by Mike Ries, Staff Writer, AHL Report

(Photo by Robyn Iwaskiw / Brampton Beast)

BRAMPTON, ON — It was a light week for the Brampton Beast in terms of games played. They hosted the Reading Royals on Thursday and Friday, and then travelled to New York to face the Adirondack Thunder for their only games of the week. The schedule ramps up for the rest of the month of March as the Beast will play seven games over the remaining days of March.

At this point in the schedule, the Beast are firmly in a playoff spot. They are nine points up on the Wheeling Nailers, who are currently in fifth place in the North Division and out of the playoffs at this point. The Beast are also only one point out of first place after the victory on Sunday.

The Beast split the pair of games with the Reading Royals, taking a hard-fought 7-6 overtime win as both high powered offensive teams lit the lamp all night long. Zach Fucale made 32 saves in the victory. Luke Pither, who recently returned from the injury list, scored a pair of goals. Five Brampton players recorded multi-point games, lead by Pither and David Vallorani who had four points apiece (2 goals, 2 assists).

On Friday night, the story of the game was Royals goaltender, Martin Ouellette, who shut the door on the Beast time and time again. The same couldn’t be said for Fucale, who was lit up for 12 goals in two games by the Royals.

On Saturday, the Beast headed out to face the Thunder, who trail the second place Beast by a single point. The Beast prevailed in a wild game with a 9-7 victory. The Beast came back from three goals down twice on the afternoon to secure the victory. The Beast established new franchise marks in wins (34) and points (75). Brampton is currently tied with Manchester for second place with a game in hand on the Monarchs.

In roster news, the Brampton Beast welcomed 2015-16 CIS player of the year, Guillaume Asselin to the team. Asselin was signed by the IceCaps and assigned to the Beast. The 24-year-old winger recently completed a four-year career with the University of Quebec-Trois-Rivieres. He accumulated 125 points in 80 career CIS games. He was a veteran of 331 games in the QMJHL, and piled up 306 points in those games. The Beast also welcomed back veteran, Luke Pither, who spent considerable time on injured reserve.

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Beast, as they will hit the road for a pair of games against the Toledo Walleye and Elmira Jackals this week before heading home to face Fort Wayne Komets on Sunday, March 19.

Edited by Donna Sim