Monday, November 7, 2016 (Issue #2)
by Ian Boisvert, Managing Editor
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The Connecticut Whale of the National Women’s Hockey League earned its first win of the season on Oct. 16 when it defeated the New York Riveters by a score of 4-2.
The Whale, coming off a 5-4 loss to the Buffalo Beauts, continued its season opening road trip at the Barnabas Health Hockey Center in Newark, N.J.
The tightly contested game saw the Riveters strike first, as New York’s Madison Packer blocked a Shannon Doyle Slap shot from just inside the blueline and her team escaped on a rush. Ashley Johnson scooped up the puck and fed Miye D’Oench , who saw her first shot stopped by the Whale’s Nicole Stock before knocking in the rebound at 7:36 of the first period.
New York’s lead did not last long, as the Whale managed to tie the game before the end of the first frame. After a faceoff win in the Riveters’s zone, a Jordan Bricker pass made its way to the goal line, where the Whale’s Nicole Kosta tipped the puck over the Riveter’s goaltender to be knocked in by Nicole Connery. Less than three minutes later, the Whale took the lead on Kosta’s second point of the game. Kosta found a rebound in the slot, and scored while falling to the ice.
The wild first period continued as the Riveters tied up the game before the end of the frame. Rebecca Russo took the puck down the right wing and fed Courtney Burke who spun around in the slot and beat the Whale’s Stock on her low stick side to even the score.
The second period started with the same frantic pace, as the Whale scored after just 58 seconds. Molly Engstrom’s even strength tally gave the Whale a quick lead, and it was the last marker it would need. Engstom’s game winning goal was ensured by Kelly Babstock’s goal late in the second period, and Connecticut went on to capture its first win of the season by a score of 4-2.
Stock was solid in net for the Whale, stopping 33 of 35 shots for a .943 save percentage. Eight different Whale players found the score sheet at least once, and four Connecticut players registered two points. While she did not score any points, Cydney Roesler had a nose for the net, registering a game high ten shots on goal. Packer of the Riveters was second in the game with six attempts at the Connecticut net.
The Connecticut Whale has yet to play its first home game of the season. The Northford Ice Pavillion, located in Northford, Conn. will kick off the season for its NWHL team on Dec. 10 when the Whale hosts the Buffalo Beauts. For ticket information, visit nwhl.zone or visit the Northford Ice Pavillion.