BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast came into this past week looking to put together a winning streak as they took on the Adirondack Thunder and the Reading Royals in their second three-in-three in January. These were important games they needed to win to get back into the hunt for the playoffs.
January 19: at Adirondack Thunder
The last time the Beast played it was in Brampton versus the Thunder in a high scoring 6-5 win. That win broke the Beast six-game losing streak. They went into Glens Falls with the intent of improving their record of 2-3-1 this season against the Thunder. The first period started well enough as the Beast got an improbable goal from Nathan Todd who scored, unassisted, from behind the goal line. It was a beauty as Drew Fielding had the post covered, but the shot made it in the net anyways. Zach Fucale returned to the Beast and looked as sharp as the last time he played for Brampton.
While that game saw the Beast lose 2-1, Fucale was in top form that night. The Beast have to go back all the way to their January 5th game in Reading for their last period without a penalty. With five seconds left on the clock, Alex Foster got two minutes for hooking to mar the period with the only penalty awarded. The Beast were outshot in the period, but there were a lot of blocked shots for both teams, skewing the shot count for both teams.
The second period started with a hot Thunder team on the power play. Fucale and the Beast were strong as they killed the penalty off with time to spare. Halfway through the period, Foster tipped in Daniel Ciampini’s shot, which was the only goal in the frame. Both Fielding and Fucale played very well even though most of the shots were blocked during the period. Only 18 shots made it to the two nets, which was an improvement over the 12 in the first period.
The second period is actually notable for the penalty explosion that occurred as they two familiar teams started to get chippy. Chris Leveille started with slashing in the second half of the period, and then Tim Harrison gets two for roughing on a questionable hit from behind on Luc-Olivier Blain. When they were back to even players, Brandon Marino and Mathieu Brodeur got unrelated penalties. Then things got really exciting as Vincent Dunn and Tim Harrison got into a big fight, which was followed a short time later by Mike Folkes with the high-sticking call. He didn’t like that he got four minutes and so he received a 10 minute misconduct penalty as well. That took the game to the end of the second.
The Beast needed to start the third period strong, but instead Reggie Traccitto got called for tripping, putting the Beast down 5-on-3. The Beast recovered and killed off both penalties, but then let down their guard and Evan Neugold broke the shutout. With only the single penalty earned in the third period, the Beast settled into a nice gameplan and shut the Thunder down with two more goals. The first was from Leveille (now on a four-game scoring streak) and assisted by Marino. The second was Todd’s second goal of the night from both Leveille and Marino. Fielding was not destroyed by any sense of the word, but his save percentage was a low .778, which is very uncommon for him.
In the end, the Beast ended up with their first back-to-back wins since mid-December. This marked the first time since David Ling returned to the Beast that he did register a point in a game. It is worth noting that Marino assisted on three of the four Beast goal in the game.
Beast goals scored by Foster (1), Leveille (1) and Todd (2). Assists from Ciampini (1), Leveille (2), Marino (3) and David Vallorani (1). Beast shot leaders were Ciampini, Dunn and Foster with three each.
Thunder goal scored by Neugold and was assisted by Matthew Spencer and Stephen Johnson. Thunder shot leaders were Neugold, Harrison and Pierre-Luc Mercier with five each.
January 20: at Reading Royals
The Beast entered Reading with the intent of continuing their recent winning ways . The Royals had other ideas in mind as Derek Whitmore picked up a Beast pass and put a rocket in behind Andrew D’Agostini with their third shot of the game. Almost exactly two minutes later, James de Haas found a path through the crowd to give the Royals a two-goal lead just about six minutes into the game. This second goal was scored on the power play as Willie Corrin got caught with the cross-check on his man.
The Beast, who had only two shots on net at this point, picked up their play. Four shots later, Scott Jacklin put one past John Muse to make it a more interesting 2-1 game. Like the Royals, about two minutes later the Beast scored their second of the game. Dunn put Folkes’ rebound in past Muse, in a play that the goalie relies on help from his defensemen. The period ended the way it started: a tie game.
The second period was a bit of a clinic put on by Muse. He faced 18 shots from the Beast (their total shot count in Glens Falls the previous night) and only one got past him. That goal cannot even be blamed on him as his defense failed him again. Ciampini passed the puck to Ling, who passed it back to the now open Ciampini, who one-timed it into the netting. Neither the Beast nor the Royals could capitalize on their only power plays of the period. D’Agostini was challenged on each of the Royals five chance in the period, but he held strong and kept the Beast ahead. There were a couple scuffles in the period, but nothing worth writing about as the officials have both teams in check.
Everyone in the building expected the Royals to come out hard to get that tying goal. Brian Morgan did not let them down and put the puck into the net just after the two minute mark. While the Beast manage to go without a penalty for the first time since January 5th, they were not able to capitalize on this. This was unfortunate, as the bulk of the power play was in the Overtime period. Muse found his zone and stopped all 16 shots in the third and three more in the bonus frame. Other than that one goal early, D’Agostini stopped 10 in the third and four in overtime.
In the shoot-out round the Beast failed to score while both Royals’ players found twine. The Beast fell to the Royals for the second time this season in Santander Arena, giving each team the home wins in the season, with their next match the following day. It is interesting to note that the Beast are now 2-3-1 when they register 40 or more shots on goal in a game.
Beast goals scored by Ciampini (1), Dunn (1) and Jacklin (1). Assists from Ciampini (1), Paul Cianfrini (1), Cody Donaghey (1), Folkes (1) and Ling (1). Beast shot leaders were Corrin with eight and Donaghey with seven.
