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Whale’s Taylor Girard is recognized by PHF for play this past weekend

Connecticut forward Taylor Girard, who has scored at least a point in six straight games, was one of the PHF’s three stars from this past weekend’s action.

The Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) announced their three stars for the past weekend and all three have a tie to Connecticut.

No. 1 star Natalie Snodgrass, the rookie with the Minnesota Whitecaps who had a hat trick Sunday in a win over Montreal, played five seasons with the University of Connecticut women’s hockey team.

No. 2 star Shiann Darkangelo of the Toronto Six, played for the Connecticut Whale in the league’s first season in 2015-16 while No. 3 star Taylor Girard currently plays for the Whale.

Snodgrass scored three goals over a span of 12:51 to lead the Whitecaps to a 5-2 win over Montreal last Saturday.

She scored the game-tying goal on the power play at 15:43 of the second period, popped the game-winner 2:40 into the third period at even strength, then added an insurance marker at 8:34 of the final frame. Her hat-trick is the fastest in franchise history and the team’s sixth all-time in regular season competition.

Snodgrass is the Whitecaps leading scorer heading into the holidays with 10 points in 10 games including six goals and four assists. Her first PHF season follows a five-year tenure at UConn where she was a two-year captain of the Huskies, scoring 139 points in 170 games with a program-record 70 goals.

Darkangelo had a career-high four points in Toronto’s 6-4 victory against the Buffalo Beauts on Saturday that propelled the team into first place in the overall standings. The 29-year-old from Brighton, MI scored the game-winner late in the third period, and served up three assists including primary assists on the first two Toronto goals along with an assist on the insurance goal.

Darkangelo, the 2022 All-Star captain now has nine points in 10 games including three goals and six assists which is tied for third on the team. The fifth-year veteran became the 14th player in PHF history to reach 50 career points, with her all-time totals now standing at 57 including 28 goals and 29 assists in 65 games.

Darkangelo had 10 goals and three assists for 13 points in Connecticut’s first season in 2015-16 when the league was called the National Women’s Hockey League and the Whale finished 13-5.

Girard had a goal and three assists over two weekend games with the Whale.

The 24-year-old from Macomb, Michigan, showcased her ability to create offense on the penalty kill with her second shorthanded tally of the season on Saturday, despite Connecticut’s 5-2 loss to the Metropolitan Riveters. The team rebounded with a 6-4 win over the Boston Pride in Sunday’s rematch of last February’s Isobel Cup final, with Girard contributing three assists to the offensive attack.

Two of her assists set up Caitrin Lonergan’s first two career goals to build a 2-0 lead, plus Kennedy Marchment’s insurance cap to end 2022 on a high note.

Girard, last season’s PHF Newcomer of the Year is picking up right where she left off with a team-high nine points in seven games following a 24-point rookie campaign. Her 1.3 points-per-game average is tied for fourth in the PHF, while her current six-game point-streak is the league’s longest heading into the New Year.

League play resumes after a two-week holiday break on the weekend of January 6-8.

A PHF news release is included in this report.

Premier Hockey Federation standings
As of Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022

Team W  L  OTL Pts RW OTW SOW
Toronto 7-1-2 22 6 1 1
Boston 7-2 19 5 2 0
Minnesota 4-4-2 14 4 0 0
Metropolitan 4-6 11 3 0 1
Connecticut 3-3-1 10 3 0 0
Montreal 4-4 10 2 0 2
Buffalo 1-4-1 4 1 0 0
Teams earn three points for a win in regulation and two points for wins in OT or in a shootout. Teams earn one point for a loss in OT or in a shootout
Friday, Dec. 16
Toronto 2, Buffalo 1
Saturday, Dec. 17
Metropolitan 5, Connecticut 2
Minnesota 5, Montreal 2
Toronto 6, Buffalo 4
Sunday, Dec. 18
Connecticut 6, Boston 4
Montreal 4, Minnesota 1
Friday, January 6
Boston at Connecticut (Simsbury), 7 p.m.
Saturday, January 7
Toronto at Montreal
Minnesota at Buffalo
Boston at Metropolitan
Sunday, January 8
Connecticut at Metropolitan, 1 p.m.
Minnesota at Buffalo
Toronto at Montreal

 

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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