman knocked the puck past Cann with a high stick. Despite the entire Beast bench jumping up to protest the call, the goal would stand evening the game at two, and defenseman Phil Oreskovic would be given a 10 minute major penalty for continuing to plead the home team’s case.
After additional penalties to Brampton’s Antoine Corbin for high-sticking and Cann for delay-of-game, the Beast found themselves in tough to keep the score even, but got an unexpected boost in momentum when Cal Wild was awarded a penalty shoty with his team shorthanded. Although the veteran captain was unable to convert on the opportunity, he did get a great look at the Mallards goaltender, which set the tone for an incredible finale, but not before some late second period antics.
Former ECHL MVP Donati would be sent off shortly after his goal and given a 10-minute and game misconduct penalty for ‘abuse of an official’, in a somewhat bizarre series of events after a non-call in the Mallards zone. Monents later, Andrew Darrigo took matters into his own hands and dished out some Brampton Beast justice, absolutely pummelling Mario Lamoureux on top of the Beast net. Brampton would end the period with 39 penalty minutes in their first 40 minutes of play, making for an intense and hard-fought third period.
The final frame opened on a positive note for the home team, with Beast defenseman Brayden Rose supplying the answering goal for Brampton just 23 seconds into the period, as he sent a high-powered slapshot past Mosher to restore the Beast lead. Justin Fox would respond for the Mallards at 15:10 of the third when he redirected a point shot from Matt Duffy past a screened Cann to force overtime.
With Lamoureux in the box for a holding penalty taken 200 feet from his own net and with just 22 seconds remaining in regulation, the Beast would go on to open the extra frame on the powerplay. With the extra-man unit finally showing signs of life, the Beast had four incredible chances late in OT only to be denied by Mosher, despite outshooting the Mallards 6 to 4 in the overtime period.
In the shootout, Pitton, Fawcett and Maione all dazzled with highlight reel goals, none more spectacular than that of Brampton’s #23, who truly looked like Brendan Gallagher with his soft hands in front of the net. Fawcett not only lit the lamp in the shootout tonight, but also added his first professional career points with two assists. At the other end of the rink, Cann stood tall in denying four of the six Quad City shooters, including Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel in sudden death, to win the game.