DULUTH, GEORGIA – The Brampton Beast outshot and outplayed their opponent all night long but Atlanta Gladiators forward Justin Buzzeo scored into the empty net to complete the hat trick as the Gladiators edged the Beast 4-2 at the Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth, Georgia on Saturday night.
The game got off to a rocky start for the Beast as Buzzeo got his first of the night just eight seconds into the game, lifting a high shot over the shoulder of Beast starter Jordan Ruby, sending the home crowd of 9,126 fans into a frenzy.
The Beast maintained their composure and found the scoreboard later in the opening frame as Nick McParland flew in on the right wing side and sent a laser of a shot through Gladiators starting goaltender Kent Patterson at 13:46 of the first, with assists going to Luc-Olivier Blain and Chris Auger, who played his first game back with the Beast upon recovering from an injury.
The Beast and the Gladiators were unable to beat their respective goaltenders in the second frame, but the Beast were the superior team and controlled play throughout the period and outshot Atlanta 15-7 to take a 25-16 lead in shots into the third period.
Once again, the Gladiators got off to a hot start in the third as Buzzeo picked up his second of the game just 33 seconds into the third to give Atlanta the 2-1 edge.
The Gladiators continued to roll early in the period Max Everson gave the Gladiators the first two-goal lead of the game just under three minutes into the final frame.
The Beast continued to throw pucks on net late into the period and outshot the Gladiators 14-12 in the frame and were finally able to crack the armour of Gladiators goaltender Patterson as Vernace teed up a one-timer off a pass from Jeremie Blain and blasted a bullet from the blue line that flew by the glove of the goaltender for a power play goal at 13:28.
The Beast pulled their goaltender in the final minutes to gain a 6-on-5 advantage but Buzzeo scored into the empty net to complete the hat trick in the final minute to seal the win for Atlanta.
Goaltender Ruby kept his team in the game and finished the night with 24 saves. Patterson was nearly unbeatable between the pipes for Atlanta and kicked out 37 saves to earn the win.
Notes: The Beast finished the game 1-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill. Molson Three Stars: 3) Kent Patterson 2) Max Everson 1) Justin Buzzeo. Nick McParland has now scored in back-to-back games for the Beast.
The Beast have now completed their two-game road trip through the Southern United States and will return home to the Powerade Centre to host the Toledo Walleye on Friday, February 12 at 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