BRAMPTON, ON – This past week, the Beast traveled to their division rival in Wheeling for the last 2-in-2 before the Christmas break. These games are often close and hold promise to be entertaining hockey games.
December 22: at Wheeling Nailers
The game certainly did not start like the first one in over five days for both teams. It actually started like it was the second game in a back-to-back as Stefan Fournier and Jeremy Beirnes both dropped their gloves as soon as the puck was dropped. The scoring started when Garrett Meurs started the scoring early, but was quickly followed by a Nathan Todd goal with a tip-in on a shot by Brandon MacLean.
The game-winning goal came just after the midway point of the first as Brandon Marino scored. The final goal of the game came in the second period when Jordan Henry got the puck out of the defensive zone to Todd, who skated down with ice with Matt Petgrave, and took the shot to beat Adam Morrison on the stick side. This short-handed goal was Todd’s second of the game.
Morrison did not have to deal with a lot of noise as he only faced 20 shots in total. Meanwhile, Marcus Hogberg ended up with 44 saves and the second star of the night. In the end, the Beast walked away with the win in the first game, and all three stars, which is rare for an away team in the ECHL.
Beast goals scored by Marino (1) and Todd (2). Assists from Luc-Olivier Blain (1), Mike Folkes (2), Henry (1), Chris Leveille (1) and MacLean (1).
Nailers goal scored by Meurs and assisted by Cam Brown and Ross McMullan.
December 23: at Wheeling Nailers
This game started like Friday’s game as the Nailers got the early first goal from Riley Bourbonnais. However, that is where the similarity ended. Hogberg had done well enough that Ottawa recalled him back to Belleville leaving Zach Fucale as the starter and Andrew D’Agogstini in the back-up spot. Fucale had not played since December 3rd for Brampton, and his rust was showing in the first period as he let in two of his first five shots.
While the Beast almost doubled their shot total compared to the previous game, they only managed to beat Will King twice, and both times were in the third period. The Beast were already down 4-0 when Blain worked hard for the puck in a scramble in front of the net, and got the power play goal. Less than two minutes later, the Nailers put the game away with their own power play goal. Unfortunately for the Beast fans, any hope they had was snuffed out when Reid Gardiner put the puck in the empty net on the final Beast power play.
Credit to the guys as Scott Jacklin worked hard to win the face-off and then chipped in a goal on King with less than a minute left in the game. In the end, the Beast offense did not get any quality shots on King and Fucale was too rusty to keep the game close. It is interesting to note that King had tried out for the Beast team, but got cut in training camp, before getting picked up by Wheeling.
Beast goals scored by Blain (1) and Jacklin (1). Assists from Stefan Fournier (1), Petgrave (1), Todd (1) and Traccitto (1).
Nailers goals scored by Bourbonnais (2), Fejes (2), Gardiner (1) and Jaynen Rissling (1). Assists from Brown (2), Fejes (1), King (1), Ross McMullan (1), Meurs (1), Kevin Schulze (1) and Nick Sorkin (1).
Week 12 Games:
The Beast stay on the road for the next three games in four nights, where they will take on those rascally rabbits in Greenville for a 2-in-2 and then celebrate New Year’s Eve in Cincinnati in a 6 pm game.
December 28: at Greenville Swamp Rabbits
December 29: at Greenville Swamp Rabbits
December 31: at Cincinnati Cyclones
This Week in Player Movements
The big news this week came just after the holiday trade freeze as forward Kevin Dufour was traded to Wichita Thunder for defenseman Jamie Doornbosch. Dufour went on to play that first day and scored a goal on four shots.
December 20: Daniel Ciampini (F) was recalled by Belleville
December 21: Zachary Fucale (G) was assigned from Laval by Montreal
December 21: Nathan Todd (F) was activated from reserve
December 23: Marcus Hogberg (G) was recalled to Belleville by Ottawa
December 25: Merry Christmas!
December 26: Matt Petgrave (D) was loaned to Toronto Marlies
December 27: Kevin Dufour (F) was traded to Wichita for Jamie Doornbosch (added to roster)