Connecticut Whale series with Toronto postponed

Updated: Jan 20

By Rick Menning


(Editor's Note: Since this writing, the series this weekend will not take place due to COVID-19 within the Toronto organization. Make-up dates are TBD.)


For the past several months, this two-game weekend professional women's hockey series has been one circled on the calendars of every Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) enthusiast.


When the Connecticut Whale and Toronto Six swept their PHF games against Metropolitan and Buffalo respectively on Jan. 15 and 16, the collision course to an incredible playoff-type atmosphere in Danbury on Jan. 22 and 23 became reality.


This will, without question, be -- or at least should be -- the most widely watched series this season in the PHF, which culminates a major week of a $25 million infusion and probable expansion in both the United States and Canada with an exclamation point. ESPN+ ratings should skyrocket.


The Connecticut Whale's Kennedy Marchment celebrates with teammates Taylor Girard (left) and Hanna Beattie (No. 16) after scoring a goal that extended her point streak to 10 straight games in Saturday's 5-1 victory over the Metropolitan Riveters (Photo courtesy of Connecticut Whale).

Move over, Boston and Minnesota. There's a new rivalry in the league and it features two squads that have been absolute powerhouses and appear focused and committed to playing deep into the Isobel Cup playoffs.


For the Whale, it been one impressive outcome after another as the pride of Connecticut continues their best season since the inaugural year and completed a third straight series sweep with the back-to-back results against the Riveters. The squad also upped its record to 8-3-1.


Head Coach Colton Orr's skaters have also solidified their second-place standing in the PHF with 25 points. Only the Six (9-1-1), with 28 points, sit ahead of the Whale.


That could change in a bigtime way this weekend in a PHF series that should grab national and international headlines.


High-powered offense


Although her point streak of 10 games came to an end in Sunday's 3-2 win, Kennedy Marchment continues to lead the Whale's solid offensive attack.


Along with her team-leading seven goals, including one that upped Connecticut's advantage to 4-0 in what finished up as a 5-1 triumph in Saturday's opener against the Riveters, Marchment has eight assists for 15 total points.


Taylor Girard, who scored the Whale's second goal on Jan. 15 and had the primary assist on Marchment's tally, has also produced a double-digit point effort thus far this season with six goals and six assists for 12 points.


Amanda Conway, also part of that top line, likewise contributed a goal and an assist in Saturday's action. She now totals six goals and three assists for nine points in Connecticut's 12 games.


Emily Fluke added a pair of assists on Saturday goals by Kaycie Anderson and Shannon Turner, who extended her ice presence in the PHF to 101 games with her game action in Sunday's finale.


Fluke's assists are up to five, and with her three goals has a season-total of eight points. Turner (1 goal; 6 assists) joins Alyssa Wohlfelier (5 goals; 2 assists) with seven points apiece.


The weekend was an extremely memorable one for Janka Hlinka, who scored her first-ever PHF goal off assists from Hanna Bates and Rebecca Morse. Janine Weber and Conway also had goals in that cliffhanger 3-2 effort.


Abbie Ives, who now has made over 200 (202) saves between the pipes for the Whale this season, allowed only three goals all weekend. Of the 225 shots on net she has faced, Ives has turned away all but 23.


Make plans and attend!


This is a must-see series, and as a journalist who has covered National Hockey League playoff games in Sunrise, Florida, this is one in which the Whale deserve to play in front of a huge crowd at Danbury Ice Arena.


Twitter hearts and Facebook thumbs-up are great, but attending and cheering on this awesome team live and up close is what will provide the adrenaline for these women athletes to reach the top and proceed onward and upward toward a PHF crown.


I challenge every Whale fan to show up in Danbury and not just support the team on social media.


Game one versus Toronto is Saturday (Jan. 22) at 4 p.m., with the second match-up in the series taking place Sunday (Jan. 23) at 1 p.m.


Ticket information and details regarding this key upcoming series and all future action at the Danbury ice Arena can be obtained by visiting PHF - Connecticut Whale | Athletics Ticketing - Ticket Office Home (universitytickets.com).


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