by Mike Ries, Staff Writer, AHL Report
BRAMPTON, ON — Over the holidays, the Brampton Beast were on a five-game road trip making stops in West Virginia, South Carolina, and Ohio.
The Beast split the opening pair of games against the Wheeling Nailers with a strong 3-1 victory. Goaltender Marcus Hogberg was the story of the game again stopping 44 shots and securing a third consecutive victory for the Beast. Brampton penalty-killers thwarted all five power-play opportunities by the Nailers. But the Beast could not convert on their own power-play chances, going 0-for-4 in the game.
Brampton wasn’t as fortunate in the second game as they fell 6-2 to the Nailers as goaltender Zach Fucale was less than spectacular, managing only 21 saves. At the other end Nailer goaltender Will King stopped 37 shots for the victory. Similar to the opening game of the series, the Nailers came out flying, scoring a pair of goals before the mid-point of the opening period. Wheeling stretched their lead to 4-0 before the Beast responded.
After a short Christmas break, Brampton returned to action against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers, for a pair of games.
Brampton was in full flight in the opening period of the first game, firing 20 shots at the Greenville goal, but couldn’t solve Rabbits goaltender Ty Rimmer. Beast goalie Zach Fucale had a strong game, recording his second victory of the season. Forward Stefan Fournier netted a pair of goals in the a 4-2 victory.
The next night, the Beast would fall short, losing to Greenville 4-3. Fournier continued his hot streak adding a goal and an assist, bringing his total to four points in South Carolina.
The Beast travelled to Cincinnati to face the Cyclones on New Years Eve. Zach Fucale again got the call for the Beast in goal and was steady stopping 26 shots. But the Cyclones walked away with a 2-1 victory. Again, special teams were the story with the Beast being unable to find the back of the net on the power-play. Brampton’s penalty-kill was flawless.
The road trip continues as the Beast will be in Reading on Friday night to take on the Royals followed by a Saturday night match against the Adirondack Thunder.
The Beast will return to the friendly confines of the Powerade Centre for a Sunday afternoon contest against the Thunder. Brampton has fared well this season playing three games in less than 72 hours.
In player moves, Zach Fucale was recalled by the Laval Rocket on Tuesday. Defenseman Willie Corrin has been assigned to Brampton from the Rocket. The Belleville Senators have assigned forward Vincent Dunn to Brampton. Defenseman Jamie Doornbosch has been recalled by the Belleville Senators.
With three goals and one assist in three games, Stefan Fournier was named the Beast player of the week.
Beast defenceman Matt Petgrave has been named to Team North for his first ECHL All-Star appearance.