AHL Report: Chris Kreider, Connecticut Whale Still Searching for First Victory
By Kristin Tullo (@KToools)
The season looked like it was off to a good start when the Connecticut Whale outscored the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2-0, including a shorthanded goal by Kyle Jean in the first period of the season opener. But it was short lived though.
The Sound Tigers scored five of their own goals in the second period, extending a lead that was too much for the Whale to overcome, en route a 6-4 victory. The Whale will now enter their next match up against the Albany Devils looking for their first win and avoid a 0-4-1 hole.
Kris Newbury, drafted by the San Jose Sharks in 2009, leads his team with seven points and has contributed in all four games played, much like his teammate Kyle Jean who is right behind Newbury with three goals and three assists so far this season. One player that will look to get on the score sheet tomorrow night in Albany will be former Boston College Eagle, Chris Kreider, who is spending his first season in the AHL after three years of NCAA hockey before joining the Rangers in last year’s playoff run. In 18 playoff games with New York, Kreider scored 5 goals, including two game winners, and added a pair of assists. The quick forward was a big piece of the Rangers success in getting to the Eastern Conference Final and will likely do the same with the Whale if the NHL lockout continues, keeping players like Kreider in the farm system. Kreider is joined by former New York Ranger, Matt Gilroy, who has spent a majority of his pro-career in the NHL. Gilroy signed with the New York affiliate over the summer after splitting last season with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators. While it is unlikely that the one-time Ranger finds his way back in New York after the lockout, he adds depth to a system which already has a secure top four defensive squad.
The Whale will have their hands full in the first showdown with their division rival Albany Devils, who much like Connecticut, have a number of NHL experienced players on their roster due to the lockout, including 2011 first round draft pick, Adam Larsson. The last time Chris Kreider met up with the familiar faces of Larsson and Calder Trophy nominee, Adam Henrique, the three were fighting for their shot at the Stanley Cup against the Los Angeles Kings. Albany earned their first win on Saturday night in a shutout effort against Worchester.
Connecticut finished 3-0-0-1 against Albany last season and will meet up again five more times following tomorrow night’s game. The team will practice tomorrow morning before their game in Albany.
The Whale finished 6th in the conference last season, advancing to the playoffs before having their season ended by the Norfolk Admirals in the second round.
Upcoming games for Connecticut:
October 24th: At Albany Devils, 7 p.m.
October 26th: Vs Hershey Bears, 7 p.m.
Update: The AHL has announced Chris Kreider has been given a one game suspension for a boarding incident which occurred over the weekend. Kreider will serve his suspension Wednesday night against Albany.