Justin Bernhardt scored in his 200th professional game and Zach Cohen and Kyle Bushee recorded goals as well, but the Jackals fell short with a 5-3 loss to the Brampton Beast. The Jackals remained in the playoff hunt until the final game of the regular season, but were officially knocked out with the loss tonight.
Brampton opened the scoring at 3:52 of the first period as Marc Beckstead took a long stretch pass at the Jackals blue line and walked in on a breakaway beating Shane Owen with a wrist shot to the glove side. Daniel Vernace and Steven Kaunisto earned the assists on Beckstead's first pro goal.
The Jackals tied the game at 8:26 of the opening frame with a power-play strike. Shane Owen started the play behind the net, leaving the puck for Matt Prapavessis who walked to center ice and fed a pass to his left for Kyle Bushee. Bushee danced through the Brampton defense and buried a wrist shot off the far post and in past Eric Brassard for his eighth goal of the campaign.
Elmira took its first lead of the night at 10:26 of the second period with Justin Bernhardt's 10th goal of the season coming in his 200th professional game. Chris Langkow played a backhand pass to the slot to Allan McPherson who tapped it backdoor for Justin Bernhardt to bury and give the Jackals the lead.
Just over a minute later the Beast tied the game as Nick McParland slammed home a backdoor past from Joey West for his 12th goal of the season. David Ling was also credited with an assist on McParland's goal at 11:40.
Brampton regained the lead with less than four seconds left in the second period as Joey West deflected a shot from Steven Kaunisto for his first pro goal. Nick McParland also earned an assist on West's marker.
The Beast increased their lead to two goals at 8:16 of the third period as Jordan Henry walked into the slot and lifted a backhand past Owen for his sixth goal of the season. Mike Vernace earned the lone assist on Henry's goal.
The Jackals clawed back within one at 11:15 of the third period as Zach Cohen deflected Tyler Currier's wrist shot for his 14th goal of the season. Jacob MacDonald also earned an assist on Cohen's tip-in tally.
Elmira threw everything at Brassard and the Beast firing 21 shots in the third period alone, but the pack could not complete the comeback. Nick McParland added the empty-net goal at 18:50 to seal the win for the Beast.
Shane Owen turned aside 33 of 37 shots faced but was saddled with the loss. Eric Brassard stopped 42 of 45 shots faced to earn a win in his pro debut.
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