Explosive Offense and Strong Goaltending Lift Beast to Third Straight Win
ELMIRA, NEW YORK – Brampton Beast history is now on the line at tomorrow’s Military Appreciation Day game at the Powerade Centre thanks to the Beast earning their third straight victory by downing the Elmira Jackals 4-2 at First Arena on Saturday night.
The club has a chance to earn four consecutive wins for the first time since the team joined the ECHL for the 2014-15 season.
Offensive depth once again led the Beast to victory. For the eighth straight game, three or more Beast players found the back of the net. Garrett Clarke, Connor Crisp, Yannick Veilleux and Brandon MacLean each lit the lamp to lead the Beast to victory.
Bryan Pitton turned in the finest performance by a Beast goaltender this season by making 32 saves on 34 shots for his second Beast win. He was at his best in the last two periods as he turned away 26 shots, with many of them being of the difficult variety.
Both teams started the game by playing strong defensive hockey. Very few high-quality offensive chances ended up being available for either club through the first period.
But the Beast did take advantage of a golden opportunity to get on the board late in the frame. The Jackals’ starting goaltender John Muse gave away the puck to the Beast by kicking it right to Clarke, who proceeded to bullet the puck into the net with 1:16 remaining in the period for his first goal of the year.
Brampton outshot the Jackals 9-6 in the first period.
The second period took on a completely different complexion as the two teams combined for 39 shots. Twenty two of the shots on goal came off the sticks of Beast skaters. The visitors piled on the scoring chances with a strong cycle game that kept the Jackals hemmed in their own zone for much of the first half of the period.
New Beast forward Connor Crisp, who debuted with the Beast on Friday, made sure all this good work by his team did not go to waste as he scored his first ECHL goal at 3:21. After his forehand shot from the left wing was blocked, the towering 22-year-old (6’3, 225lbs) regained possession of the puck and made a power move into the slot before unleashing a strong backhand shot that found the net.
Less than 90 seconds later, at 4:42, the Jackals cut the deficit in half as Sebastien Sylvestre pushed the puck past Pitton.
Veilleux restored the road team’s two-goal advantage at 7:28 with his fourth goal of the season. The two-way forward had Brandon Marino’s shot from the right wing deflect off of a Jackals’ defenceman right onto his stick, and the 23-year-old made no mistake and pounded the puck past Muse from the slot.
The assists by Marino and David Pacan on the Veilleux goal extended their point-scoring streaks to eight games. During these games, Marino has racked up three goals and 11 assists for 14 points, and Pacan has netted four goals and nine assists for 13 points.
Brampton struck again just 1:12 later at 8:40 of the middle frame. Brandon MacLean pounced on a giveaway in the Jackals zone by ripping a powerful forehand drive past Muse to lift the Beast to a 4-1 lead.
The Jackals – who ended the period with 17 shots – pushed back and scored at 11:10 to make it a 4-2 as Greg Betzold beat Pitton for his first goal of the season.
There were plenty of additional chances for more goals to be scored, but the second period ended with a combined five goals between the two teams.
To their credit, the Jackals pushed very hard in the third period to make a comeback as they outshot Brampton 12-4 in the final stage of the game.
Their efforts would go unrewarded as Pitton stymied the Elmira attackers at every turn. The goaltender made several stellar acrobatic stops to close out the contest.
The Military Appreciation game against the Wheeling Nailers begins at 2:05 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. Festivities honouring Canadian military members will take place prior to the on-ice showdown.
Notes: Brampton was 0-for-1 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. The Beast have killed off 10 of their last 11 penalties. The Beast have outscored their opposition 18-10 at even strength over the past five games.
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