Photo by: Frank Raymond
BRAMPTON, ON- The Brampton Beast put forth one of their best efforts of the season, competing for 60 minutes with relentless energy. The energy wasn’t enough, though, as the Mavericks scored three unanswered goals with less than eight minutes left in the game and the Beast power play couldn't find twine, as the Beast fell 4-1 at the Powerade Centre.
Justin Donati led the way for the Beast with his 15th goal of the season, while David Ling and Guy LeBoeuf both added helpers. Parker Van Buskirk made made 31 saves in his best start in a Beast uniform.
After a terrific opening shift for the Beast to begin the first period, the Mavericks transitioned and went onto the attack. Just 1:36 into the period, Brett Stovin had a bouncing puck fall onto the blade of his stick. He made a move around a Beast defender, out-waited Van Buskirk and then slid the puck past the outstretched net minder for an early 1-0 Mavericks lead.
About five minutes after that, the Beast offence answered. Guy LeBoeuf sprung Justin Donati with a pass into the neutral zone and Donati went to work; he carried the puck over the Mavericks blue line and found time and space. He weaved through the Mavericks defence before going backhand, forehand and then wiring a puck past Mike Clemente to tie the game at one.
The second period saw no goals but continuous back and forth action between both teams. The Mavericks out shot the Beast by a 13-6 margin, but on the strength of Van Buskirk, the Beast made it out of the period unscathed. On numerous occasions the Beast net minder had to sprawl to make a pad save, but his best save came on a rebound chance that saw him fly across the crease and tip a wrist shot over the net with his blocker. Not to be outdone, Clemente robbed both Jason Pitton and Bobby Hughes on consecutive chances in the latter part of the frame to keep the score knotted at one.
The third period began very reminiscent of the second in that both teams traded chances without goals. The goalies made save after save until the Mavericks were finally able to break through. Just over 12 minutes into the frame, Missouri gained the Beast zone and set up offensively. Mavericks leading goal scorer Andrew Courtney set up their leading point getter, Sebastien Thinel, who fired a shot on goal. The puck bounced off the pads of Van Buskirk right to the stick of Stovin, who buried his second of the night for the 2-1 lead. Four minutes after that, the Mavericks came rushing down the ice again. This time it was Courtney firing a shot on goal that was kicked out onto the stick of Thinel, who fired a laser past an outstretched Van Buskirk for a 3-1 lead. Stovin added an empty netter with 15 seconds left to seal the 4-1 victory.
April 11 is Cancer Awareness Day, where the Beast will be hosting their Stick it to Cancer walk before the game, which precedes a barbeque and other fun activities for fans including painting the ice after the match. April 12 the Wheeling Nailers stop by for the final game of the season and Jersey Off Our Backs Day, where Beast players will be giving their jerseys to winning fans in attendance following the game. Sunday will also be the Beast’s last team skate of the year, where fans have the chance to lace up and hit the ice with the Beast after their game. For more information or tickets please visit www.bramptonbeast.com or call 905 564 1684.