Not A Good Weekend For The Whale

Brandon Mashinter scored the goal that got the Whale their only point of the weekend. (Photo: Chris Rutsch/flickr)

Brandon Mashinter scored the goal that got the Whale their only point of the weekend. (Photo: Chris Rutsch/flickr)

The Whale entered the home stretch to the playoffs this weekend with their last 3-in-3 of the regular season, all games coming on the road. On Friday morning, they had a playoff spot. By Sunday night, they were clinging so tightly to it as this was definitely a weekend the boys would like to forget.

Friday night the Whale were in Manchester for a match-up with the Monarchs. The game started well as Chris Kreider scored a beautiful power play goal late in the first period with assists to Benn Ferriero and Kris Newbury. Unfortunately that would be all the Whale could muster as the Monarchs scored three unanswered goals (Weal, Pearson and an empty-netter to Kozun) over the last forty minutes to take the 3-1 victory.

On Saturday night, the boys would travel to Adirondack for a game against the Phantoms. This one would be a back and forth affair that would see the Whale gain a point but unfortunately give away the second one. The first period started with a fight as just seven and a half minutes in McIlrath and FitzGerald went after each other. Other than a couple of minor penalties, the only other action of the first period was a shorthanded goal by Laughton of the Phantoms.

Three minutes into the second, Bordson doubled the Phantoms lead. Three minutes later, Marek Hrivik (who returned last weekend after a long absence due to concussion issues) would get one back from Christian Thomas and Sam Klassen to make it 2-1. Seventeen seconds later Bickel would fight Mathers. The fight helped the Whale as eighteen seconds after it, Ferriero would tie the game from Brandon Mashinter and J.T. Miller (who got his first point since returning to the Whale last week). Seven minutes later, it would be Mashinter from Mike Vernace and Dylan McIlrath to give the Whale a 3-2 lead. Unfortunately they would give that back three minutes later as the Phantoms would score another shorthanded goal, this one by Akeson. (I guess I should stop complaining about the Rangers power play as it could be worse.)

That would be all the scoring until overtime when three and a half minutes in (roughly around the same time Dan Girardi was scoring for the Rangers), Akeson would get his second of the game to give the Phantoms the 4-3 victory.

I haven’t found videos of the goals but here are the two fights (and people think fighting will get out of hockey…):

Then Sunday, it was a trip to Springfield to play the rival Falcons. This was another back and forth affair similar to Saturdays game, except this time the Whale couldn’t get to overtime. Joudrey got the Falcons on the board first less than seven minutes into the period with Parlett getting the secondary assist for his first point against his ex-team. Four minutes later, Newbury tied the game on the power play from Logen Pyett and Vernace. Four minutes after that, Micheal Haley gave the Whale the lead as he buried a puck off a Thomas pass.

The second looked like it was going to mirror the first as Chaput tied the game a little over seven minutes into the period and then four minutes later Mashinter tipped in a Miller shot to regain the lead for the Whale. Ferriero got the other assist. Then it went downhill as with 1:06 to go in the period, Ford tied it for the Falcons from who else but Audy-Marchessault.

Third period looked like it would be the same as Saturday as neither team was able to break the deadlock. But with 28.7 seconds remaining in the period, Springfield proved why they have the best record in the league as they took advantage of the Whale being hemmed in their own zone to take the 4-3 lead. To make matters worse, it was Columbus’ top prospect Boone Jenner getting his first professional goal. The Whale had a chance to tie the game but time ran out as the boys managed only 1 out of 6 points this weekend. Not exactly what they had in mind as they cling to the 8th and final playoff spot.

The Whale have two games remaining next weekend, both on the road, and then it’s playoff time. They are going to need more points than they got this weekend to ensure they get there.

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