Steven McParland scored his first professional goal with a shorthanded marker in the second period, but the Jackals were unable to overcome a deflection goal in third period and fell 2-1 to the Brampton Beast in their final road game of the 2015-16 regular season.
Brampton struck first in the final minute of the opening frame as David Ling exited the penalty box and trailed the play into the Jackals zone where he walked into a loose puck at the top of the circle for a blast that beat Shane Owen. Mike Vernace and Luc-Olivier Blain earned the assists on Ling's fifth goal of the season.
The Jackals came out with fire in the second period and cracked the scoreboard at 6:09. With Darcy Murphy in the penalty box for high-sticking, the Jackals created an offensive chance while shorthanded. Jacob MacDonald found Steven McParland moving up the left wing wall and the newly signed forward walked in on a two-on-one, with Allan McPherson going backdoor, firing a shot past Andrew D'Agostini for the tying tally and his first professional goal. McParland has recorded a point in each of his first three pro games. The Jackals outshot the Beast 12-5 in the second period and went into the third frame tied 1-1.
As both teams tangled in the third period, a fortunate deflection proved to be the difference-maker. Jordan Henry held the puck at the point and moved it across the blue line to Mike Vernace who released a wrist shot that glanced off of Mitch Zion's equipment and changed direction slipping past Owen. Zion's first goal came at 12:02 of the third period.
The Jackals pulled Shane Owen for the extra attacker with 1:57 remaining in regulation and forced a frantic finish in the Brampton zone, but D'Agostini was able to batten the hatches and secure the win for the Beast.
Shane Owen stopped 21 of 23 shots faced but was handed the tough luck loss. Andrew D'Agostini turned aside 26 of 27 shots faced to earn the win.
With tonight's regulation loss, the Jackals needed Wheeling, Kalamazoo or Adirondack to lose in order to remain in the Kelly Cup Playoff picture. Wheeling and Adirondack won which secured their berths in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Reading also punched their ticket once tonight's game in Brampton went final. Kalamazoo lost to Toledo in overtime, which keeps Elmira alive in the playoff push. If the Jackals win tomorrow and Kalamazoo loses in regulation, then the Jackals will qualify for the playoffs. If any other outcome occurs, Kalamazoo will earn the final playoff spot.
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April 9: Elmira Jackals vs. Brampton Beast - 7:05 p.m. EDT. Click here to purchase tickets or tune into 1410 WELM AM for all the live action!