MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE - Bryan Pitton turned in a spectacular 31-save performance and Yannick Tifu scored his first of the season to edge one point closer to 500 career ECHL points but the Manchester Monarchs edged the Brampton Beast 2-1 in both teams’ season opener at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire on Friday night.
After a solid team effort throughout all three periods, a pair of goals from the Monarchs’ Matt Leitner and Derek Arnold 30 seconds apart late in the third period proved to be the difference in a well-contested affair.
Jeff Brown and Alex Roach dropped the gloves in the first period, which energized both the crowd and the combatants as the teams skated to a scoreless first period, with the Monarchs holding a slight 10-8 edge on the shot clock.
The Beast (0-1-0-0) struck first early in the second period as Tifu snuck in on Monarchs starter Michael Houser and snapped a hard shot behind the goaltender on the blocker side just 59 seconds into the frame.
The rest of the second period was the Bryan Pitton show. The Brampton native stopped 12 shots in the second period alone, many of them coming on odd-man rushes, fast breaks and partial breakaways, but he stood tall to help his team to a 1-0 lead heading into the third period.
The Beast defense withstood a strong Manchester offense all game but the Monarchs’ Leitner got his team on the board with 7:31 remaining in the game as he located the puck among a sea of bodies in the slot and wristed a quick shot that beat the goaltender.
The Monarchs (1-0-0-0) kept pressing and earned a second goal just 30 seconds later as Arnold found a rebound in the crease and barely slid the puck behind Pitton to give the Monarchs the lead.
Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk, pulled his goaltender with just over a minute remaining in the game but the Monarchs held on to seal the victory.
The Beast will now head to Elmira to take on the Jackals tomorrow night. Tomorrow’s game at First Arena in Elmira starts at 7:05PM.
Notes: Travis Brown made his professional debut while Luc-Olivier Blain made his ECHL debut… Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk coached his first ECHL game as Head Coach, while his assistant, Peter Goulet made his professional coaching debut… Tonight was the first ECHL win for the Manchester Monarchs, who moved to the ECHL after winning the Calder Cup in the American Hockey League last season… Three Stars: 1) Derek Arnold 2) Matt Leitner 3) Michael Houser.
Single game tickets for the Beast’s home opener on Friday, October 23rd against the Adirondack Thunder are now available, starting at $16.25. Trial Packs for the 2015-16 season are also available starting at $39.99 that include three game tickets. For more information or general media inquiries on the Brampton Beast please contact Chris Ballard, Public Relations Coordinator at (905) 564-1684 or email@example.com.