The Whale came, saw, and conquered with a Sweep of St. Johns Ice Caps in Newfoundland. The CT Whale took off to our neighbors to the north just in time to avoid the blizzard that currently has the home state buried. The Whale had back to back games Saturday and Sunday facing off against the IceCaps in Mile 1 Centre. In Game one, the Whale toughed it out and played a full 60 minutes of defense, with some great offensive opportunities.
This first night resulted in the first win CT ever had against the Ice Caps. The impressive line of tough guy Michael Haley, opportunistic Christian Thomas, and forechecking maniac Kelsey Tessier combined for a total of 6 points. The first goal of the night was by Kelsey Tessier in the lines first shift after Thomas fed it from the corner and Tess beat Pasquale, making it 1-0 early. Less than 2 minutes later, on the same lines next shift, Thomas knocked a Caps puck handler off his feet, and Haley took control netting the games second goal. Ice Caps knocked one in a few minutes later, making it appear that the game was far from over. The line of Newbury, Mashinter, and Vernace scored after Newbs sent one down to Mash who deflected the puck to Vernace who got another goal past Pasquale making it 3-1. Throughout the rest of the period, and entire length of the 2nd period and just about all of the third, defense.
The Whale did what they have failed to do even with big leads, and that is secure the lead, stopping their opponent. In the third period, a variety of opportunities came, and went. Talbot was standing on his head stopping 37 of 38 shots (16 in the 3rd). The only other goal came at the end when the Ice Caps pulled Pasqaule and Thomas buried a high empty netter from the blue line. 2 points, Whale win, 4-1!
On Sunday, the Whale and St. John’s went right back at it, in an offensive tirade. Less then a minute and a half into the game, hard charging Haley buried his 2nd goal of the weekend, making the score 1-0 early. At 4:06, while the teams were 4 on 4, Haley buried another one that was delivered from the boot of Segal, making it 2-0. After a few penalties, Newbs buried one off of a defender on the 5 on 3, making it 3-0 early on. Goals were coming in hard and fast. A minute later, Newbs found Palmieri who got one through the 5 hole making it 4-0, Whale. With a minute and a half left, Jason Jaffray of the Caps got a nice deflection through Talbs, making it 4-1.
Going into the 2nd, Carroll threw one towards the net, and Jean buried a rebound off Pasqaule, bringing the Whale up 5-1. Scoring then went back and fourth when Kevin Clark snuck one past Talbot, and less then a minute later, Andrew Yogan took it back making the score 6-2. Jaffray was able to net his 2nd of the game after some smooth passing, bringing the Ice Caps up to 3. In typical Whale fashion, they were out shot in the 3rd, and Talbot showed why he is a fan favorite, stopping all 12 shots in the final period. The Whale scored the only goal of the third, when Jyri Niemi shot one off of a defender, his first AHL goal. The Whale held that lead, and won the second straight in Newfoundland, 7-3.
With those 4 solid points, the Whale are in 9th place in the conference, tied with the Worcester Sharks at 50 points. The Whale are becoming serious contenders in the highly contested Eastern conference, and the playoffs are within reach. The next four games are home games for the Whale, starting Feb 15th against the Portland Pirates. Thanks for reading, and check back for more CT Whale info.