BRAMPTON, ON — The Brampton Beast, fresh off a three-game series sweep of the Elmira Jackals, entertained the Toledo Walleye on Friday evening. The Walleye are a team that they have historically struggled against (3-15-1-2 lifetime). The Beast and Zach Fucale, in my opinion, had their best games of the season and prevailed with a 3-1 victory against arguably the top team in the ECHL.
The Beast kept the game simple as they kept the Walleye forwards to the outside and Fucale had little trouble making saves from shots from the outside. At this point in the season, Brampton needs every point they can muster, as they are 11 points out of first place in the North Division. However, Brampton is a mere five points out of second spot and are currently tied for fourth place with the Wheeling Nailers.
The Beast were only home for the game against the Walleye before heading out on a five game road trip. They will play those games in only eight days before returning home on Family Day to face the Wheeling Nailers. Brampton will only play four home games in the month of February, and seven on the road. Road warriors early in the season, the Beast now sport an almost identical record at home (12-8-1-2) and away (12-7-1-1).
Brampton continues to stymie opposing power-plays all season long and have a league second-best penalty kill percentage (86.5) allowing only 25 power-play goals in 185 shorthanded chances and scoring five shorthanded goals. Along with the second ranked penalty kill, the Beast hold the 10th best power play in the ECHL with a respectable 19 precent scoring rate with the man advantage. The one area of concern for the Beast is the fact that they have allowed nine shorthanded goals against this season to date.
With the season winding down quickly, the Beast have solidified their roster and have had little to no player movements in the recent few weeks. The only player to move last week was backup goaltender Andrew D’Agostini, who was signed to a professional try-out (PTO) with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. He served as a backup for a weekend home stand for Toronto, and was returned to Brampton after those games. Luke Pither, Scott Jacklin, Justin Baker and Dalton Thrower continue to be on injured reserve with the Beast.
The records continue to fall for the Brampton Beast already this season as they have eclipsed second place in team history with 24 victories, and are 10 shy of the franchise record that was set in the 2013-14 season. Fucale broke the single-season mark with the most victories (17) with his victory over the Walleye and will add to the record he owns as the season progresses.
Forward David Vallorani is four points shy of the Beast single season record for points that was set in 2013-14 by Jason Pitton, and currently is tenth in points in the ECHL this season. Forward David Pacan is four goals shy of eclipsing the franchise mark set in 2013-14 by Andrew Fournier, and currently is fourth in goals in the ECHL this season.