BRAMPTON, ON – After being shutout in the school day game, the Beast looked to get on the winning track against a playoff foe from last year. The Royals came into the weekend on a two-game winning streak. Neither would get to keep their streaks alive in this rematch of last season’s opening round playoff series.
Game 15: vs Reading Royals
This series is a test of the Beast’s strength as they go toe-to-toe with the Philadelphia Flyers ECHL affiliate, the Reading Royals. On paper, the Royals were coming to Brampton as the odds-on favorites to win the game as they had seven wins in 11 games to Brampton’s five wins in 14 games. Knowing that the Royals are the least penalized team in the league, the Beast did not start off in the box as they have the last several games.
The only penalty of the first period went to the Royals due to a four-minute high-sticking penalty 14 minutes into the game. Instead, the Beast came out swinging to hit the back of the net, which they did about three minutes in with their second shot on net. Scott Jacklin got it behind John Muse after an ugly scramble in front of the net. Almost three minutes later, Reggie Traccitto received a pass from Willie Corrin and did not miss his chance for his second goal in as many games. Of note, Marcus Hogberg received an assist on that goal for his first pro point in North America.
Later, when the Beast got on their four-minute power play, they continued to underwhelm their opponent and only got off a shot or two at the net in that entire time. They actually played better at 5-on-5 then they did with the extra attacker. By no means did the 2-0 score at the end of the first represent the play by the Royals. While down the entire period, they never gave up or let the Beast breathe. Both Muse and Hogberg had many shots to deal with as the pucks were flying all 20 minutes. In the end, Muse had saved 16 and Hogberg had saved 15.
When the Royals came out in the second period, they came to score. They peppered Hogberg with 12 quality shots and had a lot of shots blocked by the Beast defensemen. They kept the pace of the game very high, rarely letting the Beast get a breather like the first. They again pushed a solid 20 minutes and looked to have the advantage as the Beast got dinged twice for penalties in the period. However, the Beast penalty kill was excellent and they managed to get more shorthanded shots on those two penalties than they did in their own power play. When the second period was over, it was the Beast that had added to their score and was now up 3-0. The only goal came five and a half minutes into the period as Alex Foster passed the puck to Corrin on the wing, Corrin passed it to Brandon Marino in front of the net, and Marino passed it back to the open Foster catching Muse trying to save the shot Marino never took.
Coming back for the third one could assume that the Royals would slow down as the defeated team, or try to score early and often. Starting the period with a few seconds left on Jordan Henry’s second period tripping call, the Royals came out very strong. They came out so strong that Matt Petgrave found himself taking Henry’s spot for slashing his man. This worked out to an almost four-minute power play for the Royals, broken up by the intermission.
The Beast penalty kill again exceeded expectations and held off this Royals’ attack and another a few minutes later when the beast again found themselves on the penalty kill for another slashing call. With all the penalties expired, the period was at the halfway mark when the Royals found a new gear and came charging for a goal. They attacked wave after wave with them getting almost all the remaining shots on goal as the Beast spent too much time in their end. With five seconds left, Steven Swavely stole the shutout and made no mistake about putting the puck in the net.
Score: Beast 3 – Royals 1
Shots: Beast 31 – Royals 37
Penalties: Beast 5 – Royals 1
Royals goal scored by Swavely (1). Assists from Adam Comrie (1) and Nolan Zajac (1).
Beast goals scored by Foster (1), Jacklin (1) and Traccitto (1).
Game 16: vs Reading Royals
With both teams staying in town, the rematch from Friday was going to be epic, with help from this being their Marvel-themed game: the Beast in their red and gold IronMan jerseys, and the Royals in their green Hulk jerseys. Brampton elected to start Hogberg in net, while the Royals swapped their goalies, starting with Mark Dekanich.
Wasting no time, the Royals came out strong and Alex Krushelnyski opened the scoring only 1:09 into the game. He also scored the Royals’ second goal just over six minutes later to give the Royals an early 2-0 lead. Both goals stunned the crowd with their speed and accuracy.
The best way to describe the first period is fast. While the period didn’t end incredibly quickly at just over 35 minutes, the pace was incredibly fast in both directions. There really were not a lot of chances for the usual slashing calls. Eventually, Comrie got two for tripping and just as that penalty ended Colin Martin got two for hooking.
Neither team was able to do any damage on their power plays in the first period and the pace remained fast. Fournier got a nice feed from Chris Leveille and did not miss his chance. Still on a roll, under a minute later Foster tipped in the shot from Marino to make it a tie 2-2 game with about 3:30 left in the period. This is how the period would end, but not how the second period would start.
Right off the first shift, Swavely put the puck behind Hogberg and again stunned the crowd to take back the league. The Beast remained oh-fer on their two power plays and the Royals were held off the scoresheet on their three power plays in the second period. Neither team giving up the goal when a man down.
When the Royals scored late in the second to go back up two goals, all six goals in the game had been scored in 5-on-5 play. Interestingly, both teams played best when down a man. The second period was owned by neither team as both put bodies in front of shots and took away the angles. Even though the period ended 4-2 for the Royals, it was a very even period. Which takes us to the third period.
The best word to describe the third period is exciting. Whether you liked the eventual outcome or not, this period was action packed from end to end. Neither team allowing the other to get the edge. Like the two goals that the Royals had in the second period, the Beast scored two goals on chances just like many other shots. The first was Foster’s second goal of the night, again assisted by Leveille, and the second was Traccitto’s third goal in as many games. With Traccitto’s power-play goal the game was now tied with about 13 minutes left. His goal came as the Royals were down 5-on-3 with only two seconds left in the first penalty.
With that goal, the Beast were buzzing as they still had time on the second penalty for the go-ahead goal. Dekanich would have none of that as he made some really good saves and stopped the play with seven seconds left in that penalty. As if taunting the Beast, Tyler Brown got two minutes for hooking with about 9:30 left in regulation time. Again the Beast did not capitalize on that power play, but 30 seconds after that power play Henry got his third goal of the year on a beauty pass from Petgrave.
With about 3:20 left in the period Jackson Leef took unnecessary goalie interference call when he ran into Dekanich. The remained of the game had the Royals on the attack, pulling the goalie with a minute left after Leef’s penalty ended. The Beast really only had one chance on the empty net as Marino passed to Jacklin, who just missed the open net by inches from the red line.
When the horn sounded, IronMan (aka the Beast) had vanquished their fifth game in a row, making up for their season starting six straight losses, and got themselves back to .500. The ceremonial puck drop was done by the great Paul Coffee, so I’ll just leave this here for you from the anthems.
Score: Beast 5 – Royals 4
Shots: Beast 35 – Royals 27
Penalties: Beast 5 – Royals 6
Royals goals scored by Michael Huntebrinker (1), Krushelnyski (2) and Swavely (1).
Beast goals scored by Foster (2), Fournier (1), Henry (1) and Traccitto (1).
Week 7 Games:
The Beast continue their November journey with two more home games against two of their longtime Central rivals.
November 23: Brampton Beast vs Kalamazoo Wings
November 26: Brampton Beast vs Toledo Walleye