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Whalers Elite/Premier Each Nab 7 of 8 Points at Tampa Showcase

12/18/2018, 1:45pm EST
By Whaler Nation

Elite

3-0 WIN vs. Florida Eels


Credit: Josh Boyd (usphl.com)

To kick off the showcase, the Whalers and Eels met for the second time this season.  Again, the Whalers defense was too much for the Eels to overcome, as the Whalers locked down the Eels, controlled the play, and walked away with a 3-0 win to start the weekend.

Jorai Bart, Bryce Leger, and DJ Randle scored goals for the Whalers.  James Rowe, Ruslan Abyanov, Joe Polcaro, Cody Wilson, Kyle Ball, and Bryce Leger each notched single assists.  Ricardo Alvarez shut the door in net for his 2nd white wash of the season.

The Whalers outshot the Eels 37-20.  Florida went 0 for 4 on the power play, Hampton Roads didn’t have an attempt.  

3-2 WIN vs. Islanders Hockey Club


Credit: Josh Boyd (usphl.com)

Game 2 of the weekend saw the Whalers overcome adversity against the Islanders Hockey Club.  The Whalers fell apart in the discipline department, notching 31 penalty minutes including 16 in the opening half, as they fell behind 2-0 just under 10 minutes into the contest.  The Whalers were able to weather the storm, cutting the lead to 2-1 at the half, then tallying two 2nd half goals for the 3-2 win.

DJ Randle, Ruslan Abyanov, and Arun Cibrario scored goals for the Whalers.  Cody Wilson had a trio of assists, DJ Randle notched a pair, and Jorai Bart put up a single helper.  Greg Moon made 19 saves for his 2nd win as a Whaler.

The Whalers outshot the Islanders 26-21.  IHC went 1 for 7 on the power play, Hampton Roads went 0 for 5.

2-1 Shootout Loss vs. Richmond


Credit: Josh Boyd (usphl.com)

Game 3 of the weekend was the Whalers 2nd of the day and 3rd of the weekend, and in place of the folded Palm Beach Hawks, the Whalers faced a familiar foe in I-64 rival Richmond.  The Whalers struggled to gain much traction in a game in which they were sloppy in their own zone, and Generals goalie Ryan Creenan was a rock in the other.  The Whalers struck 1st shorthand, but immediately gave the goal right back just 16 seconds later.  The two teams played even hockey the rest of the way through regulation and overtime and would head to a shootout.  Cody Wilson scored the lone shootout goal for the Whalers, while the Generals would tally twice to defeat the Whalers 2-1.

Shane Ziegler scored the lone goal for the Whalers.  Ross Jones went toe to toe with Creenan, making 20 saves in a losing effort.

The Whalers outshot the Generals 24-21.  Richmond went 0 for 3 on the power play, Hampton Roads went 0 for 4.

3-0 WIN vs. Florida Jr. Blades


Credit: Josh Boyd (usphl.com)

The final game of the showcase brought the 2nd and final meeting of the season between the Whalers and Florida Jr. Blades.  For much of the opening half, the Whalers controlled the play, but didn’t create much opportunity from that, looking lethargic at times as the two teams skated to a scoreless opening half.  In the 2nd half, the Whalers came out firing, as the captain got the boys going 3 minutes into the half and they would tack on 2 more to skate away with a 3-0 win and their 2nd whitewash of the weekend.

Bryce Leger opened the scoring for the Whalers and Cody Wilson tacked on 2 goals.  Michael Bachman, Ruslan Abyanov, Joe Pocaro, and DJ Randle each posted single assists.  Chris Pascal scored his 3rd win and 2nd shutout of the season in net with 10 saves.

The Whalers held a 26-10 advantage in shots.  The Jr. Blades went 0 for 1 on the power play while Hampton Roads didn’t have an attempt.

Premier

3-0 WIN vs. Florida Eels


Credit: Josh Boyd (usphl.com)

The Whalers Premier team would open the Florida Showcase against the always tough Florida Eels.  The Eels goaltender and team defense looked to continually stifle the Whalers offense, so the Whalers defense took over.  The Whalers got two 1st half goals 10 minutes apart from a pair of defenseman to take a 2-0 lead into the half  The 2nd half continued to be a defensive affair, as the Whalers notched a empty netter with just 54 seconds remaining to seal the 3-0 win.

Brandon Leitz and Jaxon Rutkowski scored for the Whalers in the opening half, while Brandon Osmundson tacked on the empty netter.  Alec Lindberg was a rock in net, picking up his 14th win of the season.

The Whalers held a 33-30 advantage in shots.  The Eels went 0 for 5 on the power play while Hampton Roads 1 for 8.

4-1 WIN vs. Islanders Hockey Club


Credit: Josh Boyd (usphl.com)

In game 2 of the weekend, the Whalers Premier team came out flat and the Islanders had them on their heels, controlling most of the opening half, but goalie Blake Bjella held the Whalers in the game with a 0-0 opening half.  In the 2nd half, the Islanders struck early, but the Whalers scored 4 unanswered goals in the final 18 minutes of the contest to skate away with a 4-1 win.

