Beast Weekly Wrap | Canadiens Prospects Excelling With Brampton

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(Photo by Rabita Naqvi | Rocket Sports Media)

by Mike Ries, Staff Writer, AHL Report

Zach Fucale (Photo by Rabita Naqvi | Rocket Sports Media)

BRAMPTON, ON. — The Brampton Beast returned home in the wee hours of Sunday morning after playing a pair of games in Elmira, New York, against the Jackals. The Beast completed the sweep with identical 4-2 victories as they received stellar goaltending from Bryan Pitton and Zach Fucale.  

The Wheeling Nailers, the ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins (and former affiliate of the Canadiens), were the opposition at the Powerade Centre on Sunday. The fact that Brampton didn’t return home until 4:30 am on Sunday was evident, as they ran out of gas by the third period of the game and fell by a score of 5-2.

Fucale has been especially strong in the Brampton net in his push to climb back to the AHL level and beyond.  But expect Fucale to remain with the Beast for the time being as Charlie Lindgren has been as spectacular in the net for the St. John’s IceCaps.

Brampton has steadily climbed up the standings and currently sits in third place in the North Division with three games in hand to the division-leading Adirondack Thunder. The home game on Sunday was the final game of three games in three days for the season where they have excelled despite the travel challenges.

Having recorded four wins in their past six games, the Beast have found the back of the net 22 times in those games and are averaging over four goals per game this young season. Team captain Brandon Marino and David Pacan are tied for the team lead in scoring with 13 points, but the Beast as a team have had consistent scoring from three of their four lines this season causing trouble for opposing teams.

The Beast received a temporary boost from the IceCaps as Connor Crisp was reassigned to  Brampton on Wednesday.  The former third round pick for the Montreal Canadiens (71st overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft had only appeared in two games for the IceCaps this season.  

Crisp, a big forward at 6-foot-2-inches, 220 pounds, likes to play with an edge. Injuries have affected his development with a shoulder injury in his OHL days and suffering a concussion last season with the IceCaps.  Crisp does have the ability to score, possessing a decent shot and a good stick around the net but has mainly been used in the enforcer role in the AHL.  

With Brampton, the power forward saw more ice time on the second and third line. Crisp delivered in his expanded role with three points in the three games he played with the Beast. Following the good showing over the weekend, Crisp was reassigned by the Canadiens to the IceCaps.

Brampton completes a home and home with Wheeling before another home and home, this time against the all too familiar Elmira Jackals.  To close out the month, the team is off to Florida to play a three game set against the Orlando Solar Bears, ECHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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