BRAMPTON, ON- The Brampton Beast knew they had to come out and prove that yesterday’s dominating performance wasn’t an anomaly. The Reading Royals, on the other hand, came out hungry for revenge after their play off positioning was thrown off at the hands of the Beast. The Beast couldn’t come out on top despite an overbearing fore check, as the Royals defeated them by a final score of 6-3 on Night of Champions at the Powerade Centre.
Matt McCready led the way for the Beast, collecting two assists, while Bobby Hughes added his second goal in two nights. Ryan DeMelo made 19 saves before giving way to Parker Van Buskirk, who made five saves in relief.
The first period definitely didn’t start the way the Beast envisioned. After winning the opening draw, Reading gained possession of the puck and set up in the Beast zone. The Royals worked the puck to the point, and Bryant Molle ripped a seeing-eye shot past a screened Ryan DeMelo for a 1-0 Reading lead just 57 seconds into the period. From that point, the Beast took over majority of the play. When Reading’s Sean Wiles went off for hooking just under two minutes left in the frame, the Beast power play went to work. David Ling held the puck in the corner before passing it behind the net to Brett Lyon. Lyon skated around the back of the net and came out front, found captain Cal Wild with a cross-crease pass and Wild made no mistake, potting the snap shot into the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1.
The second period was back and forth, non-stop action. Just over three minutes into the frame, the Beast broke into the Reading zone. Matt McCready fired a shot on goal that was tipped in front by Jason Dale, who appeared in his first game back from being injured. The tipped puck found its way to the stick of Tyson Fawcett and the Beast’s lone ECHL all star showed off his silky smooth hands, toe dragging a defender before roofing a wrist shot to put the Beast up 2-1. Reading replied just over four minutes later, when Ryan Cruthers crashed the net and potted a rebound to tie the game at two. Towards the tail end of the period, after the Beast killed off two consecutive penalties, Reading found the back of the net once more when David Marshall fired a shot from the top of the circle to put the Royals up 3-2. The Beast had an answer for that, though. During 4-on-4 action, McCready caused a turnover at the Beast blue line and found a streaking Bobby Hughes breaking into the Reading zone all alone. Hughes stick handled his way on goal, and slipped the puck through the wickets of the Royals goaltender to tie the game at 3-3 heading into the third.
Just over two minutes into the third, the Royals put themselves ahead. They won an offensive zone draw right to Adam Hughesman, who cut in front of the net past his defender. He reached his stick out looking like he wanted to dangle DeMelo but as soon as DeMelo reacted -- Hughesman slid the puck through his legs for a 4-3 Reading advantage. Four minutes after that, the Royals’ Brett Flemming beat DeMelo with a point shot, which chased DeMelo from the Beast goal. Parker Van Buskirk took over from that point, coming up perfect, making five saves before the Royals added an empty netter to seal the 6-3 victory.
Catch the Beast in action on Sunday, March 22 for 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! Thursday, March 26 is Business Networking Night at the Powerade Centre where fans have the opportunity to mingle with industry professionals, while Friday, March 27 is Star Wars Episode II, where the Beast will reveal their Lucas Films-approved Star Wars jerseys and fans have the opportunity to buy them during a live auction directly following the game!
For more information or to order single-game or 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.