Royals goals scored by de Haas (1), Morgan (1) and Whitmore (1). Assists from Mark Bennett (1), Matt Wilkins (1), Matt Willows (2) and Nolan Zajac (1). Royals shot leaders were Willows with five and several others with three.
January 21: at Reading Royals
After Saturday night, it was not clear what kind of game this was going to be. It was clear that the Beast did not want to fall behind early like the previous game. They came out shooting and got the first few shots on goal. However, Dunn was called for roughing two minutes in and the Royals took control of the game. Until the returning Adam Schmidt was called for boarding, neither team was able to score on their opening power plays and the game continued. 11 minutes in, Fucale made the first stop on a scoring chance, but could not stop the rebound off Traccitto’s skate and Frank Hora put Reading up by one. The rest of the period was mostly controlled by the Beast as they ended up putting 17 shots on Mark Dekanich, who stopped them all. At the end of the period, Jamie Doornbosch got two minutes for holding, so the Beast would start the second period on the penalty kill.
The Beast started off the frame with a solid penalty kill and allowed only one shot on net. Once the penalty was over, the Royals kept the puck going back to Fucale until just past the four minute mark, at which point the long named Michael Huntebrinker got two minutes for holding Traccitto to the ground. On this power play, the Beast hounded the Royals and specifically Dekanich, which eventually lead to Corrin’s first goal of the game. This goal came off a face-off win by Leveille who specially called for a pass to Corrin, which worked out wonderfully for the Beast as it was now a tie game with just under 14 minutes left in the second period. That would prove to be the only power play goal of the game, and ended the Royals last lead of the night. Just over a minute later Brandon MacLean scored an awkward goal after the Beast again won the offensive zone face-off.
After a Royals penalty was called three minutes later, the Beast again dominated the play and kept it going after the teams were at even strength so that the Royals could not get a shot on net. With six minutes left in the period, Corrin got his second of the night to make it 3-1 for the Beast. For the third time in the period, the Beast scored after winning the offensive zone face-off. As the play moved to the right side, Corrin snuck in the back and buried the pass in the open net. The Royals fans got excited when 30 seconds later Matt Petgrave got two for tripping. The Beast again had an excellent penalty kill as they only allowed a single shot on net. The period ended with the Beast up 3-1 with three unanswered goals.
The Royals came out strong for the third and had the Beast a little worried. Traccitto would get an early penalty, but the Beast would hold strong. However, it was all Royals on the shot count until the six minute mark when Dunn put a couple on Dekanich. The Royals would eventually outshoot the Beast 16-8 in the period, but Fucale had an excellent night with the help of his defense. He only allowed one goal from Bennett with about five and a half minutes left in the third. That was too little too late for the Royals as that only put the score at 4-2. The Beast having scored two minutes earlier off a Ling shot from the blue line, the Royals’ second goal just didn’t have the energy it would of if the oldest active man in pro hockey hadn’t already scored on what was effectively a dump-in.
The Royals would continue to push hard for the next goal, but the Beast would not allow this to happen. At the three minute mark, they pulled their goalie for the extra man and were looking dangerous. Marino put an end to that with a nifty steal at the Beast blue line and then walked the puck into the empty net for the final goal of the game.
In the end, the Beast earned five of a possible six points on the weekend and found themselves back at .500 for the first time since December 23rd.
Beast goals scored by Corrin (2), Ling (1), MacLean (1) and Marino (1). Assists from Blain (1), Ciampini (1), Corrin (1), Doornbosch (1), Dunn (1), Foster (1), Ling (1), MacLean (1), Marino (1) and Traccitto (1). Beast shot leaders were Blain with six and Todd with five.
Royals goals scored by Bennett (1) and Hora (1). Assists from Bennett (1), Wilkins (1) and Willows (1). Royals shot leaders were Bennett with six and several others at three.
Week 16 Games:
With the Beast back to a streak of points in four straight (3-0-1) they returned to .500 hockey. Next week includes a midweek game at home before they have their third three-in-htree in January and second in a row. This is highlighted by a home-and-home with Toledo and a rematch with Reading in Brampton.
January 24: vs Quad City Mallards
January 26: vs Toledo Walleye
January 27: at Toledo Walleye
January 28: vs Reading Royals
This Week in Player Movements
The big news this week came when Fucale was reassigned to the Beast from Laval. This gave the Beast a pretty good pair of goalies to share games. This didn’t last long as he was recalled to Laval at the end of the weekend.
January 18: Patrick Spano (G) was released
January 18: Zachary Fucale (G) was assigned from Laval by Montreal
January 18: Stefan Fournier (F) was placed on Injured Reserve (effective 1/1)
January 18: Paul Cianfrini (D) was placed on reserve
January 19: Paul Cianfrini (D) was activated from reserve
January 19: Reggie Traccitto (D) was activated from reserve
January 19: Cody Donaghey (D) was placed on reserve
January 19: Scott Jacklin (F) was placed on reserve
January 20: Cody Donaghey (D) was activated from reserve
January 20: Scott Jacklin (F) was activated from reserve
January 20: David Vallorani (F) was placed on reserve
January 20: Reggie Traccitto (D) was placed on reserve
January 21: Reggie Traccitto (D) was activated from reserve
January 21: Cody Donaghey, (D) was placed on reserve
January 22: Zachary Fucale (G) was recalled to Laval by Montreal
January 22: Willie Corrin (D) was loaned to Belleville