Joe Zarbo showed great patience with the puck before firing a perfect shot over the glove hand of Toledo Walleye goaltender Jeff Lerg to lead the Beast to an exciting 5-4 overtime win over the Walleye at the Powerade Centre in Brampton on Friday night.
The newly-reassigned Brandon Marino led the charge with a goal and an assist, while newcomers Jonathan Parker and David Ling also found the back of the net to help the Beast snap a five-game winless skid.
Chris Auger notched his team-leading 15th goal of the season and added a helper on the overtime winner to help goaltender Drew Fielding to his first win as a member of the Beast.
The Walleye were the first to find the back of the net and did so early in the first period, when forward Tyler Maxwell sent a bouncing shot from the hash marks that found the back of the net just 4:21 into the game.
David Ling made his presence known early and tied the game at one as he redirected a perfect pass from Travis Brown behind the goaltender Lerg at 7:33.
Both teams played hard and took the 1-1 tie into the first intermission, with the Walleye holding a slight 10-9 edge on the shot clock.
The Beast were on the penalty kill to start the second period and Walleye forward Dane Walters capitalized on the man advantage, netting his third goal of the season to give the Walleye a 2-1 lead just 1:38 into the frame.
With Tyler Sikura in the box for hooking, the Beast power play tied the game when Jonathan Parker unleashed a one-timer from the top of the circle, sending it through Lerg at 13:10, with Marino and Steven Kaunisto earning the helpers.
The momentum swung in the Beast’s favour early in the third period as Auger pounced on a rebound off of a Mike Vernace point shot and sent a backhand shot into the open net to give the Beast their first lead of the game just 1:04 into the final frame.
Just under four minutes later, the Beast found themselves shorthanded but that didn’t stop the Captain from pushing the Beast lead to two. Marino tracked down the defender inside Walleye territory with some great hustle, lifted his stick and sent a quick shot into the net, giving the Beast the 4-2 edge just under five minutes into the final period.
The Walleye fought back and proved why they’re the top team in the North Division with a shorthanded tally of their own off the stick of Michael Leone to cut the Beast lead to 4-3 at 9:41.
The Walleye continued to press and tied the game at 11:20 as Beau Schmitz notched his fourth goal of the season on a 2-on-1.
The Beast pressured hard with a final push in the latter half of the third period, but couldn’t beat Lerg, forcing the game to overtime for the 16th time this season, the most of any team in the ECHL.
The teams traded chances early in overtime, but Zarbo ended the game with a beautiful wrist shot on an odd-man rush, sending the Beast to victory at 3:21.
Fielding stood tall between the pipes to keep the team in the game with 24 saves. Lerg made 22 saves in net for the Walleye.
Saturday, February 13 @ Toledo
The Toledo Walleye jumped ahead early in the first period and never looked back as they got their revenge against the Brampton Beast with a 6-1 win at the Huntington Center in Toledo on Saturday night.
The Walleye wasted no time getting on the board as Dane Walters lit the lamp in the opening minute for his fourth goal of the season. Austin Wuthrich and Dominic Zombo each lit the lamp before the horn sounded to end the first period with the Walleye owning a 3-0 lead.
The three-goal first period ended Drew Fielding’s night between the pipes for the Beast, as he finished the game with seven saves in 20 minutes of playing time.
The goalie swap sparked the Beast as their tenacity paid off early in the second period. Mike Vernace sent a point shot toward the goal and it found its way through Walleye starter Jake Paterson for a power play goal at 2:31.
Jordan Ruby, who entered the game in relief of Fielding, kept the game close in the second period and kicked out all 10 shots he faced, including several huge saves off of one-timers and odd-man rushes.
The Walleye surged ahead and took over control in the latter half of the third period as Dajon Mingo, A.J. Jenks and Josh Shalla each managed to find the back of the net within a four-minute span to put the game out of reach.
Paterson earned the ‘W’ for Toledo with a 29-save performance, while Ruby made 20 saves in relief.
Sunday, February 14 @ Kalamazoo
The Brampton Beast fired a season-high 42 shots on goal against Kalamazoo Wings starter Joel Martin but the goaltender shut the door with a perfect third period as the K-Wings edge the Beast 4-3 at the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo on Sunday afternoon.
Brandon Marino, Nick McParland and Chris Auger lit the lamp for the Beast and goaltender Jordan Ruby made 28 saves, including multiple highlight-reel stops to keep the Beast in the game, but K-Wings starter Martin outdueled Ruby and made 39 saves to help the Wings to victory.
The Beast and the K-Wings traded goals in an evenly matched opening frame, that saw Kalamazoo take a slight 15-14 edge on the shot clock.
Dane Fox got Kalamazoo on the board at 11:27 but the K-Wings lead was short-lived as Beast captain Brandon Marino danced into Kalamazoo territory, beat his defenceman and squeezed the puck through K-Wings starter Joel Martin for an unassisted tally at 16:05.
The second period was an exciting back-and-forth affair that started with the Beast taking a 2-1 edge just 4:37 into the period. Nick McParland entered the offensive zone down the middle with some speed and attempted to shoot the puck on goal. The puck deflected off of the Wings’ defenceman and handcuffed the goaltender Martin, giving McParland his fourth goal of the season.
But the K-Wings weren’t done. In the second half of the period, Alex Mallet and Ludwig Blomstrand each recorded goals just over two minutes apart as Kalamazoo regained the lead by the 14:37 mark of the second frame.
The Beast would get the goal back quickly as Travis Brown collected the puck near the blue line and quickly sent a snap shot on goal. Chris Auger managed to get a stick on the puck and redirected the shot behind Martin to tie the game at three at 18:12.
The Beast were flying in the third period and fired 14 shots on goal, including several big chances on the power play but Martin was up to the task and shut the Beast down.
As one of the three Kalamazoo penalties expired, Dane Fox netted his second goal of the afternoon on a 2-on-1 off a pass from Justin Taylor at 5:49, giving the K-Wings the last goal they needed to outlast the Beast.
Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk pulled Ruby in the dying minutes but the stingy defence of the K-Wings prevailed to keep the Beast off the board, preserving the win for Kalamazoo.
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