by Mike Ries, Staff Writer, AHL Report
BRAMPTON, ON — It was a very busy week on and off the ice for the Brampton Beast with a lot of firsts for the the ECHL franchise. The most important milestone reached was the fact that the Beast clinched a Kelly Cup playoff berth for the first time in their young ECHL life.
The Beast secured the playoff spot with a convincing 5-2 victory over the Reading Royals, the ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers. In that game, the leading scorer in the ECHL, David Pacan, scored four goals and increased his franchise mark to 40 on the season. It was also his seventh point in the last two games.
The victory was their last regular season road game of the year and came on the heels of a hard fought 4-3 loss to the Wheeling Nailers, who are fighting for their playoff lives. Defenceman Matt Petgrave, who is finding his game at the professional level, recorded his first goal as a pro in the loss. The Beast fell behind 3-0, never recovered, and suffered the loss.
The first game of their three-game final road trip of the year began in Cincinnati against the Cyclones for the one and only time this season and coincidentally the first time the teams faced against each other in history. Brampton exploded in the opening period with four goals. Two of those came from defenceman Jordan Henry, who smashed the Beast franchise record of 14 set by Mathew Maione.
This game came a day after Beast goaltender, Zach Fucale, became the first Brampton player in team history to be called up to the Montreal Canadiens. He would dress and backup Carey Price against the Dallas Stars and the next day he was sent to the St.John’s IceCaps of the AHL.
Brampton has three games left in the regular season with their final homestand against the Wheeling Nailers on Wednesday evening. However, it is likely that the most important pair of games of the year for the Beast will come on Friday and Saturday night against the Manchester Monarchs. The outcome of the three games will decide where Brampton will end up in the standings in the North Division with a division crown not out of the question.
This team has set and surpassed individual and franchise records all season long and look to continue that trend with their march into the playoffs.
Edited by Donna Sim