BRAMPTON, ON. — The Brampton Beast finished with a record of 2-1 on their last road trip of the season with victories over the Cincinnati Cyclones and Reading Royals, and dropping a 4-3 loss to the Wheeling Nailers. The loss to Wheeling hurt, as the two points would have kept them in the title hunt.
The final homestand was bittersweet for the Beast as they exacted a measure of revenge by eliminating the Wheeling Nailers with a 5-2 victory. The final two games of the regular season saw Brampton face the Manchester Monarchs, the ECHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings. Brampton dropped the opener 4-1 in a physical game that saw 22 penalties between the teams.
The final game of the season was a back and forth affair with the Monarchs, opening the scoring with 13.8 seconds left in the opening period. Not to be outdone, Beast forward Connor Crisp tied the score 44 seconds into the second period. Brampton moved ahead 3-2 after the second stanza.
The teams again traded the lead back and forth in the final period before the Beast came away with a 5-4 victory before the loudest crowd of the season. Luke Pither scored the game-winner with 2:13 left in the final period. The birthday boy, Connor Crisp, earned the first star with a dominate performance, including three points on the evening.
By way of their victory on Saturday night, the Beast earned the right to face the Reading Royals, the ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, in the opening round of the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Beast finished tied with the Royals, but finished in third spot on a tie breaker as they had one less regulation victory. The 40-win season is the first in ECHL history for the young Brampton Beast, and the future looks bright as the only ECHL team in Canada.
David Vallorani is the Beast leading point getter on the season with 83 points, one better than teammate David Pacan. Pacan tied with Brendan O’Donnell of the Florida Everblades with 41 goals, tops in the ECHL.
In roster news, Zach Fucale remains with the St. John’s IceCaps. With the absence of Fucale, the Beast have signed Brandon Billie as an emergency backup to Andrew D’Agostini.
Billie, a two-year veteran of the FHL, has yet to see action with the Beast. Recently signed forward Guillaume Asselin was called up to the AHL. Defenceman Tim Billingsley was signed to a PTO with the IceCaps. Both Mitch Zion and Justin Baker remain on injured reserve with Brampton.
Edited by Donna Sim