In the first half of the six-game road trip, the Beast have cut their downward streak with a road win against the Indy Fuel on Saturday Mach 19. Reiter picked up his first win with the Beast after the team lost their first two away games to the Kalamazoo Wings and Toledo Walleye.
Having one of the ECHL’s top defensemen Mike Vernace back in the lineup, the Beast have a fresh start and a new streak. To kick off the bottom end of the road trip, the Beast make the trek to Manchester to face the East division-leading Monarchs for their next away game on March 23.
Friday, March 17, 2015 vs Kalamazoo Wings
Result: 7-2 L
KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN – The luck of the Irish wasn’t on the side of the Brampton Beast on St. Patrick’s Day as the Kalamazoo Wings scored four times in the second period en route to a 7-2 win at the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo on Thursday night.
Steven Kaunisto and Steve Mele both lit the lamp early in the third period and Nick McParland chipped in with a pair of assists but K-Wings starting goaltender Joel Martin stopped the remainder of the 38 shots he faced to hand the Beast their seventh straight loss.
The Beast controlled the play in the opening minutes of the contest and led 5-0 on the shot clock until David Gilbert scored a power play goal at 4:31 to give Kalamazoo a 1-0 lead.
The Beast held control of the play into the first intermission and outshot the K-Wings 13-8 after the opening 20 minutes of play.
The K-Wings’ Curtis Valk scored his first goal of the game just over two minutes into the second period to make it 2-0 for Kalamazoo.
Less than two minutes later, Beast defenseman Tim Billingsley took a vicious knee-on-knee hit from K-Wings forward David Gilbert. Dalton Thrower stuck up for his teammate and was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct, while Gilbert was only given two-minutes for kneeing.
The teams played solid four-on-four hockey for a full two-minutes but the K-Wings would capitalize on the subsequent power play as Justin Taylor beat Beast starting goaltender Jordan Ruby at 7:49 for a 3-0 lead.
Justin Kovacs and Curtis Valk would each light the lamp in the latter half of the second period, pushing the Kalamazoo lead to 5-0 after 40 minutes.
Kenny Reiter took over between the pipes for Brampton to start the third period and seemed to spark his team.
Just over a minute into the final period, Steven Kaunisto got the Beast on the board as he settled down a loose puck and sent a perfect wrist shot through a crowd that Beat Martin cleanly, giving Kaunisto his fifth goal of the season at 1:50.
Beast rookie Tim DiPretoro earned an assist on Kaunisto’s tally, giving him his first pro point.
The Beast fed off the energy provided from Kaunisto’s goal and kept their foot on the gas. Steve Mele located a loose puck in the crease and potted his second goal of the season at 2:57.
Reiter made several huge saves down the stretch for the Beast but that didn’t stop the K-Wings from netting two more goals. Tanner Sorenson and Lane Scheidl both scored in the final six minutes of the third period, helping the K-Wings to victory.
Jordan Ruby and Kenny Reiter combined to make 22 saves between the pipes for Brampton, while Martin made 36 stops.
Friday, March 18, 2015 vs Toledo Walleye
Result: 5-0 L
TOLEDO, OHIO - The Brampton Beast outshot the Toledo Walleye 11-7 in the opening period and 20-18 after 40 minutes of play but the Toledo Walleye got two goals in the first period, added another two in the second and scored one more in the third en route to a 5-0 win over the Beast at the Huntington Center in Toledo on Friday night.
Tyler Maxwell, Kyle Bonis, Tylor Spink and Tyler Sikura each lit the lamp for Toledo, sending the Beast to their eighth straight loss.
After a fast-paced and evenly-played start to the contest, Maxwell got the Walleye on the board at 12:29 as he used a backhand shot to redirect the puck behind Beast starter Kenny Reiter for his ninth goal of the season.
Less than a minute later, the Walleye pushed their lead to 2-0 as Bonis picked up the puck on a broken play at the side of the net and shovelled the puck beyond the outstretched glove of Reiter at 13:11.
The Beast defensemen fought hard for the remainder of the period to keep the potent Walleye forwards at bay, but Toledo hit the ground running to start the second period. Reiter appeared sharp and made two huge saves in tight but Spink pounced on the third rebound and netted his first pro goal just 27 seconds into the second frame.
Toledo continued to score in bunches as Sikura made it 4-0 less than a minute later, netting his 14th goal of the season at 1:08.
The Walleye love to score early in periods and did so again in the third period as Bonis netted his second of the game, finishing off a pretty passing play 29 seconds into the third period to end the scoring.
Jeff Lerg earned the shutout between the pipes for Toledo with a stellar 32-save performance, while Kenny Reiter allowed five goals on 33 shots.
Saturday, March 19, 2015 vs Indy Fuel
Result: 3-1 W
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – Beast starting goaltender Kenny Reiter turned in his best performance in a Brampton Beast uniform and kicked out 38 saves while Luc-Olivier Blain made his presence felt with a Gordie Howe hat trick as the Beast snapped an eight-game winless skid with a 3-1 win over the Indy Fuel at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum on Saturday night.
Tim Billingsley, Nick McParland and Luc-Olivier Blain all scored in the first period for the Beast in a game that featured lots of exciting, hard-hitting action.
The Fuel were the first to get on the board as Cody Sharib sent a hard shot on goal from the point and picked the top corner for his 14th goal of the season at 7:43.
The second half of the first period was all Beast. Tim Billingsley picked up his third goal of the year at 10:43 as he joined in on an odd-man rush and chipped a backhand shot beyond Fuel starting goaltender Keegan Asmundson to tie the game at one.
The Beast kept rolling for the remainder of the opening period. Dalton Thrower laid down a huge hit and then dropped the gloves with Nick Petrecki in an energetic fight that seemed to spark the Beast.
Less than a minute after the big Thrower fight, Nick McParland took a pass from Luc-Olivier Blain from behind the net and snapped home his 7th goal of the season at 15:49.
And the rough stuff wasn’t done there. Jeff Brown threw a huge hit in front of the Beast bench and got into a fight with Peter Schneider at 18:31.
Schneider drew an instigating penalty on the play and on the ensuing power play, Blain picked up his second point of the period as he redirected a Jordan Henry point shot behind the goaltender for his 7th goal of the year at 18:57.
There may not have been any goals scored in the second period but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any action.
Daniel Vernace laid a big open ice hit late in the second period and was jumped by Cody Sharib. Both were given double minors for roughing at 16:47.
Jeff Brown and Matt White dropped the gloves after a big hit laid by Brown, but both were given roughing minors at 17:26.
The Fuel were awarded a penalty shot with 1:55 remaining after a Beast defenseman threw his stick while the forward entered the Beast zone on a breakaway.
Beast starting goaltender Kenny Reiter came up huge with a stretching pad save to maintain the two-goal lead heading into the third period.
Once again, the action was intense in the final period. Blain brought his teammates to their feet with a great fight with Indy’s Patrick Koudys just over three minutes into the third period.
The Beast fought hard during the final 20 minutes and were outshot 10-7 in the third period and 39-30 for the game, but Reiter, as he had done through the opening 40 minutes, came up with big save after big save to lead the Beast to victory.
As the Beast go into the second half of their six game road trip, they battle the East division-leading Manchester Monarchs on March 23, and play back-to-back games with their on-going rivals, the Elmira Jackals, on March 25 and 26.
Returning home on March 27, the Beast take on the Toledo Walleye for the second time in one week at the Powerade Centre for a 2:00PM EST puck drop.