BRAMPTON, ON — Last weekend, the Brampton Beast played host to a pair of games against the Wheeling Nailers, the ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Beast dropped the opening game 6-5 but gained their first victory of the season with a hard fought 5-4 win on Sunday afternoon.
The Beast have struggled so far this season with only three points point to show for their efforts. They are in jeopardy of quickly losing touch with the division leaders.
The game on Sunday afternoon was the fifth home game of the season for the Beast and, despite their record, have been a solid draw at the box office averaging over 3,100 fans.
Both games with the Nailers were exciting matches with the Beast pouring it on in the third period of each game and coming away with a split in the two-game series. What is troubling is the fact that Brampton only showed effort in the final frame of both contests.
A positive note for the Beast is the continued balanced scoring they are receiving from all three lines. Brampton has little trouble scoring this season, averaging 3.5 goals per game. It is their defensive play that has let them down. Also a lack of overall team speed hinders their ability to match opposing teams and to come from behind in games.
With their lackluster showing so far this season, the Beast made numerous roster moves this week including releasing forward Mitch Zion and seldom used winger Mark Bennett.
With the extra roster space, the Beast signed forward Bryan Cameron, a former third round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft (82nd overall). The native of Brampton is like so many veterans of the minor pro ranks as he has come home to finish his hockey career. The eight-year vet will be counted on if he stays with the team to add goals as he has been a proven goal scorer everywhere he has played.
The Beast also acquired forward Kevin Todd from waivers. Both players, Cameron and Tood, were in the lineup for the weekend series. To help bolster the weak defensive corps Brampton received defenceman Jordan Murray from the Belleville Senators of the AHL. The two-year pro will be a welcome addition to a defence that is aging and is generally slow of foot even by ECHL standards.
Brampton leaves the confines of the Powerade Centre to travel to South Dakota to face the Rapid City Rush the ECHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild for three games on November 1st through 4th. The team will return home on November 8th to play the Jacksonville Icemen.