12/31/2016 5:00 PM
Photo By: John Warren / Brampton Beast
Brampton Beast forward David Pacan entered exclusive company on Saturday afternoon as the Beast took on the Kalamazoo Wings in their final game of 2016.
Pacan lit the lamp with a shorthanded tally in the second period against his former club to record his 20th goal of the season, making him only the fifth individual in Brampton Beast history to reach such an impressive milestone, and he did it at a mind-numbing pace.
The first year Beast forward reached the 20-goal mark in just his 30th game of the season, giving the lefty a goals-per-game average of 0.67 If (and hopefully when) Pacan continues this torrid run throughout the remainder of the 72-game schedule, he has a chance to eclipse the 50-goal mark for the first time in his and the Beast’s career.
Yeah, he’s playing that well.
To put it into perspective, the ECHL goal-scoring leaders from a year ago, Jack Downing of the Cincinnati Cyclones and Jesse Mychan of the Colorado Eagles, each lit the lamp 32 times. The last time an ECHLer recorded a 50-goal campaign was way back in the 2008-09 season when the Florida Everblades’ Kevin Baker scored 57 goals.
The 2016-17 ECHL season is the fourth season of existence of the Beast franchise, first starting in the now-defunct Central Hockey League (CHL) in the 2013-14 season. That year, Andrew Fournier set the standard for Beast goals in a single season, lighting the lamp an impressive 29 times to help lead the Beast to their only playoff berth to date.
Not to be outdone, that same season, Beast all-time leading scorer Jason Pitton chipped in with a remarkable 27 tallies, with two-time Beast Scott Howes just behind with 26 goals in that memorable inaugural Beast campaign.
The Beast joined the ECHL in the 2014-15 season and graduated two more special players into the Beast’s 20-goal club, as leading scorer Chad Painchaud picked up 26 goals with Pitton joining the club for a second time with another 22 goals.
Pacan, the 6’3” Ottawa, Ontario native is the newest member of this exclusive club and he was nothing short of impressive in getting there.
Quite simply, he has scored goals in every fashion imaginable. He scored the overtime winner against the Fort Wayne Komets on November 6, has reeled off a four-game goal-scoring streak and two separate three-game streaks, owns three game-winning goals and recorded a natural hat trick against the Adirondack Thunder on December 15.
Pacan is no stranger to scoring goals as he dented the twine 20 times in 69 games last season as a member of the South Carolina Stingrays, setting a new professional career high, but Pacan himself admits the reason he was able to reach the 20-goal plateau so quickly this season has everything to do with his teammates.
“It’s my fifth year in the league. Maybe I’m finally getting used to things around here.,” he said with a laugh.
“It has to do with the whole team. Playing on a line with Chris Leveille and Brandon Marino, they make it easier on me and they give me the opportunity and when I get those opportunities, I like to make the most of it.”
It’s not impossible to think that Pacan could eclipse Fournier’s franchise record mark of 29 goals in a single season and become the first ever member of the Brampton Beast to break the 30-goal barrier, but until then, he and his teammates want to keep working hard and continue to churn out wins to help lead the Beast to its first ever ECHL playoff berth.
“‘It’s all about sticking to the process with these guys,” Pacan said.
“We were up and down at the start of the year and we came together after a couple of road trips and you can see it now that we’re really gelling together. You can tell in the room whether we’re up two or down two, the guys want to achieve more. We have a special group here and I’m excited to see what happens throughout the rest of the season.
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