02/15/2015 12:00 AM
BEAST 5 RUSH 0
Rapid City, SD – Chad Painchaud is on fire.
The veteran forward scored his seventh goal and eight point in the past 27 hours to complete a second hat trick in as many nights, while Grant Rollheiser was perfect between the pipes with 35 saves to help the Brampton Beast shut out the Rapid City Rush 5-0 for a second straight game. The recent outburst has seen Painchaud score nine goals in his last three games, the most productive goal scoring in a three-game stretch of any player in the ECHL this season.
The tone of the match was set just seconds in as Stephon Thorne and Justin Faryna shed the gloves for a centre ice scrap immediately following the drop of the puck, with both combatants refusing to give ground and landing some hard shots. The Beast put up the best scoring chance of the period on a 2-on-1 shortly afterwards as Bobby Hughes slid the puck across to Frank Littlejohn who fired upstairs on goalie Joe Howe, and appeared to score top corner, only to have the play immediately waved off and the game remain tied 0-0 heading into intermission.
Painchaud drew first blood for the Beast for the third time this series just over two minutes into the second off a great feed from David Ling, who recorded his first of three assists on the night. The Rush had a number of quality scoring opportunities immediately afterwards to even the game, forcing Rollheiser to make several highlight-reel saves through heavy traffic. The acrobatics in goal paid off when recently re-acquired Frank Littlejohn doubled the Beast lead at the midway mark of the frame for his second of the season, putting the Beast up 2-0 after 40 minutes of play.
The Beast continued to pour on the offensive pressure in the third, as Cal Wild completed a tic-tac-toe passing play in front of the net with Cody Ferriero serving a two minute minor for crosschecking to increase the lead to 3-0. Frustrations on the Rush bench that had been building since the previous night reached a boiling point at the 8:45 mark, when Johan Rizk was called for hooking and teammate Dylan Clarke received an additional unsportsmanlike penalty for disputing the decision. The penalties gave the Beast a full two minutes of 5-on-3 powerplay, and once again it was Painchaud who was the triggerman on a pass from Ling and Justin Donati to beat Howe down low for his second of the night and make it 4-0.
Painchaud completed the hat trick just six minutes later as MacIsaac found him at the opposition blue line with a great breakaway pass, giving the sniper time and space to bury the puck down low for his 18th goal of the season and ninth against the Rush this week, coming on the heels of tying Scott Howe's franchise record of four goals in one game the previous night. The Beast would shut things down in their own zone from there, closing out the final moments with solid defense to improve to 5-1-0 against Rapid City this season, and remain a perfect 10-0-0 when leading after two periods.
The Beast return to Brampton for a five-game homestand beginning this Family Day on Monday, February 16 when they host the Tulsa Oilers for Mascot Family Day at the Powerade Centre! Fans and families can meet Boomer's friends and participate in mascot-themed activities on the concourse, and are encouraged to bring their skates to lace up with the Beast players after the game. Tickets can be purchased online at bramptonbeast.com or by calling 905-564-1684.