NORTHFORD, Sept. 29 – The Connecticut Whale gave up a goal with 28 seconds gone in the game and then they played the Russian National Team even. But that early goal was enough as Russia ended its five-game tour through the National Women’s Hockey League with a 3-2 exhibition victory over the Whale at the Northfield Ice Pavilion on Thursday night.
Kelli Stack and Kelly Babstock had goals for Connecticut (1-1), which beat the Russians on Tuesday night in Northford by a 3-2 margin. Haley Skarupa and Ivana Bilic each had two assists for Connecticut, which outshot the Russians, 11-4 in the third period.
It was the final exhibition game of the season for Connecticut, which opens the regular season on Sunday, Oct. 9 in Buffalo. The Whale play their first six games of the season (18 games) on the road. The first home game for Connecticut is Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Northford Ice Pavilion against Buffalo at 7:30 p.m.
Russia 3, Connecticut Whale 2
At Northford, CT
Russia (2-3) 2 1 0 — 3
Connecticut (1-1) 0 1 1 — 2
Russia Liudmila Belyakova (Yekaterina Smolenteseva, Olga Sosina), 0:28; Smolenteseva (Fanuza Kadirova), 11:03
Connecticut: Kelli Stack (Haley Skarupa, Ivana Bilic), 1:21 (pp); Russia: Angela Goncharenko (Sosina, Nina Prugova), 18:51 (pp)
Connecticut: Kelly Babstock (Skarupa, Bilic), 16:51 (pp)
Shots on goal: Russia 24; Connecticut 25; Saves: Nadezhda Morozova (Russia) 24 saves on 26 shots; Nicole Stock (Connecticut) 13 saves on 15 shots; Shenae Lunberg (Connecticut) 9 saves on 10 shots