BRAMPTON, ONTARIO - In their final game at the Powerade Centre this season, the Brampton Beast put on quite a show for the 3,292 fans in attendance. Not only did the team win their final home game over the Elmira Jackals by a score of 2-1, but for the first time in 18 years of Brampton hockey, the season attendance surpassed 100,000 total fans.
Goaltender Andrew D’Agostini and Mitch Zion stole the show for the Beast, who downed the Jackals for the third straight game. Zion recorded his first professional goal in the third period while D’Agostini stopped 26 of 27 shots to earn his second straight win.
The Beast opened the scoring late in the first period when David Ling scored his fifth goal of the season. He pounced on a loose puck just inside the blue line and let a slapper go from the top of the hashmarks, beating Jackals starting goaltender Shane Owen. Mike Vernace and Luc-Olivier Blain were given assists on the play.
In a period dominated by back-and-forth action, the Jackals managed to get on the scoresheet in the second frame. Steven McParland, brother of Beast forward Nick McParland, scored shorthanded on a 2-on-1, tying the game at 6:09 of the second.
Halfway through the third period and with the Jackals playoff aspirations hanging in the balance, Mitch Zion deflected a Mike Vernace point shot behind Owen, giving the rookie his first pro goal and giving the Beast their last home goal of the season. Jordan Henry and Vernace added the helpers on Zion’s milestone tally.
Both teams played well defensively throughout the game, with goaltenders D’Agostini and Owen keeping their respective teams in the game.
With 1:28 remaining in the final frame, the Jackals called a timeout and pulled their goalie to add an extra attacker in an attempt to tie the game up, but the Beast were able to fend off the fighting Jackals and stay ahead and earn a big victory.
Notes: The Beast finished the game 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and 0-for-1 on the power play. Molson Three Stars: 3) Andrew D’Agostini 2) David Ling 1) Mitch Zion.
April 8: Marc Beckstead (F) ADD Signed to ATO. April 7: Patrick Magannety (LW) DEL Released from SPC. April 6: Matt Chiarantano (D) ADD Signed to SPC. April 5: Austin McKay (F) ADD Signed to SPC. Eric Brassard (G) ADD Signed to SPC. Travis Brown (D) DEL Recalled from loan by St. John's (AHL).
TODAY'S GAME: The Beast will conclude the 2015-16 ECHL season on the road as they head to First Arena to face the Elmira Jackals one more time at 7:05 PM. The Beast and Jackals met last night, where Brampton threw a wrench into Elmira's playoff aspirations with a 2-1 win at the Powerade Centre.
IMPORTANT GAME: The Jackals currently sit in 9th place in the Eastern Conference playoff race with 79 points and are chasing the Kalamazoo Wings for the final playoff spot. In order for Elmira to clinch a spot in the Kelly Cup playoffs, they need to win tonight's game and the K-Wings need to lose in regulation. If Kalamazoo wins or records a point in tonight's season finale against Toledo, the K-Wings will clinch the final playoff spot.
END ON A HIGH NOTE: Several Beast skaters have been putting up some impressive numbers as the 2015-16 season draws to a close. David Ling (1G, 2A) pushed his point streak to three games with a goal in last night's win. Rookie Mitch Zion (1G, 3A) notched his first pro goal last night to extend his point streak to three games. With an assist in last night's victory, Luc-Olivier Blain now owns the longest active point streak on the Beast at four games. He has recorded two goals and two assists during his streak.
WIN AND LOSE: The Beast own a .500 record over their last eight games, alternating with a win and a loss for a 4-4-0-0 record over their last eight. Since snaping their season-long eight-game winless skid against Indy on Mar. 19, the Beast have recorded a 6-4-0-0 record.
WHAT A GOALIE: Beast netminder Andrew D'Agostini may have only two pro starts under his belt but he has done more than enough to impress during his short stay in Brampton. He made 26 saves and earned Third Star honours in helping the Beast top the Jackals 2-1 last night at the Powerade Centre. He has allowed just a single goal in each of his starts as a member of the Beast and boasts an impressive .966 save percentage.
KEEP AN EYE ON: Jackals forward Chris Langkow, who had a three-game point streak (1G, 3A) snapped in their loss to the Beast last night. Steven McParland, brother of Beast forward Nick McParland, scored his first professional goal last night to extend his point streak to three games. Jacob MacDonald (2G, 3A) is riding a four-game point streak.
STEADY IMPROVEMENT: With 55 points and 22 wins earned through 71 games this season, the Beast have already improved beyond last season's record. In 2014-15, the Beast's first season in the ECHL, the Beast recorded only 49 points to sit in 13th place in the Western Conference. While this year's team has eclipsed the 2014-15 squad in points, they need a win in their season finale in Elmira to match last season's win total of 23.
ELMIRA JACKALS TRANSACTIONS:
April 7: Garett Klotz (F) DEL Released from SPC. April 4: Tyler Currier (F) ADD Returned on loan from Springfield (AHL). Spiro Goulakos (D) ADD Loaned from Rochester (AHL). Cason Hohmann (F) Add Loaned from Rochester (AHL).