CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – The Brampton Beast played what could be considered their gutsiest game of the season against one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference but dropped a heartbreaking 4-3 shootout decision to the South Carolina Stingrays at North Charleston Coliseum in Charleston, South Carolina on Friday night.
Steven Kaunisto, Reggie Traccitto and Nick McParland each scored in regulation for the Beast before Stingrays starting goaltender Mark Dekanich stopped two of three Beast shooters in the shootout, giving the Beast their fourth shootout loss of the season.
A stingy defense and solid goaltending from starter Drew Fielding helped the Beast to a scoreless opening frame in which the Stingrays outshot the Beast 9-5.
The Stingrays came out flying in the second period and got on the board quickly as Brett Cameron beat Fielding with a shot just 14 seconds into the frame.
The resilient Beast stormed right back just 12 seconds later as Kaunisto got his stick on a Joe Zarbo shot from the slot. The deflection fooled Dekanich on the glove side to tie the game at one.
Joe Devin lit the lamp at the 4:00 mark to give South Carolina the 2-1 lead. The Beast defense once again flexed its muscles and held the high-flying Stingrays off the board for the remainder of the period, as each team recorded seven shots on goal during the second frame.
The Beast dug deep and stormed out of the gate to start the third period as Traccitto pounced on a Nick McParland rebound in front of Dekanich and buried the puck behind the goaltender for his eighth goal of the season just 40 seconds into the third.
Less than three minutes later, the Beast fed of the energy from Traccitto’s goal and kept on rolling. McParland located a rebound in front of Dekanich off a shot from Traccitto and tumbled the puck along the goal line and into the net to give the Beast their first lead of the game at 3:26.
The Stingrays got the goal back just over a minute later in this wild back-and-forth third period as Kevin Quick teed up a slap shot from the blue line that beat Fielding on the glove side at 4:39.
Once again, the Beast defense stood tall for the remainder of the period to force overtime for the 15th time this season for the Beast.
Mike Vernace took a slashing penalty at 1:56 of overtime but the penalty killers stood tall and did their job to perfection as they killed the two-minute minor, helping the game to a shootout.
Joe Zarbo got the shootout started with a goal for the Beast but Joe Devin and David Pacan replied on consecutive shots to give South Carolina the edge. Steven Kaunisto had a chance to force the fourth round of the shootout but was denied by a great save from Dekanich, ending the game and hopes for a Beast victory.
Fielding performed admirably between the pipes for the Beast with a 26-save night, while Dekanich did the same for the Stingrays with 22 stops.
Notes: The Beast finished the game 0-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill. The newly-acquired Tyler Henry made his ECHL debut for the Beast. The Beast now lead the league with 15 appearances in overtime. The Beast are now 0-for-4 in the shootout.
The Beast will now head to Atlanta to take on the Gladiators tomorrow, Saturday, February 6 at 7:05 PM. The Beast will then head home and will play their next game at the Powerade Centre on Friday, February 12 as they host the Toledo Walleye. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 PM. Single game tickets are now available, starting at $16.25. For more information or general media inquiries on the Brampton Beast please contact Chris Ballard, Public Relations Coordinator at (905) 564-1684 or firstname.lastname@example.org.