03/04/2015 2:34 PM
Photo by: John Warren
Chad Painchaud has always had a keen scoring touch.
But scoring 17 goals in one month – including a four-goal game and three hat tricks – is unfamiliar territory even for one of the ECHL’s most dangerous forwards. The outburst has propelled Painchaud into 4th in the league in goal-scoring with 26 markers on the year, and earned the Mississauga native CCM ECHL Player of the Month honours after being named the Sher-Wood Player of the Week from February 9-15.
“I've always been able to produce offense throughout my career,” said Painchaud. “I've been fortunate enough to have been given a lot of opportunities to have success early on and I've relied a lot on my speed when I was young. Now that I'm a bit older I have to play smarter and keep things simple on the ice.”
Since being placed on the top line with talented center Justin Donati and playmaking visionary David Ling, the trio has combined for a staggering 51 points in 10 games to become the hottest line in the ECHL. Painchaud has been the group’s triggerman, notching 17 goals and 20 points along the way, including five multi-goal games, four game-winners and three tallies on the power play.
The dynamic scorer posted hat tricks in back-to-back games, scoring four goals in a 5-0 win at Rapid City on Feb. 13 and tallying three times in another 5-0 victory against the Rush on Feb. 14, becoming just the ninth ECHL player in the last 18 seasons to post hat tricks in back-to-back contests. He closed the month with hat tricks in two of the final three games, scoring eight goals in a four-game span.
Painchaud now leads the Beast in every offensive category, including goals (26), assists (28), points (54), shots on net (203), powerplay points (13) and game-winning goals (6).
The offensive dominance is not uncharacteristic for Painchaud, whose scoring pedigree has been well-documented over the past decade. The veteran winger has been putting up big points ever since his junior days with the Mississauga Rebels AAA team, where he scored 94 points in just 52 games as a sixteen year old before joining his hometown Ice Dogs of the OHL.
After a successful start to his junior career with the Ice Dogs and Sarnia Sting, the young forward heard his name called during the 2004 NHL draft. He was picked in the fourth round, 106th overall, ahead of names like former New York Rangers captain Ryan Callahan and Stanley Cup winner Kris Versteeg.
Teams saw the huge offensive upside in Painchaud, who became the Sting’s leading scorer in his final season of OHL eligibility. In the time since, Painchaud has maintained a near point-per-game pace throughout his entire professional career, spanning three levels of hockey (CHL, ECHL and AHL).
The Beast return home to the Powerade Centre this weekend for a three-game homestand beginning Friday, March 6 on Star Wars Night, with the players wearing unique Star Wars jerseys to be auctioned after the game and the 501st Canadian Legion in attendance. The fun continues on Sunday, March 8 with fans having the opportunity to meet their favourite Brampton Thunder players on Women’s Hockey Day at 2:00 pm.
For more information on Brampton Beast flex tickets, group tickets, single-game tickets and 2015-16 season tickets, call 905 564 1684 or visit bramptonbeast.com.