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Brampton Beast Host Fan Event [Gallery]

By Rabita, Photographer, All Habs Hockey Magazine

(Photo by Brampton Beast)
(Photo by Brampton Beast)

BRAMPTON, ON. — On Wednesday, the Brampton Beast, the ECHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, held a fan event to kick off the 2015-16 season.

First, season ticket holders were invited to paint the lines on the ice at the Powerade Centre. Then Beast fans gathered at the Real Stars Bar and Grill, just inside the Powerade Centre, to witness the announcement of the Beast’s latest player signing.

The Beast signed former Brampton Battalion (OHL) goaltender Bryan Pitton. Read the full announcement here.

Beast GM Cary Kaplan said, “A team can only go as far as its goaltending will take them. From his days leading the Brampton Battalion, to his recent dominance in Allen leading the Americans to the CHL Championship in 2014, Bryan is a proven leader and stellar goaltender.”

Habs fans will watch with interest to see which prospects in the Canadiens system, including a goaltender, will be sent to Brampton.

Bryan Pitton (Photo by Rabita Navqi | Rocket Sports Media)
Bryan Pitton (Photo by Rabita Naqvi | Rocket Sports Media)

 

Additional photos from the Brampton Beast goalie signing event (all photos by Rabita Naqvi | Rocket Sports Media):

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Beast news

Brampton Beast Sign Goaltender Bryan Pitton

Beast Sign 2013-14 CHL Champion and Former Brampton Battalion Goalie Bryan Pitton

Bryan Pitton (Photo by Brampton Beast)
Bryan Pitton (Photo by Brampton Beast)

Brampton Beast Media Release

BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast is proud to announce the signing of Central Hockey League Champion and former Brampton Battalion goaltender Bryan Pitton.

The 6’3” goaltender was selected in the 5th round by the Edmonton Oilers during the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Bryan is the brother of Jason Pitton, who is currently the franchise’s points leader (100 points in 136 GP) and finished last season with 22 goals.

Bryan is no stranger to playing in Brampton. He spent his entire his OHL career with the Brampton Battalion and played a total of 124 games for the club between 2005-06 and 2007-08 and is looking forward to returning home to the Flower City.

“Excitement comes to mind,” Pitton said of the opportunity to play in Brampton. “It’s been eight or nine years since I’ve been back home. Just the idea of being close to family and friends and to get to play where I spent three special years of my life is exciting.”

Last season, Pitton was a rock between the pipes for KH Sanok in the Polish Hockey League and compiled a 1.97 goals against average and a league-best .934 save percentage in 44 games.

Beast President and General Manager Cary Kaplan believes Pitton’s vast experience makes him a valuable asset to the Beast for the 2015-16 season.

“Signing Bryan Pitton is very substantial for the Beast,” said Kaplan. “A team can only go as far as its goaltending will take them. From his days leading the Brampton Battalion, to his recent dominance in Allen leading the Americans to the CHL Championship in 2014, Bryan is a proven leader and stellar goaltender”.

Prior to Pitton’s time in Poland, he spent the 2013-14 season in the now-defunct Central Hockey League and helped the Allen Americans to a league championship. He had great season with a 2.75 goals-against-average and .916 save percentage in 43 regular season contests. Pitton was near-unbeatable during the CHL playoffs and posted a 2.20 goals-against-average and .931 save percentage in 17 games.

“It is also appropriate at this time to thank Bryan’s brother Jason Pitton for his significant contributions to the franchise in our first two seasons,” said the Beast president and general manager. “Jason was one of the original ambassadors of the Beast and made a big impact both on and off the ice.”

Bryan made his professional debut with the AHL’s Springfield Falcons at the end of the 2007-08 season and has suited up for 17 AHL contests between the Falcons and Oklahoma City Barons.

His transition back to North American hockey should be an easy one, as he already has 127 games of ECHL experience under his belt from stints with the Stockton Thunder and Bakersfield Condors between 2008-09 and 2011-12.

Pitton headed overseas following the 2011-12 hockey season and landed with the Fife Flyers in the Elite Ice Hockey League in the United Kingdom, where he posted the busiest season of his professional career and suited up for 52 games and recorded a 2.89 goals against average to compliment his .907 save percentage.

Pitton’s success has made him a hot commodity over the last two seasons and Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk is excited to see what the 27-year-old will bring to the team.

“Bryan is an elite goalie who has led Allen to the CHL championship,” said Chaulk. “He gives our team a chance to win every night and has the ability to give his teammates a calm confidence. His compete and maturity is immeasurable in our league.”

