ST. JOHN’S, NL. – The only two Canadian teams in the ECHL will face off in the first round of the Kelly Cup playoffs. The Newfoundland Growlers are the new kids on the block, just finishing their first season in the league, while the Brampton Beast have been around a little longer (ECHL member since 2014). The Growlers had a phenomenal inaugural season, finishing the season at the top of the competitive North Division, and in the top three in the entire league.
Final Regular Season Records:
Newfoundland Growlers: 43-21-4-4 (1st in North Division, 2nd in Eastern Conference)
Brampton Beast: 36-29-5-2 (4th in North Division, 6th in Eastern Conference)
Game 1 – Friday, April 12 – Brampton at NEWFOUNDLAND 7 pm NT
Game 2 – Saturday, April 13 – Brampton at NEWFOUNDLAND 7 pm NT
Game 3 – Tuesday, April 16 – Newfoundland at BRAMPTON 7:15 pm ET
Game 4 – Thursday, April 18 – Newfoundland at BRAMPTON 7:15 ET
*Game 5 – Saturday, April 20 – Newfoundland at BRAMPTON 4 pm ET
*Game 6 – Tuesday, April 23 – Brampton at NEWFOUNDLAND 7 pm NT
*Game 7 – Wednesday, April 24 – Brampton at NEWFOUNDLAND 7 pm ET
Season Series Recap:
The Growlers and Beast met up 13 times in the regular season, with the Growlers winning the season series 8-5. Newfoundland outscored Brampton 47-39, winning five games by three-goal margins. The Beast did show some promise in their final two games against the Growlers, winning both games, and outscoring their opponent 13-6.
How Newfoundland Wins:
Shut down the Davids (Beast forwards David Vallorani and David Pacan). 2019 All-Star Pacan finished the regular season fifth in the ECHL with 70 points, with 11 coming against the Growlers. Of Vallorani’s 64 points, exactly 1/4 came against the Growlers (8 goals, 8 assists). He also recorded a hat trick in Brampton’s March 1 victory. The Growlers will rely heavily on goaltender Michael Garteig in this series, as he boasted a 6-1-0-0 record against the Beast in the regular season.
How Brampton Wins:
Stick with goaltender Etienne Marcoux. Their only other option is Jake Paterson, who struggled against the Growlers in the regular season, going 1-6-0-0. The Beast defense will have to help their goaltender by keeping Growlers forwards Scott Pooley, Zach O’Brien, and Josh Kestner away from the net. O’Brien finished the regular season seventh in the league with 68 points, with 12 of those points coming against the Beast. Kestner had 11 points in the season series, while Pooley contributed 13, including a hat trick on December 1.