Thomas McGuire, John Moncovich, Oliver Freden, and Brandon Osmundson scored for the Whalers.  Brendan Borg and Joe DiGiulio posted 2 assist game, while Matthew Hanchon, John Moncovich, and Brandon Osmundson each tallied one.  Blake Bjella made 26 saves in net for the win.

The Islanders held a 27-24 advantage in shots.  The Islanders went 0 for 1 on the power play while Hampton Roads 0 for 2.

2-1 Shootout Loss vs. Richmond


Credit: Josh Boyd (usphl.com)

In game 3 of the weekend, the Whalers Premier would also face the Richmond Generals in place of the Palm Beach Hawks in their 2nd game of the day.  Much like the Elite game, the goaltenders would steal the show, and exactly like the Elite game, the two teams would skate 1-1 through regulation and overtime and head to a shootout.  This shootout would go 6 rounds, as Brandon Osmundson scored the lone goal for the Whalers, and Stefan Owens would score in round 6 for Richmond as Jared Sanchez missed for the Whalers, as Richmond skated away with a 2-1 win.

Jared Sanchez scored lone goal for the Whalers.  Oliver Freden and Brandon Osmundson picked up the assists.  Alec Lindberg suffered the shootout loss in net, making 25 saves in the game, and stopping 4 fo 6 in the shootout.

The Whalers held a 27-26 advantage in shots.  The Generals went 1 for 4 on the power play while Hampton Roads 1 for 1.

4-1 WIN vs. Florida Jr. Blades


Credit: Josh Boyd (usphl.com)

In the final game of the weekend, the Premier team would face the Florida Jr. Blades for the 1st and only time this season.  The Whalers would again start slow, with only 9 opening period shots, the Whalers went scoreless until the 19:57 mark of the opening 25 minute half to take a 1-0 lead into the half.  Another 2nd half surge, including a 26 shot barraged would push the Whalers to a 4-1 win.

Brandon Osmundson scored twice, while Matthew Hanchon and Oliver Freden scored once.  Joe DiGiulio, Matthew Hanchon, John Moncovich, and Conner Hunt each tallied single assists.  Blake Bjella improved to 12-0 in net with a 17 save effort.

The Whalers held a 35-18 advantage in shots.  The Jr. Blades went 3 for 3 on the power play while Hampton Roads 0 for 2.

What's on Tap?

The Whalers will head into the Christmas break for some much needed rest and some quality family time before returning to practice in preparation for the final USPHL showcase of the season as they will head to Marlborough, MA for the USPHL Winter Showcase January 4-6 at the New England Sports Center.

Elite Schedule

Fri Jan 4 vs. New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (20-3-0-0, 2nd North)- 4:40pm NESC Rink 7

Sat Jan 5 vs. Jersey Hitmen (20-4-0-1, 1st Mid-Atlantic)- 8:10am NESC Rink 1

Sat Jan 5 vs. Northern Cyclones (16-5-1-1, 3rd North)- 5:40pm NESC Rink 3

Sun Jan 6 vs. Hartford Jr. Wolfpack (3-21-1-0, 7th North)- 9:20am NESC Rink 3

Premier Schedule

Fri Jan 4 vs. Northern Cyclones (19-3-1-1, 2nd New England)- 6:30pm NESC Rink 7

Sat Jan 5 vs. South Shore Kings (16-8-0-1, 5th New England)- 10:30am NESC Rink 2

Sat Jan 5 vs. Boston Bandits (21-5-1-0, 1st New England)- 6:30pm NESC Rink 6

Sun Jan 6 vs. Connecticut Nighthawks (19-6-2-1, 1st Northeast)- 11:10am NESC Rink 4

Catch all the action live on Hockey TV.

News & Notes

The Whalers Elite (25-4-0-1) and Premier (27-1-0-1) continue to pace the USPHL southeast division and overall league standings at the Christmas break.

Elite forward Mark Strazisar and Team Slovenia won Gold at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championships in Division 1, Group B with an undefeated 6-0 record. Team Slovenia will be promoted to Division 1 Group A for 2020.

Premier forward Brandon Osmundson has put together an impressive 27 game point streak after being held off the scoresheet in the season opener.  Osmundson has tallied 66 points in 28 games.

Whaler’s Premier goalie Blake Bjella remains 1 of only 7 undefeated goalies in the nation.  He holds an impressive 12-0 record.

The Whalers goaltenders continue to post impressive stats, especially in the shutout department as Elite and Premier have combined for 15 shutouts this season.  Alec Lindberg 5, Blake Bjella 3, Ross Jones 2, Ricardo Alvarez 2, and Chris Pascal 2 have continued to blank their opponents.

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