02/28/2015 10:49 PM
Photo by: Melissa Warren
ALLEN, TX- The month of February has been more than generous to the Brampton Beast’s top line. The trio of Chad Painchaud, Justin Donati and David Ling showed that everything is a little bit bigger in Texas, as they continued their torrid scoring pace, while the Beast rolled over the Allen Americans for the first time this season by a final score of 6-5.
The Beast’s number one unit had a month to remember, as all three players scored at over a point-per-game pace and ended up in the top 10 in February ECHL scoring. Led by Painchaud’s 17 goals and 20 points in 11 games, the line found instant chemistry after being united in late January. Ling’s veteran awareness was apparent all month, as he was second in assists (16) in all of the ECHL during his 12 February games, serving as the perfect compliment to Painchaud’s scoring touch and Donati’s silky smooth hands.
Chad Painchaud led the way for the Beast in this game with his league-leading fourth hat trick of the month; Jason Pitton added two goals and an assist to give him two consecutive 20-goal seasons with the Beast, while Bobby Hughes and Jeff Brown added two points apiece. Grant Rollheiser made 35 saves in an exciting seesaw battle that had six lead changes.
The first period started off with some hard hits and quick goals. Allen struck first at 3:38 of the frame when the Americans applied sustained pressure in the Beast zone. After cycling the puck in the corner, the biscuit found the tape of Josef Fojtik in the slot, and he beat Grant Rollheiser for his fourth of the year. Just a minute and a half after that, a flurry of penalties left the Beast on a 4-on-3 power play, and the ECHL’s hottest goal scorer went to work. Chad Painchaud took a pass from Justin Donati in the high slot and made no mistake, potting his 24th goal of the season, giving him goals in four straight games.
The teams started the second period 4-on-4 but when Mathew Maione took a penalty 28 seconds into the stanza and the Americans penalty expired shortly after, the Beast found them selves down 5-on-3. After working the puck around the zone, the disk found Tyler Ludwig at the point and he ripped a shot past a screened Rollheiser to put Allen up 2-1. The teams traded chances back and forth until the nine-minute mark of the period, when the Beast gained the zone and the puck went d-to-d. Brayden Rose passed the puck to Guy LeBoeuf who fired a shot on net. Allen netminder J.P. Anderson couldn’t handle the rebound and Bobby Hughes lifted a backhand into the empty cage to tie the game at two heading into the third period.
Both teams saved their best for last as they exploded out of the gate to begin the third. With just under three minutes into the frame, the Beast charged into the Americans zone with numbers. Bobby Hughes put a shot on goal that was saved by Anderson, but Jason Pitton collected the rebound, controlled the puck, and tucked it into the net to put the Beast up 3-2. Jeff Brown picked up the first professional point of his career with a secondary assist on the play. Just under a minute later, Greger Hanson potted his 18th of the season to tie the game at three. At 7:24 of the period, Trevor Ludwig stepped into a one-timer from the top of the circle that stifled Grant Rollheiser, putting the Americans up 4-3.
With just over four minutes remaining in the game, Jason Pitton won a puck battle down low and moved towards the back of the net. He powered his way to the front of the net, spun and fired a wrist shot that beat Anderson for his 20th goal of the season. As the clock struck the 1:30 mark, Mathew Maione led the Beast over the Americans blueline. He dropped the puck to the trailing Justin Donati, who found a streaking Painchaud on the opposite wing, and Painchaud connected for his second of the night, giving the Beast a 5-4 lead. Just when they thought it was over, the Americans created intense pressure in the Beast zone, and the puck made its way back to the point. Kevin Young wound up and took a slap shot that beat a screened Grant Rollheiser with only nine seconds left to send the game to overtime.
Just two minutes into the extra frame, the Beast broke out of their zone with speed. Matt McCready found a streaking Chad Painchaud down the wing and he broke into the Allen zone, made a beautiful toe drag around the goalie and potted his third of the night to send the Beast away with a thrilling overtime victory.
The Beast return home on Friday, March the 6th for Star Wars Night at the Powerade Centre. The Beast will be wearing their Lucas Films approved Star Wars jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game, amongst other Star Wars and comic related promotions. Sunday March 8th will be Women’s Hockey Day where fans get the chance to meet players from the Brampton Thunder. Monday March 9th is the Beast’s Career Forum where fans have the opportunity to network with professionals in the industry.
For more information on Brampton Beast flex tickets, group tickets, single-game tickets and 2015-16 season tickets, call 905-564-1684 or visit bramptonbeast.com. Listen to all Beast regular season games live on the Beast Radio Network at www.4cornersradio.ca, or watch live at www.echl.tv.