Whalers Crush Demonz
By Nick Magoulas
Danbury CT. - In a game that may have been a preview of the FHL finals, the Danbury Whalers made a major statement to the rest of the league; they aren't going to be intimidated by anyone. Mike Atkinson, Alec Kirschner and Richard Vanderhoek had two goals apiece and Mike Brown made 30 saves as the Whalers crushed the Dayton Demonz Friday night 9-4.
It was obvious during warm-ups that the Whalers were fired up for this one and it showed early in the first period. Richard Vanderoek scored his tenth of the season and first of two to open the scoring at 5:51 of the first on a wrap around goal that he stuffed in past Jeff Rose. The Demonz would take the lead in the blink of an eye though as Nick Petriello(power play, 22nd) and Chris Levielle(24th) would connect 46 seconds apart and give the Demonz their only lead of the night. The Whalers would answer with 11.2 seconds left in the first as Alec kirschner scored on the power play to tie things up at two headed to the second frame.
In the second, it was all Whalers, as Danbury would score 5 times against Jeff Rose and the Demonz defense. Mike Atkinson put the Whalers on top 3:07 into the second on a shorthanded breakaway goal. Atkinson read the pass perfectly at the blueline, intercepted the puck and buried it over the glove of Rose. The Demonz would respond 1:08 later as Jason Hill(37th) put home a rebound off a shot from Trevor Karasiewicz to tie the game at 3. The Whalers would take the lead for good at 7:11 of the second on Alec Kirschner's second of the game and 7th on the season. The Whalers would add three more by the end of the period thanks to goals from Tyler Noseworthy(21st), Ryan Dolence(2nd) and the second shorthanded goal of the game from Mike Atkinson(32nd). Atkinson carried the puck in over the blue line, stopped just inside the left circle and blasted a shot past Rose.
The Whalers would add two more goals the in the third frame. First Vanderhoek(11th) at 9:15 and Phil Aucoin(5th) at 13:22. The Demonz would add a power play goal at 11:47 thanks to a tally from Peter Cintala, his 11th. After all was said and done, the Whalers had made a tremendous statement to the Demonz and the rest of the FHL. They played a complete sixty minute game and had manhandled the most dominant team in the league; and they made it look easy.
"We knew what we had to do tonight and we did it, plain and simple. We knew who we were going up against and we knew it was going to take a team effort to come away with the win. (The Demonz) are a very good hockey team, but so are we. We wanted to play our game and get the job done; and we did." Whalers forward Mike Atkinson.
Jeff Rose was pulled after the second period after allowing 7 goals on 33 shots. He was replaced by Aaron Barton, who made 15 saves in relief. The Whalers host the 1000 Island Privateers tomorrow at 7:35 at the Danbury Ice Arena. Fans can tune in to Nick Magoulas as he brings you the play by play and watch or listen on livesportsvideo.com.
Game Notes: The Whalers 9 goals were the most scored against Dayton this season... Dayton has lost two in a row for only the second time this season... Danbury was previously 0-4 against Dayton this season... Mike Atkinson set the single season Whalers record for goals in a season with 32.