The Connecticut Whale, or as known by the fans as the CT Whale, is the definition of a fun team. The Whale exudes the energy of Hey! We play hockey! It’s fun! The Connecticut Whale is not to be confused with the now Hartford Wolfpack of the AHL, who also used to be the Connecticut Whale.
I can confirm that this Connecticut Whale is much more incredible than the AHL version. The Whale’s play on the ice machine es their vibes off the ice with fun moving hockey with a goalie that’s equally fun to watch. The CT whale Twitter account is probably the best in a league of Twitter accounts that all feel like the heyday of the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Whale leans into the Hartford Whalers theme by using their colors and playing brass bonanza as their goal song. Even with all that, the Whale is not just the Whaler 2.0; they are something different. they lean into the whale aspect of their team. The Whale welcomes new players to the group by welcoming them to the Pod. This is the hockey team for all the people who dreamed of being marine biologists as kids.
Coming back for two more seasons is Whale team leader in points, and PHF MVP is Kennedy Marchment. Marchment is an offensive force that can not be stopped. In 106 games played in the SDHL, she amassed 188 total points. Her offense is almost unbeatable. Most women’s hockey stats aren’t there, or if they are, they are hard to find, so we rely on +/-, which isn’t the best start, but the lowest +/- Marchment has had in her pro career is a +29.
Another player returning to the Whale for two years is PHF newcomer of the year and Quinnipiac grad Taylor Girard. Girard is a vital part of the Whale core that took the team to the Isobel cup final last season. Girard is a unique player who adds so much to this team.
Back for another year with the Whale and former Yale grad Emma Vlasic. You might recognize the Vlasic name from her cousin, Marc-Edouard Vlasic of the San Jose Sharks, and brother Alex Vlasic, the second-round Chicago pick. While mentioning the male relatives of a women’s hockey player is instead cliché, it’s a way to get the male fans into the women’s game. If only Emma Vlasic got mentioned in all the articles about her brother and cousin.
The four-time NCAA division three champion is back with the Whale for season eight for the team, and season three for her is right-shot Massachusetts native Amanda Conway. While I could gush for hours about how vital college pedigree is for women’s hockey players, I will refrain since it would just be a chant of Look! College! That’s development! That’s the highest level of play for some of these players, which would spiral into a rant about my love of D III college hockey and the fact that high-level division III hockey on the women’s side is almost Division I good.
Wolfie is back! No player on the Whale at the moment screams veteran presence like Wohlfeiler. She has been in the pro women’s game for the long hall. Wohfeiler was on the Whale in their first season back in 2015. With this contract, she is on her fourth season with the Whale, although in her third of this campaign. Wohlfeiler is an underappreciated name in women’s hockey, and she should be looked at more when talking about this Whale team.
Another Massachusetts native and U18 women’s worlds native joining the Pod is Lonergan. Lonergan is joining the PHF after six years of NCAA hockey. Yes, you read that right, six years; I assume that’s due to likely an injury in her first year (year four) at Clarkson University, where she played only one game. Lonergan is an excellent addition to an already stacked forward core, especially on the face-off.
PHF all, a star player from the Whale, is back for two more seasons. Left shot D Monroe is a huge part of the Pod’s blue line. Monroe brings a lot of hard but surprisingly clean play to the Whale, with only 14 penalty minutes in 18 total games. Monroe will have to get her game to another level to overcome the loss of Taylor Marchin.
Back for at least one more season is Hannah Bates. Bates is an impact on the back end. Her play stands out on the ice, although not on the score sheet. Hannah Bates is almost as defense-first as they come, but that is not bad. Defensive hockey is also good hockey that can win.
Howran has signed on for her third and fourth season with the whale. She had eight total points in 20 games last season but with a +/- of +8. In her final season of NCAA play, Howran wore the C for the University of New Hampshire. Howran won the 2015-2016 silver medal at the women’s worlds U18s with Team Canada.
We all know my thoughts about Abbie Ives, how much I love her play style, and all she brings to a team with her play. Ives made the all-star team as starting goalie for Team Thunstrom. Ives managed to carry the Whale to the Isobel Cup finals last season, and with the new additions to the Pod, she easily can this season as well. Abbie Ives is an outstanding goalie, but I think the Whale’s biggest worry with her is playing Ives too much.
The Whale lost defense Taylor Marchin to the Metropolitan Riveters over the off-season, and that is a massive hit to the blue line. Still, with all the talent coming out of the NCAA system, the Whale can quickly fill that hole, and even if they can’t find an NCAA player, they can get a player from Europe. More and more European players are leaping the PHF, and I can see the Whale taking advantage of it. The Japanese women’s hockey scene is rising and is an untapped resource in North America. Last season they had signed Japanese-born player Tsubasa Sato to a PTO, so I can easily see them going down that route. No matter what happens, I am sure Whale coach Colton Orr can compensate for it.