In three contests against Orlando on home ice, the Brampton Beast's strong amour between the pipes wasn't enough to stop the march of the Solar Bears as they swept the series 3-0.
The Beast have now fallen short in eight of their last ten games, pounding out a win against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on February 28 and propping up a point in an OT battle with the Wheeling Nailers dating back to February 20.
Thursday March 10, 2016 vs Orlando Solar Bears
Result: 3-2 L
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.
Friday March 11, 2016 vs Orlando Solar Bears
Result: 6-3 L
BRAMPTON, ONTARIO – Nick McParland gave the Brampton Beast an early lead with a beautiful shorthanded goal but the Orlando Solar Bears roared back with four straight goals to take control of the game, topping the Beast by a final score of 6-3 at the Powerade Centre on Friday night.
Nick McParland, Jeff Brown and David Ling each recorded singles for Brampton and both Luc-Olivier Blain and Tim Billingsley each chipped in with two assists as the Beast saw their winless skid grow to five games.
McParland got the scoring started at the 13:48 mark of the opening period. With Blain in the box for slashing, McParland took advantage of the extra ice and barrelled in toward Solar Bears starter Rob Madore. He made a nice move in tight to fool the goaltender and slid the puck between the post and Madore’s skate for his sixth goal of the season.
The lead didn’t last long as Jack Rodewald sent a pass toward the front of the net that hit a Beast player’s skate and bounced into the net behind Beast starter Kenny Reiter, tying the game at one at 15:13 of the first period.
The Solar Bears took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission as Brady Vail scored on a breakaway at 17:43.
The lone goal of the second period came courtesy of Solar Bears forward Rylan Schwartz as he took a pass from T.J. Foster from the corner and beat Reiter with a quick one-timer at 11:33.
Orlando’s Foster earned a goal of his own early in the third period as he entered the zone on a two-on-one rush, held onto the puck and beat Reiter low for his 21st goal of the season at 1:43, giving the Solar Bears a 4-1 lead.
Jeff Brown cut the deficit to 4-2 less than two minutes later at 3:15 as he redirected a Tim Billingsley point shot behind Madore for his 11th goal of the season and his first goal since January 16th.
The Solar Bears would regain control of the play near the halfway point of the second period as Nicklas Lindberg would roof a backhand shot behind Reiter for a 5-2 lead at 10:52.
Exactly two minutes later, Schwartz would notch his second goal of the game as he reeled in a puck that rebounded off the post and fired a wrist shot that beat Reiter at 12:52.
David Ling added his third goal of the year in the final minute to make it 6-3. Dean Willmott redirected a perfect pass from Blain which landed right on the stick of a wide open Ling, who snapped a quick shot behind Madore at 19:09.
Madore earned the win between the pipes for Orlando with a 24-save performance, while Beast starter Kenny Reiter took the loss and finished the night with 20 saves.
Sunday March 13, 2016 vs Orlando Solar Bears
Result: 3-0 L
BRAMPTON, ONTARIO – Jordan Ruby stood tall between the pipes for 31 saves in a 3-0 loss against the Orlando Solar Bears at the Powerade Centre. In his many saves, Ruby’s confidence drove his team to a hard-fought battle until the last whistle.
The Beast played hard both offensively and defensively and totaled 31 shots on goal. Luc-Oliver Blain and Colin Murray both threw five shots on Solar Bears’ goaltender, Rob Madore, with Jeff Brown following close with four shots on goal.
The Beast were held off the score sheet for only the fourth time this season, as Madore collected a shutout.
Jack Rodewald opened the scoring at 13:43 of the first period when he fired a shot that trickled through the five-hole of Beast goaltender Jordan Ruby. Rodewald would go on to add an empty-netter in the last minute of play in the third period.
In a scoreless second period it was Jordan Ruby who stole the show with some incredible saves, helping his team kill off two penalties and shutting down a 2-on-0.
With four minutes remaining in the third period Austin Block built on the one-goal lead when he picked up the rebound off Ruby’s stretched pad, and lifted it up and over his shoulder.
In the last minute of play, with Ruby on the bench and an extra attacker on the ice, the Beast were unable to contain the Solar Bears as they added an empty-netter for a final score of 3-0.
The Beast take the road this week for six consecutive away games. They kick off their first of three back-to-back contests on March 17 when they take on the Kalamazoo Wings, followed by the Toledo Walleye on March 18, and Indy Fuel on March 19.
The Beast will return home on March 27 when they battle the division-leading Toledo Walleye at the Powerade Centre for a 2:00 PM puck drop.
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