03/09/2015 7:34 PM
BRAMPTON, ON- It was a case of familiar faces on Monday night as the Beast faced off for the third and final time this weekend against a Wichita Thunder lineup which featured four former Beast players. Despite their best efforts, the home team was unable to carry the momentum of an invigorating shoot out win the day before, losing the rubber match by a final score of 5-2 on Career Forum Night at the Powerade Centre.
Before the game, the Beast hosted a career forum for high school students looking to go into the sports business industry. The sports business industry is one of the most rapidly growing choices for newly minted post-secondary students. The Beast, with help from the Cosmos Sports marketing firm, took the initiative to give students an interactive session to help give students the opportunity to make an informed decision. All of the students invited to the game also stuck around to cheer on the Beast.
Mathew Maione led the way for the Beast with a goal and an assist while Jeff Brown continued his hot play, adding an assist on the Beast’s first goal. Ryan DeMelo looked spectacular, making 27 saves in his first professional start, a contest marked by heavy hittting and physical play by both teams.
The first period saw back and forth action early on before the Thunder began to take over, outshooting the Beast 16-3 through the opening 20 minutes. Halfway into the frame, David Ling took a tripping call, sending the Beast to the penalty kill. After Ryan DeMelo made the initial save off of a Mike Wilson point shot six seconds into the power play, RG Flath batted in the rebound to put the Thunder up 1-0. Towards the end of the period after an expired Beast power play, Justin Berhardt snuck a puck through the wickets of DeMelo to put the Thunder up 2-0, but if it weren’t for the stellar play of DeMelo, the deficit could have been much worse heading into the second.
The second period was a better one for the Beast, as four minutes into the frame they reduced their deficit to one with a scrambled play in front of Rollheiser. Mathew Maione passed the puck to an open Bobby Hughes in the far corner, who walked out front untouched and out-waited Rollie, going upstairs for his seventh goal in a Beast uniform. Just over the half way mark of the period, the Thunder replied, as Kurtis Bartliff was sprung on a partial break and beat DeMelo with a wrister to bring the Wichita lead back to two goals.
Justin Donati took a high sticking call to begin the third period and the Thunder power play went to work. After a couple of cross-ice passes had DeMelo moving laterally, Nikita Kashirsky one-timed a blast past an unsettled DeMelo for a 4-1 Thunder lead. The Beast couldn’t produce very much offence, so just over 10 minutes into the third, Mathew Maione took it upon himself to execute. The Italian Stallion danced around defenders at the Thunder blue line before trying to pass the puck into the slot. The puck was deflected back to him, and he made no mistake, firing his 10th of the season past Grant Rollheiser. The Thunder added an empty net goal with nine seconds left to seal the 5-2 victory.
After the game the Beast hit the road, travelling to Missouri to take on the Mavericks for a game, and then making their way to Tulsa for a two-game series in the Oilers barn. The Beast return home on Thursday March 19, when they host St. Patrick’s Day at the Powerade Centre, where fans are encouraged to rock their most outrageous St. Patty’s Day gear. Friday March 20 is the Night of Champions, where the Beast will be celebrating success and excellence in sport. Sunday March 22 is team picture day, where the first 1000 fans in attendance will receive a free team picture that you can get signed during the free skate after the game!
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.