Game 1 of the weekend started slow for both clubs, playing to a scoreless 1st period. Early on in the 2nd period, the Whalers scored just 1:01 into the frame to go up 1-0. That lead would be short lived, as the Knights tied things up quickly at 2:34 and would take the lead late in the period with just 1:35 left in the frame to take a 2-1 lead into the 3rd period. In the final frame Atlanta struck shorthanded to make it 3-1 Knights and things looked dim for the Whalers trailing by 2 with less than 5 minutes to play. At the 5:18 mark the Whalers would gain a power play and :34 seconds later they would be rewarded with a 2 man advantage. The Whalers would pull the goalie down by 2 to gain the 6 on 3 advantage and struck with 3:47 left to tighten things up at 3-2. Just 1:03 later the Whalers would connect again and tie things up with just 2:47 to play. The Whalers would continue the onslaught and with 1:32 left to play the Whalers would find the game winner, taking game 1 by a score of 4-3.
Ryan Lorenz, Gary Eastlack, Caelan Bolanowski, and Ty Brandt scored for the Whalers. Cody Wilson had 2 helpers while Jacob Kaplan, Gary Eastlack, Ryan Lorenz, James Rowe, and Charles DuBose each had 1. Everett Yasinski made 25 saves in net for the win.
The Whalers held a 35-28 advantage in shots. Hampton Roads finished 1 for 6 on the power play while Atlanta was 1 for 4.
On Saturday, the Whalers found themselves in an uphill battle early on. The Knights struck quickly in the opening frame to go up 2-0. The Whalers quickly pulled it back to 2-1 but Atlanta again made it a 2 goal advantage. Late in the period, the Whalers would score a critical goal to pull it back to 3-2 at the break. In the 2nd period, the Whalers began to carry play, striking once in the middle frame to tie it 3-3 going into the 3rd. Things would stay that way until the 9:29 mark of the 3rd when the Whalers took a 4-3 lead. Things stayed that way until the final minute when a clearing attempt hit the stick of a Knight and deflected past the Whalers netminder to tie things up 4-4 and send the game into overtime. In the overtime period, the Whalers capitalize on the power play, burying a rebound attempt to take the 5-4 win.
John Moncovich and Nikita Anistratenko scored twice for the Whalers while Hayden Knight scored once. Brandon Osmundson had 3 helpers, Trent Wydrowski had 2, while Jaxon Rutkowski, Adam Toor, and Hayden Knight had 1.Zach Alvarado stopped 7 of 10 shots before being replaced in net by Sean Dickson, who made 17 saves for the win.
The Whalers held a 41-28 shot on goal advantage. Hampton Roads went 1 for 10 on the power play while Atlanta was 1 for 6.
Game 2 of the weekend started out much better for the Whalers, as they found the back of the net twice in the opening frame, carrying much of the play to lead 2-0 after 20. The middle period saw the Knights battle back, controlling much of the play, as the Whalers were sloppy. Atlanta would capitalize once in the period as the Whalers held a 2-1 lead heading into the 3rd. In the final frame, Atlanta would make a push, tying the game on the power play at 7:16 then taking the lead just 11 seconds later on a goal deflected in off a Whaler defender. Refusing to be denied, the Whalers pushed back, tying things back up with 6:05 to play to force overtime. In the OT period, the Whalers needed just 11 seconds, capitalizing on a Knights turnover to take the 4-3 win and weekend sweep.
Cody Wilson scored twice, while Gary Eastlack and Bryce Leger each scored once. Wilson also notched 2 helpers, while Ryan Lorenz, Jacob Kaplan, Charles DuBose, and Noah Kramer each had 1. Everett Yasinski picked up the win in net with 32 saves, picking up his 13th win of the year, tied for the league lead with Charlotte’s Anthony Keating.
Atlanta held a 35-29 advantage in shots. The Whalers went 2 for 7 on the power play while Atlanta was 1 for 6.
Game 2 of the weekend started much the same for the Whalers Premier team, as they fell behind 2-0 in the opening frame. In the 2nd period, the Whalers came to life, striking twice on the power play and once at even strength to take a 3-2 lead after 40. In the third, both teams exchanged chances, but neither team struck again, including a no goal call against Atlanta on a high stick, and the Whalers held on for the 3-2 win and weekend sweep.
Brandon Osmundson, Hayden Knight, and Conner Hunt scored goals for the Whalers. Jaxon Rutkowski, Brandon Osmundson, John Moncovich, Sean Dickson, and Nikita Anistratenko each posted one assist for the Whalers. Sean Dickson picked up the win in net with 28 saves.
The Knights held a 30-26 shot on goal advantage. Hampton Roads went 2 for 7 on the power play while Atlanta was 0 for 3.
The Whalers will head to Estero, FL for a 4 game set in the final USPHL showcase of the year at the USPHL Florida Showcase hosted by the Florida Jr. Blades.
Whalers Elite (20-4-2, 42 points, 2nd)
Friday 12/15 vs. Florida Eels (9-10-5, 23 points, 4th)- 3:15pm
Saturday 12/16 vs. Daytona Racers (0-15-3, 3 points, 5th)- 7:30am
Saturday 12/16 vs. Potomac Patriots (2-23-1, 5 points, 6th)- 7:30pm
Sunday 12/17 vs. Palm Beach Hawks (12-8-4, 28 points, 3rd)- 9:45am
Whalers Premier (18-7-1, 37 points, 2nd)
Friday 12/15 vs. Florida Eels (17-7-0, 34 points, 1st)- 5:15pm
Saturday 12/16 vs. Daytona Racers (2-17-0, 4 points, 5th)- 11:00am
Saturday 12/16 vs. Potomac Patriots (8-16-2, 18 points, 6th)- 9:30pm
Sunday 12/17 vs. Palm Beach Hawks (13-8-3, 29 points, 3rd)- 11:45am
All games will be played at the Germain Arena, home to the ECHL’s Florida Everblades and will be broadcast live online on HockeyTV.