11/16/2014 4:50 PM
BRAMPTON, ON – For the third straight game it took extra time to determine a winner between the Brampton Beast and Quad City Mallards, and for the third time in a row the home team was able to pull off the character triumph, a 5-4 comeback win.
After back-to-back extra-time victories over the Mallards last Sunday and Friday, the Beast welcomed their old CHL rivals to Canadian Forces Day at the Powerade Centre for the rubber match between the two teams through the first five of fifteen games against each other this year.
The Beast were the hungrier side right from the start, chasing down loose pucks, winning battles in the corners, and doing many of the little things right that win hockey games. The pressure would be rewarded just over halfway into the period when Mike MacIsaac scored his second of the season, going far-side top corner on Mallards goaltender Evan Mosher to give the Beast the lead.
Quad City would respond less than three minutes later with Justin Fox beating Beast goalie Trevor Cann under his right arm with a screen of players crowding the net.
With the period winding down, it looked like the game would remain tied heading into the intermission, until a late flurry from Quad City on the powerplay saw Mario Lamoureux find the back of the net on a broken play in front with just 1:20 remaining to give the Mallards the lead. Then with less than a minute to go, Joe Perry added a goal of his own for his team-leading sixth of the season to give Quad City a two-goal lead 3-1 at the break.
It was a critical turning point for the Beast, who made a goaltending change during the intermission and came out of the dressing room like a team full of confidence. Just 20 seconds into the period the newest member of the Beast organization, Rob Ricci, found Josh McQuade alone in front, who scored his second of the season to cut the deficit to one. While Quad City would respond with their second powerplay goal of the evening coming from the stick of Jeff Lee for his fifth of the season, that would be all they could get by Grant Rollheiser, who stood tall in relief of Cann.
At the halfway mark of the second, the Beast finally caught a lucky break, with Mathew Maione notching his second of the year firing a seeing-eye puck through all kinds of traffic in front of the QC net. Down by one goal, the next Beast player to step up would be Jason Pitton just two minutes later, as Ricci and Matt McCready found the alternate captain at a ridiculous angle to the left of Mosher for his fourth of the season to tie the game.
The three-goal outburst from the Beast in the second period set the stage for a tense, tight checking and physical third period, where Brampton outshot their opponent 14-10 and came close on a number of chances to get the go-ahead goal.
As the clock wound down and overtime loomed, head coach Brent Hughes called his team to the bench and pulled out his whiteboard. He was looking for the forcheck to force a turnover in the offensive zone, which happened on the second shift of the extra period. A streaking Chad Painchaud stripped a Mallards defender and made a great heads-up pass to Maione at the point, who hesitated just long enough to convince everyone in the building that he wasn’t going to shoot. When the shot did come a fraction of a second later it was a bullet, and Ricci was positioned perfectly in front of the net to tip it past a sprawling Mosher and push the Beast’s winning streak to three games.
With the victory, the Beast improve to 3-5-1 on the season, and were able to end their five-game homestand with a winning record (3-2-0). The Beast next travel to Allen, Texas, for a two game set against last year’s CHL champions, the Allen Americans.
Notes: Tyler Donati left the game in the second period after a high hit and did not return. Rob Ricci had two assists, four penalty minutes and the game-winning goal in his Brampton Beast debut. Mathew Maione (2 A) and Jason Pitton (1 G, 1A) each had multi-point games, while Chad Painchaud tied Tyler Donati for the team lead in points with nine.