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Beast news

Brampton Beast Sign Longueuil Native Luc-Olivier Blain

Beast Agree to Terms with Former CIS Rookie of the Year

Luc Blain
Luc Blain

Brampton Beast Media Release

BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast are proud to announce the signing of forward Luc Blain. Blain returns to Canada after spending the past two seasons with Anglet in the France2 league where he served as alternate captain in his last year and led the league in scoring with 47 points (17G, 30A) in 24 games.

“Luc is a solid two-way centreman who makes plays and provides offense,” said Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk. “I expect Luc to earn important minutes for the Beast this season.”

Prior to his professional career, the 6’3, 200 pound centreman played three years in the CIS at the University of Ottawa. Blain had an outstanding rookie year, scoring four goals in his second game of the season and was named CIS athlete of the week his first week playing with the team. Blain recorded 52 points (16G, 36A) and broke the record for rookie with the most points in the CIS. The centreman also finished second in Canada in scoring and was named Rookie of the Year.

Following a successful season, Blain was approached by numerous ECHL teams to attend tryouts but decided to attain his communications degree instead. The 26-year-old went on to be assistant captain in his second year and was named captain of the team in his third season.

“The team that Chaulk is putting together looks promising this year,” said the Quebec native. “I’m a two-way center and good with face-offs. After spending some time in Europe, I’m excited to be back in Canada playing North American style hockey again. I’m eager to get the season going and to meet the team and the Beast fans.”

During the off-season, Blain trains on and off the ice with his brother Jeremie along with other AHL and NHL players at a gym in Montreal. Jeremie was a fourth round Edmonton Oilers Draft Pick in 2010 and played with the Kalamazoo K-Wings of the ECHL last season where Chaulk served as assistant coach of Kalamazoo at the time.

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Beast news Ignore

Brampton Beast Sign ECHL Scoring Champ Brandon Marino

Beast Sign ECHL Scoring Champion Brandon Marino

Brandon_Marino

Brampton Beast Media Release

BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast are excited to announce the acquisition of 2012 CHL MVP and 2014 ECHL Top Scorer, Brandon Marino. During those years, from 2012 – 2014, Marino scored more points than any other AA hockey player at the CHL and ECHL level.

The California native will be the first American-born player signed by the Beast in franchise history, demonstrating the Beast’s focus on building the best team possible regardless of nationality.

“Brandon Marino is an elite ECHL scorer and simply one of the league’s best all-around players,” said Beast President and General Manager Cary Kaplan. “We wanted the first US player that the Brampton Beast have ever signed to make a statement on our commitment to winning for our fans. With Brandon, Yannick Tifu, Scott Howes and Cal Wild as our four veteran players, we are confident in our powerful leadership core.”

The fourth veteran player signed to the Beast this offseason (out of a maximum of four veteran spots allowed per team), Marino is an elite forward with a proven ability to score, having notched 162 points in 143 ECHL games across two seasons with the Fort Wayne Komets. He was named Team MVP and “Mr. Hustle” for being the hardest working player on the squad both years he was with the Komets, in addition to bringing home one of the league’s most coveted awards as the ECHL’s top scorer in 2013-2014.

“I was given the opportunity to play on the first line and on the powerplay, much of the time with Chris Auger,” said Marino of his success with the Komets. “Having good teammates to play with, that’s what its all about. You’re only as good as the guys you’re playing with, and I think with the group [Colin] Chaulk is putting together we are going to be a tough team to beat.”

After spending last season overseas in the EBEL, Austria’s top tier hockey league, it was largely the recruiting of Head Coach Chaulk that brought the former scoring champion to Brampton.

“Chaulk was definitely a huge part of it, there was a lot of mutual respect from our time together in Fort Wayne,” said Marino. “His demeanor in the room when he was playing, and then the way he took on the assistant coaching duties when he wasn’t able to play, I saw how good of a coach he is going to be. The intelligence he has for the game, his commitment to winning, and the fact that he played at this level for so many years are a dangerous combination.”

Prior to suiting up for the Komets, Marino spent two years playing for the Quad City Mallards of the CHL. In his second season with the team, he led the league in goals (41) and was second in points (90) in just 65 regular season games, earning him the title of CHL MVP in 2011-2012.

“Marino is a former league MVP and scoring champion, whose speed and will to win are unmatched,” said Coach Chaulk. “Most importantly he can play in all situations, and will be a valuable asset for the Beast this season.”

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Beast news Ignore

Brampton Beast Re-Sign Defenceman Mathew Maione

Fan Favourite Maione Returns to the Beast

Maione

Brampton Beast Media Release

BRAMPTON, ON — The Brampton Beast are excited to announce the re-signing of 24-year-old defenseman and last season’s Rookie and Fan Favourite Player of the Year Mathew Maione.

