The United States Premier Hockey League announced its players of the month for November for the North Region, and the Whalers Klimenti Rachkauskas and Justin Grenon were named the Atlantic East Division’s defenseman and goalie of the month respectively.
Rachkauskas, the 2003-born from St. Petersburg, Russia, has been huge for the Whalers as they continue to chase down the Rockets Hockey Club for first place in the Atlantic East, remaining just one point behind as November flipped to December. Rachkauskas posted a line of 1-5-6 during the six games of November, missing the scoresheet just once. He scored a goal in a 3-0 shutout of the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders on Nov. 14, and overall on the month, he helped the Whalers drop their team goals against from 3.07 to 2.71, while putting up a team-leading 27:14 in ice time. Overall, Rachkauskas also leads the Whalers defense in points with 14 through 18 games.
There is definitely a goaltending duel in the Jersey Whalers crease, and that has certainly helped the Whalers to second place in the Atlantic East Division. While Dmitrii Kapranov put up some strong numbers in November - and he remains one of the league leaders with a .932 save percentage – Justin Grenon had the better month of the two by fractions of numbers, and greatly lifted his save percentage to above .900 as a result.
In five games, Grenon went 3-2-0-0, and he stopped 159 of 166 shots faced for a .941 save percentage. He posted back-to-back shutouts by defeating the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders with a 42-save blanking, and then came back in the IHC Showcase with a 28-save shutout of the Metro Jets Development Program.