BRAMPTON, ONTARIO – The energy inside Powerade Centre was electric on Friday night as the Brampton Beast suited up for their home opener against the Toledo Walleye. The fans in attendance were treated to a magical back-and-forth, high-octane, evenly-played contest that saw the visiting Walleye squeak out a 6-5 shootout victory.
Luke Pither recorded his second consecutive three point night (1G, 2A) and David Vallorani (1G, 1A), David Pacan (1G, 1A) and Brandon Marino (2A) each recorded multi-point games for the Beast, who have now earned points in back-to-back games to open the season.
After a scoreless opening frame that saw the referee call eight minor penalties, Beast forward Scott Jacklin got the scoring started early in the second period. He parked himself in front of Walleye starter Cal Heeter and perfectly redirected a point shot behind the goaltender for the 1-0 lead just 2:41 into the period.
It took over ten minutes for the Walleye to beat the stingy Beast defense, but when they struck, they did so quickly and in numbers. Tyler Sikura and A.J. Jenks each lit the lamp just 14 seconds apart to give Toledo a quick 2-1 lead by the 13:17 mark of the middle frame.
With less than three minutes remaining in the period, Dane Walters beat Beast goaltender Bryan Pitton with his first of the year, giving the visitors a 3-1 edge at 17:22.
The Beast roared back before the end of the period in a big way. Vallorani pounced on a loose puck to beat Heeter cleanly at 19:07 to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Before the end of the frame, the resilient Beast struck again to tie the game. Defenseman Reggie Traccitto teed up a perfect shot that was stopped by Heeter. Brandon MacLean was right on top of the crease and batted in the loose puck to tie the game at 3-3 heading into the final period.
The third period started with a bang as Pither sent a laser of a shot on goal that beat Heeter just 1:06 into the period, giving the Beast a 4-3 lead.
The lead was short lived as Tyler Sikura and Carter Sandlak scored just over a minute apart, restoring Toledo’s lead by the 5:56 mark of the final period.
Just when it looked like the Walleye would lock it down defensively, the Beast struck again in a timely fashion. With Pitton on the bench in favour of the extra skater in the final minute of regulation, David Pacan found himself alone with the puck behind the Toledo goal. He took his time, walked out in front and roofed a shot beyond Heeter, sending the Powerade Centre into a frenzy as the Beast forced overtime.
A fast-paced overtime period saw chances at both ends of the ice but both Pitton and Heeter were unbeatable, forcing the game to a shootout.
While Mike Vernace’s beautiful deke beat Heeter, A.J. Jenks and Kyle Bonis both beat Pitton, giving Toledo the victory.
The Beast will not have to wait long to seek their revenge, as these two teams face off again tomorrow, Saturday, October 22 at the Huntington Centre in Toledo, Ohio.
Notes: The Beast finished the game 1-for-7 on the power play and 6-for-7 on the penalty kill. The Beast outshot the Walleye 43-29. Luke Pither, David Vallorani and Chris Leveille have all recorded points in back-to-back games to start the season. Molson Three Stars: 3) David Pacan. 2) David Vallorani 1) Luke Pither.
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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.