01/18/2015 6:33 PM
BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast (12-21-2) played the role of carpenters on Sunday, using a last-second goal from Tyler Donati to hammer the Wheeling Nailers (18-18-0) by a final score of 2-1.
The game’s first star, Grant Rollheiser, led the way for the Beast with 42 saves for his fifth win of the season, while T. Donati scored a goal and an assist to break out of his mini three-game scoring slump. David Ling added an assist on Donati’s game-winner to extend his point streak to four games.
The first period began on a positive note for the Beast, who for the first time this series were able to deny the opposition from scoring in the opening five minutes of play. Instead, leading scorer Chad Painchaud dropped the gloves for his third fight this season to bring the crowd to their feet, followed several minutes later by Stephon Thorne and Patrick McGrath scrapping to conclude the first period.
The second period saw the ice tilt in favor of the Nailers, with the visiting team dominating the play for long stretches of time. The Nailers outshot the Beast 15-4 during the frame, and were effective in limiting Brampton’s chances to set up in the offensive zone. The best opportunity of the period belonged to Painchaud, when he broke into the Wheeling zone and stickhandled around a defender only to have his shot ring off the post.
The Beast came out flying at the start of the third, and were rewarded just two minutes in when a harmless-looking point shot by Elgin Reid was tipped by Bobby Hughes for his first goal in a Beast uniform. Both teams continued to trade chances until David Ling went to the box for slashing with just over nine minutes left in the period. The Wheeling power play connected to put a bouncing puck past Grant Rollheiser and tie the game 1-1.
With emotions running high on the ice, it appeared the game was headed for overtime with both benches in desperate need of a hero. On the final play of the period, the Beast won the draw in their zone and moved the puck to centre ice, where Ling faked a slap shot that would have drained the remaining seconds from the clock. Instead, the veteran winger lifted the puck over the Nailers defense and onto the stick of a streaking Tyler Donati, who made no mistake in wiring a laser shot over the glove of Frank Palazzese to seal the victory for the Beast with just 1.6 seconds remaining.
The Beast play host to the Buffalo Sabres’ ECHL affiliate, the Elmira Jackals in another three game set beginning next weekend. Friday’s game will be Mental Health Day at the Powerade Centre, where the Beast will be raising awareness and donating a portion of proceeds from the game to facilities that support mental health. Saturday is Pucks and Paws day, where the Beast will be giving away pet supply packages courtesy of Jenny’s Pet Valu while also hosting a live pet adoption giving fans the chance to go home with a new pup. Sunday is Literacy Day, where the Beast will show their support of academia and promote the importance of reading and other literary-based family activities. Tickets can be purchased online at bramptonbeast.com or by calling 905-564-1684.