Game 13: Elmira Jackals (2-8-2-0) vs. Brampton Beast (6-3-1-2)
7:05 p.m., First Arena, Elmira, New York
The Jackals and Brampton Beast play the final game of a two-weekend series, in which they have met four times in nine days, with the back-end of a home-and-home series. The Beast won last night, 6-4, in Brampton and have won each of the first three games of the season series with the Jackals.
The Beast snapped a two-game losing streak with last night's win over the Jackals, boosting Brampton to 6-3-1-2 on the season. After finishing up in Elmira, the Beast will begin a three-game trip to Orlando, starting with a morning match against the Solar Bears on Thanksgiving.
The Jackals are still searching for their first win in November, having lost three straight games to Brampton over the last two weekends and eight straight (0-6-2-0) overall. Last night, Elmira's offense struck for a season-high four goals, but that wasn't enough to overcome Brampton's potent offense.
Purchase single game tickets by calling (607) 734-7825, visiting the Main Street Box Office at First Arena or online.
Jackals Pregame at 6:50 p.m. Radio: 1410 WELM
Last time out
The Brampton Beast fended off two comeback attempts by the Jackals and beat Elmira, 6-4, for their third straight win over the Jackals last night in Brampton.
The Beast rolled out to a 2-0 first-period lead on the strength of goals by Scott Jacklin and David Vallorani less than two minutes apart just past the halfway point of the period. The Jackals roared out of the gates in the second to pull even. First, Davis Vandane blasted a shot from the right point at 2:41 to make it 2-1. Then Colin Murray scored on a breakaway at 11:54 to tie the game at two. However, the Beast immediately responded to take a 3-2 lead 30 second later and they would grow the lead to three less than a minute into the third.
The Jackals would again try to rally, getting goals from Daultan Leveille on a deflection and Steven Kaunisto on a rebound to get within 5-4 with a few minutes remaining in regulation, but the Beast added an empty-net goal to win, 6-4.
Last night's game was the first ECHL game of the season that was penalty free. It's the eighth time in league history that teams combined for zero penalty minutes and the first time since Feb. 13, 2016 in a game between the Evansville Icemen and Cincinnati Cyclones. In all, it happened three times in the ECHL last season.
Home sweet home
Last week's two games against Brampton started a stretch in which the Jackals play eight of nine games at First Arena, through Dec. 2. After playing in Brampton last night, the Jackals will play six straight home games.
During this stretch, the Jackals face Brampton once more (Nov. 19), Reading once (Nov. 25), Manchester twice (Nov. 26-27) and Kalamazoo twice (Nov. 30 & Dec. 2). They are 1-4-0-0 at home to begin the season.
Scouting the Beast
At 6-3-1-2 the Beast have 15 points on the season, putting them in a tie for third place in the North Division with Wheeling. Brampton is in seventh in the Eastern Conference.
Brampton's offense has been the key to their success early this season, averaging 4.17 goals per game, second best in the ECHL behind Toledo (4.21). However, they rank last in the ECHL in goals against, allowing 4.17 goals per game.
Forwards David Pacan (7g, 9a) leads the Beast with 16 points through 12 games. Brandon Marino (3g, 11a) and David Vallorani (6g, 8a) are tied for second with 14 points each.
In goal, Zach Fucale and Bryan Pitton have split time for the Beast. Fucale, a 2nd round draft choice by Montreal in 2013, is 3-2-0-0 in six appearances with a 3.27 goals-against average and an .878 save percentage. Pitton, a 2006 5th round draft pick by the Edmonton Oilers, is 2-1-0-2 in five appearances and has a 4.45 goals-against average and a .847 save percentage. He stopped 33 of 35 shots in Saturday's win over the Jackals, but then allowed six goals on 12 shots in his last appearance against the Nailers.
Tonight is the fourth of nine matches between the Jackals and Beast in 2016-17, and the fourth in a row for the Jackals against Brampton over the last two weekends. The Beast had two games with Wheeling sandwiched in between. Dating back to last season, the Beast have won seven straight games against Elmira.
Brandon MacLean, coming off a four-point game (1g, 3a) last night, leads the Beast's offense against Elmira with seven points (2g, 5a) in three games. Four players are tied with four points in the season series with the Jackals.
In net, both Zach Fucale and Bryan Pitton have started and defeated the Jackals in 2016-17. Fucale allowed two goals on 19 shots Nov. 11 and then stopped 29 of 33 last night, while Pitton allowed two goals on 35 shots Saturday night.
For the Jackals, Daultan Leveille (3g, 1a) is the top scorer for the Jackals in the series with Brampton. Five players have recorded at least two points in the three games with the Beast.
Brampton's power play has had 52 opportunities in 11 games, scoring six power-play goals, which puts them 21st in the ECHL at 11.5%. They went 0-for-5 against the Jackals last week in Elmira. They opened the week by going 1-for-9 with the man advantage in Tuesday's morning loss to Wheeling.
The Jackals power play went 0-for-6 in two games against Brampton last week, dropping to 6-for-37 (16.2%) with the man advantage, ranking 16th in the league. Four of their six power-play goals have come on the road, where they are 4-for-22 (18.2%).
The Beast's penalty kill allowed two power-play goals Tuesday against Wheeling, moving them to 53-for-64 (82.8%), which ranks 18th in the ECHL.
The Jackals penalty kill was a perfect 5-for-5 in two games against Brampton and is now 16-for-18 (88.9%) in the last seven games. On the season they are 27-for-34 (79.4%) on the penalty kill, ranking 22nd in the league.