The Brampton Beast are finally overcoming their first period woes. They controlled the play during the first period and outshot their opponent, but ultimately fell short to the Buffalo Sabres’ ECHL affiliate, the Elmira Jackals, in the first game of a three-game series by a final score of 3-1 on Mental Health Day at the Powerade Centre.
The Beast were anchored by the goaltending of Trevor Cann, who made one acrobatic save after another, compiling 33 saves in the loss. Jason Pitton added his team-leading 14th goal of the season, while Justin Donati and Chad Painchaud added assists. David Ling’s four-game point streak was also broken in the process.
Although the fans’ attention were on the players and the game, the main focus of the night was raising awareness for mental health. The Beast family, like every other family, is affected by mental health in some capacity and they wanted to aid in the fight against the negative stigma that’s hovering around mental health. The team and staff wore green ribbons in support of mental health and a portion of proceeds from ticket sales were donated to facilities that support mental health.
Prominent people in the Brampton community came out to support the team and their cause. People from the Peel Children’s Centre, a facility that offers treatment services for children under 18 in the Peel region suffering from mental health issues, attended the game and brightened the day of some lucky children. Many advocates, including Former Maple Leaf and current Edmonton Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens also tweeted out their support for the cause.
The first period started off with a bang when just two minutes in Elmira crossed the Beast blue line and wired a shot off the cross bar. That was as close as they would come though as the Beast dominated most of the back and forth first period.
Brampton stuck to their game plan of keeping it simple and supporting the puck through all three zones. Although the score was tied, the Beast outshot the Jackals 10-8 in the frame after a late Elmira flurry that saw them put three shots on net in the final minute and a half of the period.
The second period was eerily similar to the first with both teams trading scoring chances throughout. Both teams focused on possession and at different times they both excelled. When David Ling went to the box towards the end of the period, Elmira completely took over and hemmed the Beast in their zone for the entire two minutes. Elmira outshot the Beast 12-7 during the period but the best scoring chances went to the Beast on two slick plays by Justin Donati. The first, on a Beast power play, Donati took a pass just beyond the Elmira blue line and immediately passed it to Jason Pitton between his legs and Pitton fired on net for a terrific scoring chance. The second came on another cheeky pass by Donati, finding Elgin Reid at the blue line for a one-timer that was stopped by Jackals goalie Sam Marotta.
The third period was a complete contrast to the first two periods. After a Cal Wild tripping penalty sent Elmira to the power play, Jackals leading scorer Steven Shamanski potted his tenth of the season to put Elmira up 1-0. Under a minute later, the Beast responded with a goal of their own by Jason Pitton. Pitton got fed in the slot on a gorgeous pass by Justin Donati and beat Marotta low blocker side to tie the game at one. Elmira took the lead again at 10:24 of the period with another power play marker by Zach Tolkinen, his first of the season. The Jackals added a late empty net goal to seal the 3-1 victory for themselves.
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.