Maione notched 43 points (14 goals and 29 assists) in 69 games for Brampton, leading all ECHL rookie blueliners in scoring and coming in 10th overall in scoring among ECHL defensemen.

“Mathew had a true breakout season last year,” said team President and General Manager Cary Kaplan. “He was consistently our best defenseman and often our best player. Known for his breakaway speed and great on-ice instincts, I feel the Beast faithful will be really excited about this signing. We are looking forward to Mathew being a big part of what is shaping up to be a powerful roster in Brampton this season.”

Despite several offers to play in Europe in the fall, Maione chose to remain in the GTA and continue his professional career with the Beast for the upcoming year. The close proximity to home has allowed the offensive-minded defender to once again train with renowned fitness guru and feared NHL forward Gary Roberts at St. Andrew’s College during the offseason.

“I love working out with Gary, he’s an awesome guy who is extremely competitive and I feel like I’m in great shape coming into this season,” said Maione. “Truthfully I just want to get started. I’m excited about the team Chaulk is putting together, and to play for a guy who was a captain for ten years in Fort Wayne where he won five championships is going to make us a really tough team to play against.”

Maione suited up for four seasons of CIS hockey with the University of Prince Edward Island before beginning his professional debut with the Fort Wayne Koments in the spring of 2014. During his university hockey career, Maione tallied 65 points (9 goals, 56 assists) in 112 games to go along with 102 penalty minutes and a +24 rating.

“Maione is a smooth skating, puck-moving defenseman who has a natural confidence and poise with the puck,” said Head Coach Colin Chaulk. “Given his ability and skill on the ice we expect him to be able to contribute both offensively and defensively for the Beast.”

In 2013 Maione represented both the University of PEI and Atlantic University Sports in the International University Sports Federation Games in Italy, where the young blueliner scored the game-winning goal for Team Canada in the tournament final to defeat Kazakhstan and bring home the gold medal.

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Beast news

Habs ECHL Affiliate Brampton Beast Sign Defenseman Francis Meilleur

Beast Sign France’s “Meilleur” Defenseman

Brampton Beast Media Release

BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast are excited to announce that Francis Meilleur has been signed as the second defenseman to anchor the Brampton blueline for the 2015-2016 season.

Meilleur joins the Beast after spending his past two years in the Ligue Magnus in France, where he tallied 32 points (6 goals, 26 assists) in 52 games between the Dolphins Epinal and LHC Lions, in addition to seven points in 11 playoff matches.

“I’ve been away for two years in Europe, so I’m pretty excited to come back and play in Canada,” said Meilleur of his time overseas. “I enjoyed my experience in France but I missed the North American style of hockey. I wanted to come back, play closer to home, and be a part of the hockey atmosphere here in Brampton. People take the game way more seriously here and I can’t wait to get started.”

Prior to signing his first European contract, Meilleur suited up for 124 ECHL games with the Greenville Road Warriors, Bakersfield Condors and Las Vegas Wranglers. The Longueuil, Quebec native became instantly known for his ability to contribute at both ends of the ice, a trait that has drawn the attention of coaches since his days of playing junior in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

“Francis is a puck-moving defenseman with over 100 games of ECHL experience,” said Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk. “He has a well-rounded skill set on the ice and I expect him to be able to contribute in both the offensive and defensive zones.”

During his four-year junior career in the QMJHL, Meilleur logged 139 points and 205 penalty minutes in 264 games, in addition to a +76 rating. He was named alternate captain of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in his third season with the team before being traded to the Montreal Juniors for his final year.

https://youtu.be/Ybh0nqPRZcg

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Beast news Ignore

Four Free Agents Invited to Brampton Beast Training Camp

Four Free Agents Make Beast Training Camp

(photo by Brampton Beast)

Brampton Beast Media Release

BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast, proud ECHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, are excited to announce that four players from the Free Agent Camp held from July 24-26 have been invited to the Beast’s main Training Camp this September.

Goaltender Paul Dorsey, forward Luke Sandler, defenseman Ben MacAskill and former Beast blueliner Dean Willmott were chosen from a prospect pool of 76 total participants to advance to the next level of selection and battle for a spot on the 2015-2016 Beast roster.

“The quality of the players was a lot higher than in previous seasons,” said Beast front office staffer Mike Pupo, who assisted in the coordination of the camp and players over the past two years. “There was also a lot more diversity on the ice with players coming from a wide variety of hockey levels and leagues around the world.”

Beast President and General Manager Cary Kaplan agreed that there was a much bigger buzz around the camp this summer, given the Beast’s solidified position in the ECHL and affiliation with the Canadiens.

