Tag Archives: Kelsey Tessier

SPOTLIGHT: TOMMY GRANT

Bruce BerletBY: Bruce Berlet

Large green letters on a bed sheet at the XL Center on Sunday read: Tommy 10 Terrific.

Terrific, indeed.

For most of the season, Tommy Grant, who wears No. 10, has been part of the Connecticut Whale’s “energy line” with another second-year pro, center Kelsey Tessier, and rookie wing Scott Tanski. Whenever the Whale needed a lift, coach Ken Gernander didn’t hesitate to send out the gritty, inexperienced trio, as they’re all mature beyond their years.

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REDEMPTION

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb_      VERSUS     Portland

(I feel like I need to apologize to the readers of Howlings. I haven’t written my normal stories for the games on Friday and last night. This is as some of you may or may not know, started as a hobby for me but has progressed to the point where it has become a non-paying — and actually I pay quite a bit of money for all of it — part-time job. Well the job that does pay me, my employment agency Crossroads Consulting, has had an explosion of business the past three days and frankly it was difficult to find the time to even get to the games at all. I am also having incredible computer problems that are messing up both “jobs” so I haven’t had the time to dedicate to this as I should. So for that I apologize. We’ll get it right again this coming week…once again, I apologize.)

Bruce BerletBY: Bruce Berlet

After being shut out by the Springfield Falcons at home for the first time in 15 seasons on Saturday night, Connecticut Whale coach Ken Gernander almost completely shuffled his deck Sunday afternoon.

Gernander changed all four lines, two of the three defensive pairings and started Cam Talbot in goal for the first time in 11 games since Feb. 19.

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THE ROAD AHEAD

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb_      VERSUS    Springfield Falcons

The Connecticut Whale currently sit in the third position in the AHL standings. How they’re doing that is a testament to the character of this team, because based upon the way they played at the XL Center Saturday night in a 3-0 loss to the Springfield Falcons, a team fighting just to make it into the post-season, you’d have thought it was the other way around.

“We didn’t give much, I thought and that’s disappointing.  We never really got anything going,” team captain Wade Redden said in his post game assessment. “We had a couple power plays in the first (period) that we didn’t do anything on, didn’t get a spark.

“You guard against (emotional let downs)…it just seemed like we were flat. We had a big win (Friday) night, we just weren’t making plays. We were just a little slower to pucks than them. They just played harder than us…We just put this behind us and get ready for tomorrow.”

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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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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.

REDDEN TO WEAR THE C

5496092722_f7d0efa886_mIn a move that is long overdue, veteran defenseman Wade Redden has been named the sixth captain in the history of the New York Rangers Hartford affiliation, first with the Wolf Pack and now with the Whale.

Head Coach Ken Gernander was the teams first captain for the Wolf Pack’s first eight seasons in existence, He was succeeded after he retired and became a coach by Craig Weller. Weller was followed Andrew Hutchinson, then  Greg Moore and the last captain was Dane Byers. The hasn’t had a captain since Byers was traded by the parent New York Rangers to the Columbus Blue Jackets on November 10, 2010 for Chad Kolarik.

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WHALE FRUSTRATED IN SPRINGFIELD

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb_[2]      VERSUS      Springfield-Falcons_thumb

There are a multitude of ways to lose in any sporting event, and the Connecticut Whale have certainly explored many of them this season, but Saturday night’s 2-0 loss to the Springfield Falcons at the MassMutual Center in front of 5,003 was in no small part due to some of the most bizarre officiating certainly of the season and possibly longer than that.

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THEY’VE BEEN BETTER

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb_[2]      VERSUS      Providence

Sunday afternoon in Providence the Connecticut Whale could not find an answer for Carter Camper who’s hat-trick sealing third goal sunk the New York Rangers’ AHL affiliate 4-3 at the Dunkin Donuts Center in front of a raucous crowd of 10,951.

After Kelsey Tessier lifted the Whale out of a second period daze with a dramatic goal to erase what was a two-goal deficit and knot the score at three just 1:55 into the third period. The Whale picked up their game and kept pushing for more, but Camper, a Rocky River, OH native, followed up a Calle Ridderwall rebound off the chest of Cam Talbot (11-12-0, 35 saves) and backhanded it into the net for the game winner.

“We got that big one in the third (from Tessier),” Connecticut head coach Ken Gernander told the Whale’s Brian Ring after the game. “I thought things were moving in the right direction and they got that quick one and it’s hard to come back on the road when the other team is given the lead like that.”

THE PLAN IS COMING TOGETHER.

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb_[2]      VERSUS      Worcester

Winning is contagious.

Much like Ronald Reagan’s trickle down economics, the same seems to be the case with the Connecticut Whale. After a horrendous January where they were winless, going 0-6-3-2, the Whale benefitted from the conditioning stints of Wojtek Wolski and Jeff Woywitka and won five of their first six games in the month of February before dropping a 2-1  loss to Bridgeport last Sunday.

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