The Brampton Beast returned home on Sunday after a five game road trip in which they went 3-1-1-0 and continued their climb up the North Division Standings. The Beast have been on a tear in their last 10 games, accumulating nine points in those games and again setting a franchise record this season with a six game winning streak. They also have turned their fortunes around at home, currently riding a four game winning streak at the Powerade Centre.
This season is one that will be long remembered in Brampton Beast history as franchise records continue to fall. David Vallorani set the franchise record for points at 57, and is currently sitting at 60 points. He will increase the season mark in the remaining games. Vallorani is now chasing the franchise record for assists in a season. He has 36 assists currently and needs three more helpers to eclipse the mark set in 2013/14 by Jamie VanderVeeken.
Forward David Pacan, who hasn’t played a full season with the Beast, will soon surpass the Beast record for goals this season. He is currently tied with 29 goals on the season with record holder Andrew Fournier, who set the mark in the 2013/14 season.
In roster news, the Beast welcomed defenceman Josiah Didier who was sent down from the St. John’s IceCaps of the AHL. Didier made his debut with the Beast on Sunday and was a significant physical presence. Didier picked up an assist, had three shots on goal and finished the game at plus-1.
Brampton also welcomed back defenceman Willie Corrin who was returned by the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. Luke Pithier, Scott Jacklin, Justin Baker, and Dalton Thrower remain on injured reserve but Pithier is close to returning.
With the Beast improving their play at home, the fans have taken notice. The average attendance at the Powerade Centre has risen and now sits above 3000 a game (3007).
Brampton is still second overall in the ECHL on the penalty kill. They are shutting down the opposition at an 85.3 percent rate, a mere .7 off the overall lead. Their power play is a respectable ninth in the 27-team league.
With 16 games left in the season, the Beast are in the midst of a battle for not only a playoff spot, but the lead in their division. Brampton currently resides fifth overall in the Eastern Conference, and fourth in the North Division.
The North Division is without a doubt the tightest Division in the ECHL, with only eight points separating the top five teams in the Division. Brampton is five points behind leaders, the Manchester Monarchs, with two games in hand. The Beast are also only three points out of second, with one game in hand on the Reading Royals.
First place in the Division is within reach for the Beast, and unfortunately so is missing the playoffs as the top four teams from each Division make the playoffs. Brampton has a slim three point lead over the Wheeling Nailers coming into the game on Sunday. That said, the Beast are playing their best hockey of the season and as long as they can maintain their pace, they will be playoff bound.
Edited by Donna Sim