BY: Brian Ring
Hamden, CT, September 30, 2011 – The Connecticut Whale were defeated by the Worcester Sharks, 2-1, Friday night in AHL preseason action at the TD Bank Sports Center at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT.
Despite outshooting their opponent by a sizable margin for the majority of the game, the Whale could not convert many of their chances.
A two-goal flurry by the Sharks’ Ryan Del Monte and Nick Petrecki in the early stages of the second period sank the Whale, who fell to 1-2 in preseason contests this season. Jared Nightingale scored the only goal of the game for Connecticut.
“Early on, we had a good pace to our game, good tempo,” said Whale head coach Ken Gernander. “We got shots, not necessarily lots of chances but pressure, and (the Sharks) didn’t really generate a lot. But then they get two quick goals and it looks pretty good for them.”
The Whale and the Sharks played to a scoreless first period, despite Connecticut being afforded five power-plays by Worcester and outshooting their opponent, 7-1.
Worcester came out with more attack in the second, as they scored twice within a span of less than a minute to take a 2-0 lead. Del Monte was given credit for the Sharks’ first goal, which hit off a skate trickled past Whale goaltender Chad Johnson (15 saves) on Worcester’s first power-play of the night at 3:36.
“The one power-play goal was tough,” said Gernander. “It was a rebound that went off our defenseman’s skate, then we had a turnover in the middle of the ice for two quick goals.”
Just 28 seconds after Del Monte’s goal, Petrecki beat Johnson for the 2-0 lead with an unassisted score, as he picked up a Whale turnover.
“It is what it is, you capitalize on your chances. It’s a game of inches, or there’s momentum swings,” said Gernander, of the quick lapse.
The Whale finally broke through at 15:11 of the third period on a slap shot by defenseman Jared Nightingale, which went through a crowd in front of the net and eluded Worcester goaltender Tyson Sexsmith (21 saves). A penalty taken immediately after the goal, however, seemed to dull Connecticut’s momentum and they could not come up with the equalizer.
The Whale will conclude their preseason slate with a game against the same Worcester Sharks, Sunday at Cromwell’s Champions Skating Center (2:00). Connecticut will begin the regular season on Saturday October 8, when they head to Glens Falls, NY to face the Adirondack Phantoms.
Worcester Sharks 2 at Connecticut Whale 1
Friday, September 30, 2011 – TD Bank Sports Center
Worcester 0 2 0 – 2
Connecticut 0 0 1 – 1
1st Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Livingston Wor (hooking), 1:08; DeAngelis Wor (hooking), 4:27; Levesque Wor (hooking), 6:38; Del Monte Wor (high-sticking), 8:13; Petrecki Wor (cross-checking), 10:34.
2nd Period-1, Worcester, Del Monte 1 (Zulyniak, Acolatse), 3:34 (PP). 2, Worcester, Petrecki 1 4:02. Penalties-Petrecki Wor (interference), 0:23; Tanski Ct (goaltender interference), 1:51; Thuresson Ct (interference), 9:04; Petrecki Wor (interference), 9:34; Gogol Wor (fighting), 12:20; Wilson Ct (fighting), 12:20; Petrecki Wor (fighting), 15:25; McKelvie Ct (fighting), 15:25; Perdicaro Wor (fighting), 18:39; Deveaux Ct (interference, fighting), 18:39.
3rd Period-3, Connecticut, Nightingale 1 (Thuresson, Audy-Marchessault), 15:11. Penalties-Grant Ct (hooking), 5:27; Prough Ct (high-sticking), 11:30; Deveaux Ct (checking to the head), 15:59.
Shots on Goal-Worcester 1-7-9-17. Connecticut 7-8-7-22.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 1 / 6; Connecticut 0 / 7.
Goalies-Worcester, Sexsmith 1-0-0 (22 shots-21 saves). Connecticut, Johnson 2-1-0 (17 shots-15 saves).
Referees-Tim Mayer (19).
Linesmen-Brent Colby (7), Derek Wahl (46).