“Over the course of our three seasons here in Brampton, this was without a doubt the largest, most intense and most competitive Free Agent Camp that we have run,” said Kaplan. “The response from the guys on the ice was incredible. As a result, we are inviting four players to our main training camp this fall, each of whom will battle for a roster spot with the Beast.”

Assistant Coach Peter Goulet, who oversaw the Free Agent Camp, also provided an update on the Boston Chowder Cup Tournament he participated in from July 16 – 19, 2015. Goulet assembled and entered a team into the Senior Jr. A Elite Division, composed of players aged 18-20 years old, against a field of 58 total teams. Former participants in this tournament include six prospects selected in the first round of the 2015 NHL entry draft, among them No. 2 overall selection Jack Eichel and No. 5 pick Noah Hanifin, out of a total of 41 NHL draft picks from this past year alone.

“I have been bringing teams to the Boston Chowder Cup for the last 14 years,” said Goulet of the experience. “Of those years, I have coached teams into the Semi-Finals twice, only to come up short both times. This summer was my third trip to the Semi-Finals, with a team that had only five players who played Jr. A Hockey in Canada last year, and while we didn’t win the tournament I was extremely impressed with the way the team came together against some very high-level competition. We look to build off these very successful results when we return to Boston next season with teams in both the Senior Jr. A Elite, College Open, and 2000/2001 Divisions.”

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Beast news

Habs ECHL Affiliate Brampton Beast Sign Forwards Yannick Tifu, Chris Auger

Beast Add Elite Scorers Tifu and Auger

Yannick Tifu, Chris Auger (photo by Brampton Beast)

Brampton Beast Media Release

BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast, proud ECHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, are excited to announce the addition of two premier scoring forwards, Yannick Tifu and Chris Auger, to their 2015-2016 line-up.

Tifu, the former Reading Royals captain who led his team to a 2012-2013 Kelly Cup Championship, will join the Beast after spending last season overseas with the Ducs d’Angers of the French Ligue Magnus.

The talented centre is just two years removed from what is widely considered the best single season of any Royals’ player in franchise history, where he scored 72 points (27 goals, 45 assists) in 72 regular season games. Tifu continued his torrid pace into the postseason, adding another 25 points (including 12 goals) in 22 playoff contests en route to helping the Royals capture their first ever ECHL Championship.

The 97 total points and +27 rating helped Tifu earn the Royals’ Ironman Award that season, in addition to being selected as the team’s Most Valuable Player, and winning the Fans Choice Award for the second consecutive year.

“To win a championship you need the right pieces of the puzzle,” said the speedy centreman of Brossard, Quebec. “Everybody on the team is a piece of that puzzle, it goes from the front office to the guys on the ice to the coaches behind the bench, and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of that.”

The ten-year veteran began his pro career with the Rockford IceHogs of the UHL after dominating the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where he racked up 248 points for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies over a four-year junior career.

Suiting up for the Pheonix Roadrunners the following season, Tifu went on to spend the next eight years of his career between the ECHL and AHL levels, scoring 498 points in 460 ECHL games in addition to 32 points in 81 AHL contests.

“Tifu is a proven leader and scorer at every level and team he has been on,” said Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk. “He showed that as the captain of the Royals when they won a championship, and we are confident he will raise our level of competitiveness here in Brampton. “

The Beast are also pleased to announce the addition of the Chicago Blackhawks 2006 6th-round pick Chris Auger.

Auger will know at least two familiar faces when suiting up for his new team this fall, having played alongside current winger Stephon Thorne and head coach Chaulk on the 2011-2012 President Cup-winning Fort Wayne Komets.

“Chaulk and I had a great relationship on and off the ice, and since then have continued to have a tremendous amount of mutual respect for each other,” said Auger of his former teammate and new coach. “When he got the head coaching job he called me and laid out what his vision was for the team. It didn’t take too long to make the decision that what he is building here is a really good thing, and something I want to be a part of.”

Auger truly broke out and showed his scoring prowess in that first season as a Komet, leading his team during the regular season with 28 goals and chipping in a team-high 10 markers in the playoffs to help bring home the CHL Championship. After losing nearly the entire next season to injury, Auger came back in a big way in 2013-2014, again leading the Komets (now a part of the ECHL) in scoring with 29 goals, good for 5th in the entire league.

“To be able to sign two forwards that have not only produced consistent top-end statistics, but have also both won league championships in the past few years, will have an immediate impact in helping us assemble a powerhouse offence here in Brampton,” said Beast President and General Manager Cary Kaplan. “Auger scored 70 goals in his past two full seasons while Tifu, as Redding’s captain and leader in all respects, scored over 200 points during his three season in Redding, and well over 500 points in his ECHL career”.

