Danbury CT– Wow! In a time span of about 15 hours the Danbury Whalers sent the class of the Federal Hockey League packing and picked up four points in the process. The new look Whalers, featuring four new players in the last five games, have recreated themselves into a force to be reckoned with. Dominating play with a strong defense, sharp passing and plenty of scoring opportunities the Whalers easily dispatched the Akwesasne Warriors by a convincing 6-3 score.
Out shooting Akwesasne by a 2-to-1 margin, 52-26, was only part of the story as the defense led by newcomers Scott Burns and Ryan Farrell kept feeding the puck up to the offense. And the offense kept creating scoring opportunity after scoring opportunity centering the puck, taking quality shots and following up on the rebounds.
In Friday night’s game the Thousand Island Privateers scored on their first shot of the game in the first minute of play. The last thing anyone expected tonight was the Danbury Whalers scoring on their first shot of the game in the first minute of play. But that’s what happened. With only 41 seconds ticked off the clock, Chris Seifert, from behind the net, fed Andrew Willock out in front the goal and setting the tone for contest against the first place Warriors. In what may have been the Whalers best opening period of play, they outshot their stunned opponents, 21-10, actually putting 7 shots on net before Akwesasne sent one Nick Niedert’s way.
At 6:28 of the first period Akwesasne briefly tied the game 1-1 when Martin Beauline was awarded a power play goal after a lengthy discussion between the three officials and the goal judge. But the dominant Whalers came right back. At 11:31 Alec Kirschner was checked hard behind the net and then Chris Seifert came in, dug out the puck, centered it to Martin Moucha, who quickly found Kirschner now camped out on the goal door step for the go-ahead goal. 53 seconds later it was Danbury with a 3-1 lead when Joe Dabkowski jammed it home on assists by Igor Karlov and Willock.
In the second period it was “déjà vu all over again” with the Whalers scoring on their first shot, this time taking only 29 seconds. Defenseman Ryan Farrell fed a long pass up the left side, sending Chris Seifert in on a breakaway and a 4-1 Danbury lead. Four minutes later it was 5-1 Whalers, when a Scott Burns pass found Igor Karlov on the side of crease for an unstoppable shot. And at 11:01 it became 6-1 Whalers when Eric Lind converted a rebound off a Kirschner blocked shot. Warrior goalie David Plouffe was then given the rest of the night off in favor of Nicholas St. Laurent.
Two late inconsequential goals by the Warriors in the third period were too little, too late.
The win was the Whalers 13th in 16 home games at the Danbury Ice Arena as the Whalers pick up two important more points in their battle for a playoff spot.
In other Federal Hockey League scores Saturday; Brooklyn Aviators defeated the 1000 Island Privateers 4-3; and the Rome Frenzy beat the Cape Cod Barons 5-2.