Beast Set New ECHL Franchise Wins Record With 4-2 Win Over Jackals
ELMIRA, NEW YORK – The Brampton Beast scored three goals in just over three minutes in the second period, including a pair of goals from Chris Auger, and didn’t look back as they completed the three-game sweep against the Elmira Jackals with a 4-2 victory at First Arena on Saturday night.
Auger, Chris Leveille and Lucas Venuto scored for the Beast who have now established a new ECHL franchise record for wins in a season with 24. The previous record was set by both the 2015-16 and 2014-15 squads, who both ended their respective seasons with 23 wins.
It didn’t take long for the animosity that has built up between these two teams over the last two games to reach a tipping point. Just three seconds into the game, sticks and gloves went flying as Connor Crisp and Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel squared off in an entertaining fight, sending the First Arena crowd and both benches into a frenzy.
The Beast were the first to find the back of the net and did so early in the first period. Just as former Beast defenseman Guy Leboeuf exited the penalty box to return the Jackals to even strength, Lucas Venuto located a puck on the left side of the goal and sent a low shot along the ice from a tough angle. The puck eluded Jackals starter Andy Iles under the pads, giving Venuto his second goal of the season at 5:49.
The Beast carried the 1-0 lead into the early moments of the second period until Casey Thrush snuck in back door and beat Beast starting goaltender Zach Fucale to tie the game at 2:29.
Elmira took advantage of the momentum and quickly pounced again to take a 2-1 lead thanks to Sebastian Sylvestre capitalizing on an odd-man rush at 3:43.
The Jackals maintained their lead late into the second period but the potent Beast offense would not be denied any longer.
Chris Leveille received a perfect pass from David Vallorani and made no mistake, burying his seventh goal of the season at 15:41.
The Beast maintained their impressive offensive pressure throughout the final moments of the second period and were once again rewarded for their efforts.
Mathieu Gagnon, who finished the game with two helpers, sent a shot toward the goal that was knocked down by a Jackals defender. Chris Auger swatted at the loose puck on his backhand and got just enough of it to get it by the netminder for Auger’s 11th goal of the season at 17:34.
Auger continued his hot play and buried his second goal of the night just over a minute later. David Pacan located Auger in the slot with a perfect pass and Auger sniped a low shot that beat Iles cleanly, giving the Beast a 4-2 edge at 18:51.
The third period was a defensive clinic for the Beast. They limited the hungry Jackals offense to just eight third period shots.
Beast starting goaltender Zach Fucale was rock solid from start to finish and made 27 saves. Iles took the loss with a busy 33-save night.
Notes: Molson Three Stars: 3) Fucale (BRM) 2) Leveille (BRM) 1) Auger (BRM). The Beast finished the game 0-for-3 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill. Brampton returns to action on Friday, February 10 as they host the Toledo Walleye at the Powerade Centre. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 PM.