04/01/2016 11:31 PM
SATURDAY, APRIL 2, 2016
BEAST (20-36-7-4, 49 PTS | 4th Place, North) vs THUNDER (36-25-2-4, 78 PTS | 2ND Place, East)
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EDT | Watch: ECHL.TV | Listen: BramptonBeast.com
BRAMPTON, ONTARIO – Brampton Beast assistant captain Mike Vernace executed a perfect deke against Elmira Jackals starting goaltender Shane Owen in the fifth round of the shootout, giving the Beast their 20th win of the 2015-16 season, edging the Jackals 4-3 in a shootout at the Powerade Centre on Friday night.
David Ling, Jeff Brown and Nick McParland each recorded a goal and an assist for Brampton and starting goaltender Jordan Ruby was unbelievable between the pipes, collecting 37 saves for the Beast who have now picked up wins in four of their last six games.
The Beast started the scoring early in the first period. Veteran David Ling entered the Jackals zone on the right wing side and blasted a perfect slap shot from the top of the circle that beat Owen for Ling’s fourth goal of the season at 5:56.
Jordan Ruby held the Beast in the game for the remainder of the period and kicked out all seven shots he faced through 20 minutes of play.
Nick McParland’s goal near the halfway point of the second frame gave the Beast a two-goal lead. Amidst a heated scrum behind the Jackals net, the puck squirted loose from the crowd and landed right on McParland’s stick. He wasted no time slapping the puck beyond the goaltender’s glove for his ninth goal of the year at 10:06.
With hard work and tenacity, the Beast pushed the lead to 3-0 in the latter half of the second period. While on the power play, David Ling circled the Elmira zone and found himself in the right wing corner. He sent a puck on goal that hit the goaltender and landed right on the stick of Jeff Brown, who whacked home his 14th goal of the year at 15:30.
But the Jackals, who owned a 6-2-0-0 record against the Beast heading into tonight’s contest and are still battling for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, came out flying in the third period.
Jackals defenseman Kyle Bushee banked one in off a Beast defenseman to cut the deficit to 3-1 at 8:16. The lead was further cut to 3-2 when Tyler Currier picked the corner with a nice shot at 13:15. The Beast lead disappeared at 18:55 as the Jackals tied the game. With the goaltender on the bench and the Jackals enjoying a 6-on-5 advantage, Jacob McDonald snuck one in behind Ruby with a point shot through a crowd with just 1:05 remaining to force overtime.
Elmira outshot Brampton 5-3 in the overtime period, but once again, Jordan Ruby made several sensational save and gave his team a chance to win by forcing the game to a shootout.
Ruby was nothing short of incredible in the shootout, stopping all five shots he faced. With Ruby fresh off a save on Jackals forward Tyler Currier, Beast defenseman Mike Vernace had a chance to win the game.
Vernace danced in on the Jackals goaltender, performed a sneaky quick deke in close and managed to beat the goaltender low on the blocker side to give the Beast their first shootout win in five attempts thus far this season.
March 30: Travis Armstrong (D) ADD - Signed to Contract. Jesse Stoughton (F) ADD - Signed to Contract. Andrew D'Agostini (G) ADD - Signed to Contract. March 28: Michael Giugovaz (G) DEL - Released from Contract. Angelo Miceli (F) DEL - Recalled to St. John's. Mac Bennett (D) DEL - Recalled to St. John's. March 27: Travis Brown (D) ADD - Reassigned from St. John's. March 25: Mitch Zion (F) ADD - Signed to Contract. Joey West (F) ADD - Signed to Contract.
TODAY'S GAME: The Beast will look to earn their fifth win in their last seven games as they head to Glens Falls, New York for a two-game set against the Adirondack Thunder starting Saturday night at 7:00 PM. These two teams have squared off four times this season. The Beast own a 0-3-1-0 record against the Thunder this season.
SHOOTOUT WINNERS: For the first time in five attempts this season, the Beast won a game via a shootout thanks to the late-game heroics from Mike Vernace on Friday night. In all shootouts the team has appeared in this season, they have only managed to score a single goal in each of them. The Beast now own a 1-4 record in shootouts this season.
A JEWEL OF A GOALIE: Beast goaltender Jordan Ruby has been one of the best goaltenders in the ECHL of late. Not only has he won his last three starts against three tough opponents, including the Manchester Monarchs and Elmira Jackals (2), he allowed no more than three goals in a single game in the process and has allowed just six goals on his last 100 shots against.
WHY DOES THERE HAVE TO BE AN OFFSEASON?: Including Saturday's game against the Thunder, the Beast have just five games remaining in the 2015-16 season, including three road games and two home games.
HEATING UP: Several Beast skaters have been performing well on the ice of late, including David Ling, who has a goal and three assists over his last four games. Jeff Brown has three goals and four assists over his last five games, including three games with a goal and an assist. Nick McParland remained hot with a goal and an assist last night, giving him three goals and three assists over his last six games.
WATCH OUT FOR: Thunder forward Michael Kirkpatrick has scored four goals and added three assists for seven points in four games against the Beast this season. Louick Marcotte is also on a point-per-game tear against Brampton with two goals and two assists through four games.
THUNDERSTUCK: Adirondack enters Saturday's game on a downswing, having won just two of their last nine games. On Friday night, they snapped a four-game winless drought with a 5-1 win over the Norfolk Admirals.
ADIRONDACK THUNDER TRANSACTIONS:
April 1: Ken Appleby (G) ADD Reassigned by New Jersey (NHL) from Albany (AHL). March 28: Gunnar Hughes (C) ADD Returned on loan from Albany (AHL). Mathieu Brodeur (D) ADD Returned on loan from Albany (AHL).