by Mike Ries, Staff Writer, AHL Report

David Pacan (Photo by Robyn Iwaskiw / Brampton Beast)

BRAMPTON, ON. — With the ECHL season winding down, the Brampton Beast are firmly in a playoff spot and are in a dogfight for the top spot in the North Division, two points behind the Manchester Monarchs. There are 16 games remaining in the schedule for the Beast, and every point matters at this stage.

It may come down to the final two games of the year when the Beast host the Monarchs for a pair of games to close out the regular season. Brampton has three other meetings with Manchester, including a pair of home games this coming Thursday and Friday.

In game action this past week, the Beast had three games on the schedule. They faced the Adirondack Thunder on Tuesday afternoon to a sellout crowd of 5,020 at the Powerade Centre. The Beast came away with a hard fought 3-0 win and back-to-back shutouts for Zach Fucale, who is the hottest goaltender in the ECHL.

They then travelled to Kalamazoo to face the Wings and dropped a heartbreaking 5-4 loss. Brandon Marino recorded a three point night, but it wasn’t enough to secure a victory for the Beast. The next test for the Beast was a Sunday late afternoon game against the Toledo Walleye. They fell short, losing 3-2, despite outshooting the Walleye 34-21.

After a strong showing in the month of February, the Beast were rewarded with a pair of individual ECHL awards. Jordan Henry was named the ECHL Plus Performer of the Month. Henry lead the league with a plus-minus rating of +20 and he is tied for seventh overall in the league (+24 in 52 games). He is also second overall in the ECHL with 147 shots on goal (SOG).

David Pacan was named the CCM ECHL Player of the Month. Pacan recorded 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 14 games in the month of February. The former Chicago Blackhawks draft pick has consistently been the best offensive threat for the Beast this season.

In roster moves, the Brampton Beast continue to do some minor tinkering with their lineup. They have released Vincent Llorca from his standard player contract (SPC). Llorca appeared in one game with the Beast and didn’t record a point.

To fill Llorca’s roster spot, the Beast signed Corey Durocher to an SPC. Durocher finished his fourth season in the CIS with the Carleton Ravens recording 34 goals, 49 assists and 55 penalty minutes in 90 career games. He was originally a draft pick of the Florida Panthers (153rd overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He played three full seasons in the OHL with the Kingston Frontenacs and Soo Greyhounds.

Edited by Donna Sim