BRAMPTON, ON - The energy was electric at the Powerade Centre for Kotak Law Military Appreciation Day as Scott Howes had a four-point night to lead the Brampton Beast to a 6-3 win over the visiting Kalamazoo Wings on Sunday afternoon.
Brandon Marino added a goal and two assists and Luc Blain chipped in with a goal and an assist to help the Beast to their third straight victory and fourth win in their last five games.
Over 3,000 people crammed into the Powerade Centre to see the day’s special guests, which included Nainesh Kotak of Kotak Law, David Macdonald from Wounded Warriors Canada, Hockey Hall of Famer and World War II veteran Johnny Bower and surprise special guest Don Cherry.
Howes got the Beast off to a good start with a pair of goals in the first period. He took a pass from Jeremie Blain in the high slot and ripped a hard wrist shot beyond Kalamazoo starter Joel Martin at 8:04.
Howes notched his second goal of the night just over five minutes later as he pulled off an incredible pivot move to create some space for himself near the slot and lost control of the puck, spun and recovered and beat Martin for a highlight-reel goal at 13:44.
The Beast owned the play in the first period and outshot the Wings 13-4 in the opening frame.
Kalamazoo got on the board just over two minutes into the second period as Justin Taylor netted his fourth of the year behind Beast starter Trevor Cann at 2:11.
Luc Blain restored the Beast’s two-goal lead on the power play before the midway point of the second period. Blain one-timed a Howes’ pass from the slot over the glove hand of Martin for his second of the year at 8:29.
Kalamazoo’s Tyler Shattock got the Wings to within striking distance with his fifth goal of the year at 9:55.
Mike Vernace picked up his first goal as a member of the Beast to finish the scoring in a wild second period as he sent a laser of a wrist shot on net that beat Martin cleanly at 15:40.
Mathew Maione got his fourth of the year at 2:28 of the third period as he deflected home a soft wrist shot off the stick of Dalton Thrower from the point to give the Beast a 5-2 lead, chasing Martin from the crease. Clay Witt entered the game in relief.
The Wings’ Steve McCarthy finished off a great passing play for the final Kalamazoo goal of the evening at 7:25.
The Wings were unable to clear the zone late in the final frame and their defenseman pinned the puck against the goaltender’s post. Marino applied great pressure and with an innocent poke tucked the puck behind Witt at 11:47.
Notes: The Beast finished the game 1-for-3 on the power play and were a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill, including three different 5-on-3 opportunities. Molson Three Stars: 3) Luc Blain 2) Mike Vernace 1) Scott Howes. With the goal in tonight’s game, Mathew Maione has now recorded four points during his Movember campaign, bringing his pledge total to $20.