Welcome to our new feature that will run on Mondays through the remainder of the season. So what exactly is Whale Weekly? Well, it’s a weekly update of what has happened with the Whale the past week. Pretty self-explanatory. Obviously any big news will get a separate post but game updates can be found here.
So let’s get to it!
The Whale had two games this past weekend against the Hershey Bears, both taking place in Hershey. As we know, Chris Kreider and Matt Gilroy are with the Rangers for training camp so they were out of the line up. Also missing was Marek Hrivik who sustained a concussion last weekend. So far, no update on his status although he was seen by fans at the game Sunday night.
J.T. Miller returned to the lineup after winning gold at the World Juniors and Andrew Yogan was brought up from Greenville last week as the other forward replacement. Since the Whale played seven D last weekend, no changes there other than now they are down to six.
Saturday’s game was a crazy one in that there were short periods of lots of action/goals sandwiched in-between long periods of nothing.
The Whale came out flying in the first period outshooting the Bears 13-6 in the first twenty minutes. Other than a 28 second span late in the period, nothing hit the back of the net. That span started at 17:07 when Kyle Jean had a great individual effort to start the scoring from Yogan and Logan Pyett. Then it was the Bears turn at 17:35 as they got the puck past Jason Missiaen who was squeezing the post to tie the game at one.
Second period didn’t start well as it took only 17 seconds for the Bears to take the lead. It took the Whale almost seven minutes to get their first official shot on net but after that they continued to pepper Bears goalie Philipp Grubauer. Unfortunately they couldn’t get anything past him to end the period down by a goal. Shots at the end of the period were 13-5 Whale for the period and a total of 26-11 Whale for forty minutes.
The third period brought some action again which started just 7:31 into the period when Yogan went to the box for hooking. Just 54 seconds later, Blake Parlett joined him when he got two for cross-checking although it sounded like it could’ve been more. (Editors Note: Don’t be surprised to hear about a suspension for him today or tomorrow.) The Whale managed to kill the penalties and a minute and a half later tied the game as Kelsey Tessier deflected a shot from Pyett. Tommy Grant got the other assist.
A little less than a minute and a half later, Kris Newbury did what he does best – took a stupid penalty for cross-checking. Things got really interesting over the next two minutes as thirty seconds into the penalty kill, Chad Kolarik scored a shorthanded goal to give the Whale a 3-2 lead. Mike Vernace got the only assist.
Less than a minute later, the Bears did capitalize on the remaining power play time to tie the game. Don’t believe (but can’t confirm) Newbury saw another shift after his penalty ended.
That was all the action for the remainder of the period as well as overtime so to a shootout the teams went. While Kolarik did score, he was the only one as the Bears got two goals to take the win 4-3. Miller, Newbury (still not sure he had an actual shift), Thomas (his first pro shootout chance) and Jean also shot for the Whale.
Here are the highlights:
Sunday was actually worse as Cam Talbot returned and looked shaky at best. He did end up playing the whole game and got better as the game went along but the damage done in the first twenty minutes would do the boys in.
The first period was a complete mess as the Bears scored just 42 seconds in. Somehow, it actually went downhill from there. The Whale took four penalties in an eight minute span and the Bears would go 3-for-4 on the power play to have a commanding 4-0 lead at the end of the first period. Unlike when they dominated in shots on Saturday, the Whale did anything but as they were outshot 17-4 in the period.
Less than a minute and a half into the second period, the Whale continued their parade to the penalty box. They would wind up taking a total of three penalties throughout the period bringing their total to seven over forty minutes. The good news? They were able to keep Hershey off the board so the score remained at 4-0. The Whale did outshoot the Bears 12-9 that period moving them in the right direction and giving fans hope for the third period.
Unfortunately it just wasn’t the boys night. Hershey would add a fifth goal halfway through the third and the Whale would be shutout 5-0 getting only one out of a possible four points from the weekend. The good news is the Whale only took two penalties that period so at least they tried to learn a lesson in that aspect. Either way, I’m sure Gernander was none too pleased with this one.
This week the Whale have a busy schedule as they play four road games against the Portland Pirates on Tuesday, Springfield Falcons on Friday, Portland again on Saturday and then the Providence Bruins on Sunday. The good news for the Whale is all of those teams recently lost players to the NHL so won’t have the same firepower they have had all season. But the Whale are going to have to pick it up soon if they want to remain in the hunt. Sitting three games below .500 isn’t going to cut it much longer.