SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2015
BEAST (19-35-7-4, 49 PTS | 4th Place, North) vs WALLEYE (42-19-2-3, 89 PTS | 1TH Place, North)
Puck Drop: 2:00 PM EDT | Watch: ECHL.TV | Listen: BramptonBeast.com
ELMIRA, NEW YORK - First Arena is an aptly named facility for Saturday night’s game between the Brampton Beast and Elmira Jackals as Patrick Megannety recorded his first pro goal while Mitch Zion and Joey West each recorded their first pro points on Mike Hammond’s game-winning goal as the Beast eked out a gutsy 3-1 win over the Jackals.
Beast starting goaltender Jordan Ruby was sensational down the stretch and made 33 saves to earn his fifth win of the season.
Ruby was forced into action in the wee minutes of the first period but made several incredible stops to keep the game scoreless in the early going.
The Beast struck first in the latter half of the opening frame. Patrick Megannety got his stick on the puck alongside Jackals starter Shane Owen and managed to squeeze the puck through the goaltender for his first professional goal at 14:19.
Just over three minutes later, Mike Hammond used his superior skating skills to create some space as he swooped behind the net and executed a perfect wraparound, beating Owen low along the ice for his sixth goal of the season, with West and Zion picking up assists, and their first professional points, at 17:25.
With less than a minute remaining in the first, Kyle Stroh parked himself in front of Ruby in the slot and one-timed a pass from Spiro Goulakos behind Ruby, making it a tight 2-1 game at 19:37.
The Beast penalty killers came to play in a back-and-forth second frame. The Beast were assessed four minor penalties in the second frame alone but dug deep and killed off each and every one of them to maintain their slight one-goal lead heading into the final period.
Steve Mele gave the Beast some breathing room late in the third period as he showed great skill in cutting into the slot under pressure and sent a perfect shot behind Owen for his third goal of the season and a two-goal cushion at 13:19.
The resilient Jackals had plenty of opportunities to cut into the Beast lead late in the game. With under two minutes remaining in the game, Beast assistant captain Mike Vernace was sent to the dressing room and was assessed a ten-minute misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct as well as a two-minute minor for cross-checking.
The Jackals pulled their goaltender, creating a 6-on-4 advantage for the final minute of play but the Beast defense stood tall and Ruby made several addition game-saving stops to lead the Beast to their third road win in their last four games.
Notes: The Beast finished the game 0-for-2 with the man advantage and a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. Molson Three Stars: 3) Steve Mele 2) Jordan Ruby 1) Mike Hammond.
March 22: Kyle Rankin (F) – DEL Released from SPC. March 23: Travis Armstrong (D) – ADD Signed to SPC. March 25: Mitch Zion (F) – ADD Signed to SPC. Joey West (C) – ADD Signed to SPC. March 27: Travis Brown (D) – ADD Reassigned by St. John’s (AHL) from St. John’s (AHL). Michael Giugovaz (G) – Added. Mac Bennett (D) – ADD Reassigned by St, John’s (AHL) from St. John’s (AHL). Angelo Miceli (C) – ADD Reassigned by St. John’s (AHL) from St. John’s (AHL).
TODAY'S GAME: The Beast are hoping to continue their strong play of late as they host the Toledo Walleye for the final time of the 2015-16 ECHL season. The Beast have won three of their last four games coming off a six-game road trip. The Walleye are struggling of late and have dropped three of their last four contests, including their most recent game, a 4-1 loss to Cincinnati on Saturday, March 26.
WHAT A GOALIE: Beast goaltender Jordan Ruby has been playing sensational hockey of late. The backstop stopped 33 of 34 shots he faced to help the Beast to a 3-1 win over the Elmira Jackals. He has made 63 saves and allowed just three goals over the course of his last two games played and picked up back-to-back wins between the pipes for just the second time this season.
PLAYING WELL ON THE ROAD: During their most recent six-game road trip, the Beast posted a stellar 3-3-0-0 record against some of the league's toughest opponents. The Beast may be playing their best hockey of the season as they posted three wins on a single road trip for the first time this season. Strong defensive play has helped the Beast to their stellar road record during their most recent trip. The team hasn't allowed more than two goals per game over the course of their last four contests dating back to March 18.
THE END IS NEAR: Including Sunday's game against the Walleye, the Beast have just seven games remaining in the 2015-16 season, including three road games and four home games.
STREAKY BEAST: Several members of the Beast have been posting rock solid numbers during the club's current successful road trip. Jeff Brown is on a three-game point streak and has recorded two goals and three assists in the process. Luc Blain has five points (2G, 3A) over his last four games. David Ling has assists in back-to-back games.
KEEP AN EYE ON: In spite of their recent struggles, several Walleye skaters have been playing well of late. Josh Shalla has five points over his last two games, including a four-point night (2G, 2A) against Fort Wayne on March 25. Rookie defenseman Matt Caito has only suited up for two games for the Walleye but has recorded an assist in each of his appearances.
A NIGHT OF FIRSTS: During the Beast's 3-1 win over the Jackals on Saturday night, newcomers Patrick Megannety, Mitch Zion and Joey West each had nights to remember as Megannety recorded his first pro goal, while Zion and West recorded their first pro points, recording assists on Mike Hammond's game-winning goal.
TOLEDO WALLEYE TRANSACTIONS:
March 24: Matt Caito (D) –ADD Signed to SPC. Jake Paterson (G) –ADD Reasigned by Detroit (H) from Grand Rapids (AHL).