Tag Archives: Johnson

WHEN YOU’RE HOT, YOU’RE HOT

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb_      VERSUS     Bridgeport

Bruce BerletBY: Bruce Berlet

Despite numerous injuries and call-ups, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers had proven to be a bugaboo for the Connecticut Whale.

The Sound Tigers were 5-1-1-1 in the first eight meetings with their intrastate rival, though the Whale had lost twice in overtime and once in a shootout.

But for the second straight Friday night, the Whale prevailed thanks to another stellar performance by goalie Chad Johnson, who had 38 saves in a 3-2 victory after two quick visits to the New York Rangers this week as a backup to Martin Biron filling in for the ailing Henrik Lundqvist.

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TWO POINTS ARE TWO POINTS

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb_      VERSUS      Manchester

The Connecticut Whale should be happy they came away with the two points they got for the 5-3 win Sunday afternoon in Manchester when they faced the Monarchs at the Verizon Wireless Arena, because they certainly weren’t going to be getting any style points – if there was such a thing.

“It’s going to be a grind, with a short night and travel last night,”  Whale head coach Ken Gernander told Brian Ring afterwards. “But the guys stuck with  it, got a big goal by Casey [Wellman], and we were able to get our two points.”

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SHORT ON THE MEASURING STICK

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb_      VERSUS    Norfolk

On Friday night the theme approaching Saturday night’s battle with the AHL leading Norfolk Admirals was that the game would be a measuring stick as to where the team was in facing the best. After a 3-1 loss that was an exceptionally tight game right through to the end when an empty net goal sealed the win for the visitors, the answer was a resounding, not too far off.

“I think in general we stacked up pretty well. It was a close game.” Head Coach Ken Gernander said. “It was a close game. But when things are going to be that tight and decided by small margins you have to be that much more diligent. I think we made a couple of mistakes and obviously it cost us.”

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CLASH OF THE TITANS

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb_      VERSUS      Bridgeport

It doesn’t get more exciting than that!

The Connecticut Whale came from behind three separate times capped by Kris Newbury’s goal off a fluke bounce with 4.9 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime and then after a thrilling extended period went three-for-three in the shootout defeating their franchise and intra-state rivals, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in front of a crowd of 3,245 at the XL Center Friday night.

The win also pulled the Whale within one point the Sound Tigers for first place in the division.

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MONARCHY CRUMBLES IN 3:37

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb_      VERSUS      Manchester

If there’s one thing about this particular Connecticut Whale team it’s that they can lull you to sleep and then suddenly snap out of it and look like world beaters. Friday night they never woke up dropping a 3-2 decision to the Portland Pirates. That comatose-like effort carried through the first two periods Sunday afternoon, but when they finally did awaken, they scored three unanswered goals in a mere 3:37 at the Verizon Wireless Arena and then held on for a 3-2 behind some spectacular goal tending from Chad Johnson over the Manchester Monarchs.

NOT ONE FOR THE HIGHLIGHT REEL

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb_     VERSUS      Portland

“Coverage mistakes and lack of urgency on the back-check cost us two goals,” Whale head coach Ken Gernander told Brian Ring after the Connecticut Whale wasted a lead entering the third period for the seventh time this season and lost on the road at the Cumberland County Civic Center to the Portland Pirates 3-2 Friday night.

“We turned down some shot opportunities,”Gernander went on to add. “We’re better offensively when we’re straightforward, getting pucks to the net.”

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SPOTLIGHT: GOALIES

Bruce BerletBY: Bruce Berlet

The AHL’s two hottest teams in February resided in Connecticut, and their successes could be traced right to the goalies.

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Connecticut Whale were a combined 17-3-1-1 in the Leap Year Month and entered March tied for the Northeast Division lead, though the Sound Tigers have two games in hand.

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IT STARTS IN THE NET

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb_     VERSUS     Worcester

It’s one of the oldest cliché’s in hockey, “You build your team from the net out.” The emergence of the New York Rangers certainly starts with Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes. For the Connecticut Whale, their resurgence from a horrendous January where they didn’t win a game (0-6-3-2), certainly starts and ends with the performance of Chad Johnson.

There’s no other way to describe it; Johnson is on a tear. After leading his team to a 2-1 shootout victory in a Tuesday morning matinee at the XL Center over the Worcester Sharks, the Calgary, Alberta native has posted a sparkling 7-1-1 record with a 1.49 goals-against average and an eye-popping .952 save percentage stopping 276 of the 290 shots he faced.

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WHALE SINK PIRATES SHIP

Connecticut Whale     VERSUS     Portland

BY: Bruce Berlet

Special teams often are the difference at all levels of hockey these days, and the Connecticut Whale proved that again Friday night against the Portland Pirates.

Andre Deveaux and Brendan Bell scored the game’s first two goals with the man advantage, then the Whale got three tallies from secondary sources in a 5-1 victory before 4,722 at the XL Center.

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11-OF-12: AND IT DIDN’T SEEM LIKE ENOUGH

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb_[1]      VERSUS      Bridgeport

“All good things must come to an end,” goes the old English proverb. For the Connecticut Whale their five-game winning streak ended in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers before 7,693 at the Webster Bank Arena Sunday afternoon.

David Ullstrom used defenseman Tim Erixon as a screen just 37 seconds into overtime and fired it over the glove of Chad Johnson (15-10-5, 40 saves) to finish off a game that had both teams digging and clawing to get any traction at all through the game’s first 60 minutes.

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