02/12/2016 8:15 AM
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2016
BEAST (14-21-6-4, 38 PTS | 4th Place, North) vs WALLEYE (27-13-1-3, 58 PTS | 1st Place, North)
Puck Drop: 7:05 PM EDT | Watch: ECHL.TV | Listen: BramptonBeast.com
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.
Feb. 8: Reggie Traccitto (F) - DEL Signed to Allen Americans. Feb. 8: Justin Baker (D) - ADD Signed to Brampton Beast. Feb. 8: Jonathan Parker (F) - ADD Signed to Brampton Beast. Feb. 10: Brandon Marino (F) - ADD Reassigned to Brampton Beast.
TODAY’S GAME: The Beast are taking on the North Division leaders, the Toledo Walleye, on Friday night. These two rivals have squared off six times thus far this season, with Toledo owning a 5-1-0-0 record against the Beast. In their last game, the Walleye shut out the Beast 4-0 in Toledo on Jan. 29.
BIG BOOST: The Beast will have some extra hands in the lineup on Friday, including Beast Captain Brandon Marino (Returned from Utica (AHL), David Ling (Former Beast, Signed SPC) and Jonathan Parker (Acquired from Allen).
LUCKY NUMBER THREE: Steven Kaunisto is now riding a three-game point streak, matching his longest point streak of the season, initially set between January 18 and January 22. During that point streak, the club recorded five of a possible six points. The blueliner has been on fire as of late, picking up a goal in a 5-2 loss against the Fort Wayne Komets on Feb. 2, an assist on Feb. 5 in a 4-3 loss at South Carolina and another assist in a 4-2 loss at Atlanta on Feb. 6.
KEEP AN EYE ON… Walleye forward Shane Berschbach, who has three points in his last three games (2G, 1A) and forward Tyler Sikura, who has assists in his last two games.
WELCOME TO MCPARLAND: The only player to score in both of the team's recent road games against the South Carolina Stingrays and Atlanta Gladiators is Nick McParland. The winger now has three points in his last two games and four points in his last four games.
OT EXPERTS: With last week's loss to the South Carolina Stingrays coming in the shootout, the Beast have now played in 15 overtime games, the most in the ECHL. The Beast have yet to win in the shootout, going 0-for-4. They have only managed to score a single goal in each of the four shootouts they have played in.
HOUSE OF BLAIN: Beast forward Luc-Olivier Blain is playing well of late, recording points in his last three games (1G, 2A). His longest point streak of the season stands at four games, set earlier this season between Nov. 14 and Nov. 22, 2015.
Feb. 11: Joe Sova (D) - ADD Traded from Tulsa. Feb. 11: Dane Walters (F) - ADD Reassigned by Rockford (AHL). Feb. 11: Joel Chouinard (D) - DEL Loaned to Grand Rapids (AHL).