The Connecticut Whale took I-91 North, about a 20 minute ride, for their trip up to Springfield. The Whale were hoping to keep their two game winning streak alive. The Whale have been red hot lately, winning six of their last seven.
However it has been Springfield Goalie Curtis McElhinney who has been cooling the Whale off, as he has been doing all year. He just shut down the Whale last night. The Whale should have had more pressure, but they did not as they went 0-5 on the power play.
The Whale lone goal came from Brandon Segal, it was his team leading 22 goal of the season. Segal shot the puck off a rebound from an Andrew Yogan shot. Segal’s wrist shot found the open side of the net as McElhinney could not recover to make the save in time.
The goal tied the game at one and the Whale looked like they had a chance to score an upset on the road.
It didn’t happen that Way. Ben Ferriero took an interference call at 7:11 of the second period and at 7:29 Springfield’s Nick Holden got the game winning goal as he scored off Jason Missiaen.
Missiaen was a bit of a surprise to start the game. Coach Gernander must have liked something he saw in practice or he liked the way Missiaen has looked against Springfield.
Missiaen was in net most of this great 6-1 run but Cam Talbot had won the last two games straight. Talbot had only allowed one goal in 59 shots. Talbot even said on the evening recap of the Worcester game last Thursday on Fox 61 that he was ready to start on Saturday night. Talbot was on the bench watching last night as Gernander went back to Missiaen.
It wasn’t that decision that lost the game for the Whale, Missiaen was fine. He stopped 26 of 28 shots including some Falcon break aways that would have put the game out of reach.
Cam Talbot carried this team literally on his back from the first few weeks of the season. He came off injury and played almost every night not getting much rest. Missiaen is in his first full season in the AHL and he got off to a rough start but since about mid season he has really improved into an intimidating force in the net. It’s going to be interesting who is the top goalie as the Whale head down the stretch.
The start and finish of the game last night was mostly uneventful as both teams played through a scoreless first and third period. All the action was in the second period. Even with an extra attacker in the last minute and a few power plays the Whale could not get the game tied.
The Whale lost to Springfield for the sixth time this season but they have won four against them. It’s important that they are competitive with Springfield because if the Whale do make the playoffs they could end up playing a top seed like Springfield.
The Whale will get another crack at it next Friday night as the Falcons make the trip down across the border to play the Whale in Hartford. Whale currently hold the seventh spot in the conference and are only one point ahead of eighth place Hershey.