WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – Brampton Beast forward Luke Pither lit the lamp in the third period to tie the game and stunned the crowd at WesBanco Arena with an overtime winner as the Beast spoiled the Wheeling Nailers’ 2015-16 Eastern Conference Banner Raising ceremony with a gutsy 3-2 overtime win on the Opening Night of the 2016-17 ECHL season.
Newcomer David Vallorani made an immediate impact on his new club with a goal and an assist and Andrew D’Agostini was brilliant in goal for the Beast making 25 saves, including several highlight-reel stops, en route to the Beast’s first ever season-opening victory in the ECHL.
The Beast came out flying in the first period and were the first to find the back of the net. Luke Pither and David Vallorani found themselves alone on a 2-on-0 breakaway against Nailers starter Doug Carr. Pither placed a perfect pass on Vallorani’s stick and he made no mistake beating the goaltender for his first goal as a member of the Beast at 4:26.
The Beast momentum continued throughout the first period as they took the 1-0 lead into the first intermission, leading 8-6 on the shot clock.
The reigning Eastern Conference champions would not go down easy. After an evenly-played second period, the Nailers tied it up at 9:13 of the second period as Josh Shalla beat D’Agostini with a perfect wraparound to tie the game.
The game remained tied until early in the third period when Wheeling took their only lead of the game on a goal from Darryl Lloyd just 1:35 into the final frame.
The resilient Beast battled back hard. Once again, it was Pither who made the difference, cutting in on a breakaway and lifting a shot that beat Carr over the pad to tie the game at 2-2 at 9:59.
The remainder of regulation time was a goaltender’s battle with both D’Agostini and Carr making massive games to force the game to overtime. 3:27 into the extra frame, Pither found himself near the top of the circle and roofed a perfect wrist shot to give the Beast the clutch victory.
The Beast will now take a short break before returning to the Powerade Centre for the 2016-17 Home Opener on Friday, October 21 at 7:15PM against the Toledo Walleye.
Notes: The Beast finished the game 0-for-3 on the power play but were a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. Molson Three Stars: 3) Army (WHL) 2) D’Agostini (BRM) 1) Pither (BRM).
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The Brampton Beast will be bringing their exciting brand of ECHL hockey back to the Powerade Centre this fall. Don’t miss a minute of the action! 2016-17 Memberships are now available, starting at $34.78 plus HST per month.
For more information or general media inquiries on the Brampton Beast, please contact Chris Ballard, Public Relations Coordinator at (905) 564-1684 or firstname.lastname@example.org.