Prior to turning pro, Auger spent four years playing NCAA College hockey with University of Massachusetts-Lowell, where the Belleville, Ontario native collected 52 points and 38 penalty minutes in 117 games with the River Hawks.

“Chris Auger is the type of player that can be effective in every situation,” said Chaulk. “From manning the point on the power play to killing penalties, he is a very dynamic player and knows what it takes to win a championship. Lastly both Auger and Tifu are good people, for Brampton that’s the most important part.”

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Press release

Bulldogs Sign Goaltender Franky Palazzese, Forward Sahir Gill

BULLDOGS SIGN SAHIR GILL, FRANKY PALAZZESE
Gill signs professional try out contract; Palazzese inks AHL / ECHL two-way deal

Forward Sahir Gill and goaltender  Franky Palazzese
Forward Sahir Gill and goaltender Franky Palazzese

MONTREAL, QUE. – Montreal Canadiens and Hamilton Bulldogs general manager Marc Bergevin announced today the Bulldogs have signed forward Sahir Gill to a professional try out contract and goaltender Franky Palazzese to a one-year, two-way American Hockey League / ECHL contract.

Gill spent the 2013-14 season – his first as a professional – with the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers. In 67 regular season games with Wheeling, the 22-year-old recorded 54 points (13 goals, 41 assists) and 26 penalty minutes. Before turning pro, the 5-10, 178-pound forward spent three seasons (2010 to 2013) with the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Boston University Terriers. In 117 career games with Boston University, the Terrace, B.C. native recorded 78 points (28 goals, 50 assists) and 55 penalty minutes.

Palazzese spent the 2013-14 season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sudbury Wolves. In 60 regular season games with Sudbury, the 21-year-old posted a record of 27-23-9 with a 2.97 goals-against average, .916 save percentage and five shutouts. In 175 career OHL regular season games with the Wolves, Kitchener Rangers and Kingston Frontenacs from 2009 to 2014, the 6-1, 160-pound goaltender had a record of 71-69-26 with a 3.13 goals-against average, .914 save percentage and seven shutouts.

The Bulldogs open the 2014-15 regular season on Saturday, Oct. 11 when they will visit the Rochester Americans at Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial at 7:05 p.m. The puck drops for Hamilton’s home-opening weekend on Friday, Oct. 17, when the ‘Dogs host the Toronto Marlies at FirstOntario Centre at 7:30 p.m.

Hamilton Bulldogs 2014-15 season tickets, flex tickets, group tickets and single-game tickets are on sale now. For more information, call 1-866-DOGS-TIX or visit hamiltonbulldogs.com.

Listen to all Bulldogs regular season and post-season games live on Hamilton’s AM 900 CHML, on www.900chml.com or watch live on www.ahllive.com. Catch every Friday night home game live in high definition on Cable 14.

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Press release

Canadiens Sign Drayson Bowman to One-Year Contract

CANADIENS AGREE TO TERMS WITH DRAYSON BOWMAN ON A ONE-YEAR CONTRACT

Hamilton Bulldogs Media Release

Drayson Bowman (Photo by AP)
Drayson Bowman (Photo by AP)

MONTREAL, QUE. – Montreal Canadiens and Hamilton Bulldogs general manager Marc Bergevin announced today the Canadiens have agreed to terms with forward Drayson Bowman on a one-year, two-way National Hockey League / American Hockey League contract for the 2014-15 season.

Bowman spent the 2013-14 season with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. In 70 games with Carolina, the 25-year-old recorded 12 points (four goals, eight assists) and 16 penalty minutes.

The Grand Rapids, Mich. Native spent the previous five seasons (2009 to 2014) in the Hurricanes organization. In 176 career regular season NHL games with Carolina, the 6-0, 195-pound forward has recorded 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) and 53 penalty minutes. In 186 career regular season AHL games with the Albany River Rats and Charlotte Checkers, he has recorded 110 points (56 goals, 54 assists) and 148 penalty minutes.

Bowman was originally selected by the Hurricanes in the third round (72nd overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He was invited to the Canadiens’ 2014 training camp on a professional try out.

Hamilton Bulldogs 2014-15 season tickets, flex tickets, group tickets and single-game tickets are on sale now. For more information, call 1-866-DOGS-TIX or visit hamiltonbulldogs.com.

Listen to all Bulldogs regular season and post-season games live on Hamilton’s AM 900 CHML, on www.900chml.com or watch live on www.ahllive.com. Catch every Friday night home game live in high definition on Cable 14.