BRAMPTON, ON. — The Brampton Beast played their 21st home game on Sunday afternoon against the Fort Wayne Komets, a team that they have defeated in both previous meetings this season. Brampton was looking to end their six-game home losing streak and get back to their winning ways after a 2-1 loss to the Kalamazoo Wings on Friday night.
The Komets only dressed 17 players for the game, as they have had a large turnover being the only independent team in the ECHL. Despite having two early power-plays, the Beast surrendered the first goal of the game while being a man short themselves.
Connor Crisp scored on the Beast’s third power-play of the game early in the second period. Fort Wayne seemingly ran out of gas after Brandon MacLean put the Beast up 2-1. Foolish penalties then cost the Beast a 5-on-3 shorthanded situation and the tying goal. The teams then traded goals.
The Beast added their fourth power-play goal of the afternoon with over a minute left to seal the 4-3 victory. MacLean was the hero of the afternoon with a hat-trick for the Beast and was the game’s first star. Brandon Marino set a Beast franchise record for assists and was named the game’s second star.
The Beast have only played two games coming off the ECHL All-Star break in which Zach Fucale and forward David Vallorani were participants. Brampton is 4-5-1-0 in their last 10 games, but still occupy third place in the North Division.
The Beast are two points behind the second place Reading Royals and 10 points behind the division-leading Manchester Monarchs. The Beast sport a 20-14-2-2 for 44 points this season and are firmly in a playoff position through 38 games this year.
The Beast are still without forward David Pacan, who is playing in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch on a professional try-out (PTO) and defenceman Willie Corrin, who was reassigned to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL.
Pacan is sorely missed by the Beast, as he is still the leader in game winning goals, power-play goals and shorthanded goals. Goaltender Fucale, despite his recent struggles, has started six consecutive games and looks to improve on his 13 wins in 24 games this season, 3.11 goals against average (GAA), and 0.895 save percentage (SV%).
Scott Jacklin, Justin Baker and Dalton Thrower continue to be on injured reserve. The Beast have signed forward Mackenzie Braid to a standard player contract (SPC). The veteran of three seasons in the OHL with the Sudbury Wolves, Barrie Colts, and Soo Greyhounds was playing CIS hockey with the Laurier Golden Hawks of the OUAA.
The Beast have the second best penalty kill in the ECHL, operating at an 87 percent success rate and scoring four shorthanded goals in 38 games this season. Their PP is firing at a respectable 18.4 percent, which is 11th overall in the ECHL.
Brampton will head out on the road this week to play a pair of games against the Kalamazoo Wings and the Wheeling Nailers before returning home for a pair of games against the Elmira Jackals.