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Whale’s weekend series with Buffalo postponed

Taylor Girard and the Connecticut Whale was  scheduled to return to the ice in Connecticut this weekend with a pair of games in Milford against Buffalo.

The Connecticut Whale’s weekend series with the Buffalo Beauts was postponed Friday afternoon by the Premier Hockey Federation.

Connecticut was supposed to host Buffalo on Saturday and Sunday in Milford at the Ice Arena but the games were cancelled due to the forecast of inclement weather conditions affecting travel in the Buffalo area, which is expecting a huge snowstorm on Saturday. The NFL moved Sunday’s Buffalo Bills game against Cleveland to Detroit’s Ford Field.

The PHF’s decision was made in support of prioritizing the safety of players, staff, and fans, the league said in a release. The weekend series will be rescheduled for future dates to be determined.

The Whale will have to wait another week to try and get on the winning track. The Whale stumbled out of the gate with a 4-0 loss to defending Isobel Cup champion Boston on Nov. 5, giving up three goals in the third period, including two in a span of 10 seconds.

Connecticut (0-1) travels to Montreal next weekend for a pair of games with the expansion Force.

The Whale will begin playing games in their new home at the International Skating Center in Simsbury on Friday, Dec. 9.

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A day before their season opener the Beauts announced that goaltender Tera Hofmann had signed a professional tryout offer (PTO) and would be in the lineup against Montreal in place of the injured Kassidy Sauvé.

On Sunday, Nov. 6, she delivered a 31-save performance, backstopping Buffalo to a 3-2 win over Montreal to pick up their first victory of the new season. For Hofmann, the win was her first since debuting with the Riveters on January 24, 2021 when she made 33 saves in a 4-3 win over the Whale. Last season she appeared in parts of three games for Toronto.

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It’s hard to be perfect but debuts don’t get any better than Corinne Schroeder’s first two games in the PHF. The Boston netminder turned aside all 63 shots she faced over two games to earn back-to-back shutout victories for the Pride.

Her 36 saves on Saturday night in a 4-0 win against the Whale made her just the third goaltender in PHF history to post a shutout in their first career start, joining Buffalo’s Nicole Hensley and Shannon Szabados who both accomplished the feat in October of 2018.

Her 27 saves in a 2-0 victory over the Riveters made her the sixth goaltender in PHF history to post back-to-back blanks following the Pride’s Katie Burt (2021-22), Toronto’s Elaine Chuli (2021-22), current teammate Lovisa Selander (2019-20), the Riveters’ Katie Fitzgerald (2017-18), and Boston’s Brittany Ott (2016-17).

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EURO HOCKEY: Boston defender Aneta Tejralová is one of five PHF players who competed with Czechia, alongside Connecticut forward Kateřina Mrázová, Minnesota forward Denisa Křížová, Toronto forward Tereza Vanišová, and defender Dominika Lásková in last weekend’s Women’s Euro Hockey Tour, which also included Finland, Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland.

TEAM CANADA: Boston’s Loren Gabel and Elizabeth Giguere will be playing with the Canadian National team in a three-game series against the United States on Nov. 15, Nov. 17 and Nov. 20.

“Representing Canada is always a huge honor,” said Gabel. “Every time you get to put the maple leaf on you are a part of something that is so much bigger than yourself, and that feeling will never get old.”

A majority of players from the Canadian and American national teams play with the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) that has four teams and competes over five weekends.

Thirteen players on the U.S. team that participated in the world championships earlier this fall in Denmark were part of the PWHPA and 21 Team Canada players are in the PWHPA. Canada beat the United States in the finals, 2-1.

Material from the PHF included in this report.

PHF standings

Boston 2-0-0 6 2 0 0
Toronto 2-0-0 5 1 1 0
Buffalo 1-0-1 4 1 0 0
Montreal 1-1-0 2 0 0 1
Minnesota 0-1-1 1 0 0 0
Metropolitan 0-1-0 0 0 0 0
Connecticut 0-0-0 0 0 0 0
Three points for a win in regulation, two points for an OT or shootout win. One point for loss in OT or shootout.

Friday’s game
Boston at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Saturday’s games
Toronto at Metropolitan, 1 p.m.
Buffalo at Connecticut (Milford), 6 p.m.
Boston at Minnesota, 7 p.m.
Sunday’s games
Toronto at Metropolitan, noon
Buffalo at Connecticut (Milford), noon

Sat. Nov. 19: BUFFALO at Milford, 6 p.m.
Sun. Nov. 20: BUFFALO at Milford, noon
Sat. Dec. 3: At Montreal, 1 p.m.
Sun. Dec. 4: At Montreal, 1 p.m.
Fri. Dec. 9: MINNESOTA, 7 p.m.
Sat. Dec. 10: MINNESOTA, 2 p.m.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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