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Newfoundland Growlers have wrinkles in the crease

A.J. Whiffen hasn’t played in a game for the Newfoundland Growlers, but has been in pre-game warmups as an emergency backup netminder a few times over the last couple of years, including Wednesday night at Mile One Centre. Whiffen practised with the Growlers Thursday, but Newfoundland, which is taking on the Worcester Railers tonight at Mile One, has reportedly picked up another goalie from the Southern Professional Hockey League. — Newfoundland Growlers photo
A.J. Whiffen hasn’t played in a game for the Newfoundland Growlers, but has been in pre-game warmups as an emergency backup netminder a few times over the last couple of years, including Wednesday night at Mile One Centre. Whiffen practised with the Growlers Thursday, but Newfoundland, which is taking on the Worcester Railers tonight at Mile One, has reportedly picked up another goalie from the Southern Professional Hockey League. — Newfoundland Growlers photo

With Redmond sidelined on eve of weekend games against Worcester, team brings in a goaltender from the SPHL

A.J. Whiffen was on the ice for the Newfoundland Growlers’ practice Thursday, but it looks like the Growlers will have another backup goaltender when they take on the Worcester Railers in ECHL play tonight at Mile One Centre in St. John’s.

Whiffen, the 30-year-old who helped the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts to a Herder provincial senior championship last season, was needed to back up Maksim Zhukov Wednesday night at Mile One, where Newfoundland finished off a two-game sweep of the Reading Royals with a 6-4 victory.

Angus Redmond, the Growlers’ other regular goalie, had started against the Royals Tuesday night  in what turned out to be a 5-4 overtime win for Newfoundland, but was injured and replaced by Zhukov after the opening period.

There was no announcement from the Growlers or an entry on the ECHL:’s transaction listing Thursday evening, but overnight Thursday, the Southern Professional Hockey League’s Evansville Thunderbolts reported that netminder Parker Garhagen has been loaned to the Growlers.

Parker Garhagen
Parker Garhagen

Whether Garhagen, who has a 3-2-1 record and 2.63 goals-against average with Evansville, will arrive in St. John’s in time for tonight’s game (7 p.m. start), remains to be seen. But his acquisition would seem to mean the status of Redmond — who was undergoing medical testing Thursday — is something more than day-to-day. 

Newfoundland finishes a four-game homestand as it plays Worcester again Saturday night at Mile One, then the team prepares for a cross-continent trip to take on the Utah Grizzlies for three games next week in Salt Lake City.

During the off-season, it had been expected the Growlers would start the 2019-20 ECHL campaign with the rookie netminding tandem of Zhukov and Toronto Maple Leafs’ draft pick Ian Scott, but an injury has meant Scott hasn’t played at all this season, and at last word, there was no timetable when he would be ready to go.

Newfoundland’s opening roster had Zhukov and Patrick Munson as goaltenders, but after Redmond was brought in, Munson was waived and claimed by the Fort Wayne Komets. Redmond is officially assigned to Newfoundland by the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, although he arrived at the Leafs’ affiliate in an indirect trade after defenceman Ryan Johnston, signed to an AHL contract with the Toronto Marlies was dealt to Anaheim’s farm team in San Diego.


Twitter: @telybrendan

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