GAME PREVIEW: Jackals Visit Brampton in First Game of Home-and-Home

Game 12: Elmira Jackals (2-7-2-0) vs. Brampton Beast (5-3-1-2)

7:15 p.m., Powerade Centre, Brampton, Ontario


The Jackals head north into Canada for the first time this season as they open a home-and-home series with the Brampton Beast at Powerade Centre. It's the third straight game for the Jackals against the Beast and the teams will conclude their two-week series tomorrow night in Elmira.

Following a three-game winning streak, which included two wins over the Jackals, the Beast have dropped their last two games, sliding to 5-3-1-2 on the season. After this weekend's set with the Jackals, Brampton heads south for a three-game trip to Orlando, starting on Thanksgiving morning.

The Jackals, who are 2-7-2-0 through eleven games, play their final road game until Dec. 4, which also comes in Brampton. Between now and then, Elmira will play six straight games at First Arena, starting tomorrow against the Beast.
    


Broadcast Coverage
 

Jackals Pregame at 7:00 p.m. Radio:1410 WELM | TV: WETM-2

 

Last time out

The Brampton Beast scored three second-period goals and used that to propel past the Jackals, 4-2, Nov. 12 at First Arena, sweeping back-to-back games in Elmira.

The Beast opened the scoring late in the first period, with Garrett Clarke hammering home a rebound from near the wall at the left circle with 1:16 to play in the first period. The rest of the offense in the game came in the second period. The Beast grabbed a 2-0 lead with Connor Crisp getting credit for a goal in the slot at 3:21 of the second. Just over a minute later, Sebastien Sylvestre pulled Elmira back within one, finishing off his own rebound a 4:42 to make it 2-1.

Brampton would score twice more in a span on 1:12 to go up 4-1 before the Jackals began to ramp up the pressure. They got withing two at 11:10 on Greg Betzold's first pro goal, coming off a screened shot from the right circle. The Jackals would end up with 29 shots over the final two periods, but Bryan Pitton preserved the Beast lead to give Brampton the 4-2 win.

More firsts  


Jackals rookie forward Greg Betzold scored his first professional goal Saturday against the Brampton Beast. The goal, coming in his second game with the Jackals and fourth professional game, came on a shot from the right circle, as he used the defensman as a screen. It was also the first professional point for the Cincinnati, Ohio native, who the Jackals signed on Nov. 10.

Betzold is the fourth Jackal to score his first ECHL goal this season. Kyle Rankin scored his first goal Nov. 6 in South Carolina on a 4-on-3 power play. Rookie forward Charlie Mosey scored his first ECHL goal in his first ECHL game in the season opener Oct. 15 in Reading. That was the first goal of the season for the Jackals. Rookie defenseman Paul Geiger scored his first ECHL goal in his league debut Oct. 21 vs. Norfolk. He spent just two games in Elmira before being recalled by the Rochester Americans.

Defenseman Brycen Martin picked up two assists, his first two pro points, in Saturday's loss to Brampton.

Scouting the Beast
 

At 5-3-1-2 the Beast have 13 points on the season, putting them in fifth place in the North Division, tied in points with Reading, although Reading has played three more games. Following a three-game winning streak, the Beast have lost their last two games, both against the Wheeling Nailers.

Brampton's offense has been the key to their success early this season, averaging 4.00 goals per game, second best in the ECHL behind Toledo (4.23). However, they rank last in the ECHL in goals against, allowing 4.18 goals per game.

Forwards David Pacan (5g, 8a) and Brandon Marino (3g, 10a) lead the Beast in scoring with 13 points. They both had eight-game scoring streaks snapped in Sunday's loss to Wheeling. David Vallorani (4g, 7a) and Yannick Veilleux (3g, 8a) are tied for third with 11 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 2-2-0-0 in five appearances with a 3.11 goals-against average and an .877 save percentage. He earned the win last Friday against the Jackals. 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.

 
Head-to-head

Tonight is the third of nine matches between the Jackals and Beast in 2016-17, with a fourth coming tomorrow in Elmira to conclude a home-and-home series. For the Jackals it's four-straight games against Brampton over two weekends, but the Beast had two games with Wheeling sandwiched in between. Dating back to last season, the Beast have won six straight games against Elmira.

The Beast won both matches this weekend by identical 4-2 scores. Yannick Veilleux led Brampton's offense with four points (1g, 3a) last weekend against the Jackals, recording two multi-point games. Mike Vernace (2g, 1a), Brandon MacLean (1g, 2a) and Jordan Henry (3a) all had three points in two games.

In net, both Zach Fucale and Bryan Pitton got a start and beat the Jackals last week. Fucale allowed two goals on 19 shots in Friday's win and Pitton allowed two goals on 35 shots Saturday night.

For the Jackals, Daultan Leveille (1g, 1a) and Brycen Martin (2a) are the leading scorers in two games against the Beast. Leveille had a multi-point game Friday and Martin followed suit with a multi-point game Saturday. Both Andy Iles and John Muse got a start against the Beast.  


Special teams

Brampton's power play has had 52 opportunities in 11 games, scoring six power-play goals, which puts them 20th 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 17th in the ECHL. They have been shorthanded 41 times in just six home games, allowing eight power-play goals in those situations, an 80.5% success rate.

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 six games. On the season they are 27-for-34 (79.4%) on the penalty kill, ranking 22nd in the league.