BEAST (16-29-7-4, 43 PTS | 4th Place, North) vs SOLAR BEARS (26-23-3-5, 60 PTS | 5th Place, South)
BRAMPTON, ONTARIO – Mike Hammond and Jordan Henry each scored a second period goal for the Brampton Beast but the Orlando Solar Bears responded with three goals of their own in the second frame to eke out a close 3-2 win over the Beast at the Powerade Centre on Thursday night.
Both starting goaltenders, including the Beast’s Jordan Ruby and the Solar Bears’ Ryan Massa were perfect through the opening 20 minutes of play, as the teams skated to a scoreless opening period with Orlando holding a slight 11-10 edge on the shot clock.
Just over eight minutes into the second period, Matt Rupert gave the Solar Bears the first lead of the game, netting a rebound in the crease in front of Ruby at 8:04.
The Beast took control of the play in a big way over the next five minutes of the second period. Newly-minted Beast captain Jordan Henry rushed the puck into the Orlando zone and sent a quick shot on goal. The initial attempt was denied but he used his big reach to net his own rebound for his third goal of the season at 12:31.
Less than a minute later, the Beast earned their first lead of the game as David Ling circled the Orlando net in search of an open man in front of the net. He located Mike Hammond with a perfect pass and he beat Massa for a power play goal at 13:26.
The wild second period continued less than a minute later as T.J. Foster pounced on a rebound in front of Ruby, quickly tying the game at two goals apiece at 14:23.
Orlando rode the wave of energy to another quick goal less than a minute later. Solar Bears forward Patrick Watling redirected a shot in front of the net that eluded Ruby for the eventual game-winner at 15:42.
The Beast roared out of the gate to start the third period and outshot the Solar Bears 11-9 in the final period, but once again both goaltenders shut the door down the stretch, giving the Solar Bears the win in the first game of a three-game series.
Notes: The Beast finished the game 1-for-3 on the power play and a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. With the power play goal in the second period, the Beast snap a six-game skid without a power play goal. With an assist in the second period, Beast forward David Ling is now tied for second in all time assists in Beast franchise history (CHL and ECHL) with 38. Molson Three Stars: 3) Jordan Ruby 2) Jordan Henry 1) T.J. Foster.
March 4: Jesse Stoughton (F) - ADD Signed to SPC. March 8: Kyle Rankin (F) - ADD Signed to SPC. March 10: Chris Auger (F) - Traded to Allen. March 10: Scott Howes (F) - Traded to Missouri. March 10: Dean Wilmott (D) - ADD Signed to SPC
SOLAR BEARS TRANSACTIONS