by Mike Ries, Staff Writer, AHL Report
BRAMPTON, ON — How quickly things can change! As we told you last week, the Beast tied a franchise record with six consecutive wins. Brampton played three games in three days last weekend, coming away with three of a possible six points.
The tough schedule started at home on Friday night against the Cincinnati Cyclones, the ECHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres. Zach Fucale was back in goal for the Beast having been assigned to the Beast for the weekend series. In Fucale’s 2017-18 Beast debut, Brampton fell 4-2 but made it interesting with two goals in the third period before the Cyclones put the game away with an empty-netter.
On Saturday, the Beast traveled to Adirondack for a night game against the Thunder. More than 4,000 fans were treated to an entertaining game at Cool Insuring Arena that was not decided until the ninth round of a shootout. Brampton fell 4-3 to Adirondack in the shootout with story of the game being Beast goaltender Marcus Hogberg with 48 saves.
The Beast arrived back from Adirondack at 6:30 am. Sunday morning for a 2:05 pm. start at the Powerade Centre. The opponents were, once again, the Cincinnati Cyclones who had been cooling their heels in Brampton since Friday.
Fucale also stayed in Brampton rather than making the quick road trip. He got the start on Sunday afternoon. With two third period goals, Brampton came away with the 3-2 win. Brandon MacLean got the game-winning, shorthanded goal with just two minutes remaining. It was MacLean’s second marker of the game.
Forward Alex Foster continues to excel as the number one center with 10 points in 10 games for the Beast this season. Brampton is receiving scoring throughout the lineup this season. The balanced scoring attack features four defencemen with at least nine points in the 20 games played this season. One of those d-men, Willie Corrin, is currently in Laval after receiving a recall last month.
The Beast are in fifth place in the North Division of the Eastern Conference just two points ahead of the Worcester Railers, who they face on Sunday afternoon.
The Beast penalty-kill has improved from 16th in the league to a very respectable 11th overall at 84.5 per cent efficiency. Brampton has allowed 17 goals while shorthanded in 110 chances while scoring three shorthanded goals. The Beast power-play sits at a 15.6 per cent success rate which is 18th in the ECHL having scored 14 goals in 90 chances.
The Beast have for the most part settled their roster for the time being and only made two roster moves receiving forward Vincent Dunn from the Belleville Senators and temporarily adding goaltender Zach Fucale from the Laval Rocket. Both forward Brian Cameron and defenceman Tyson Wilson remain on injured reserve with no date set for their return.
It’s a light load for Brampton this week as there is only one game on the schedule. The Beast will host the Worcester Railers on Sunday. It will be the annual Teddy Bear Toss game.
The following week will be another challenging three games in three days series with two dates at the Powerade Centre and the middle game on the road.