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The Connecticut Whale on Dogs, Coffee, Jerseys, and Miracle

Former Quinnipiac teammates, now roommates, share their thoughts on the lighter side of playing in the NWHL

The Connecticut Whale congregate around the net in a sea of green.
Pat McCarthy

The second season of the NWHL is underway, and it is time to reveal essential details about some of the Connecticut Whale.

The best roommate

Kelly Babstock faces a new living situation this season, as her old roommates Shiann Darkangelo and Chelsea Laden left the Whale. To backfill the spots, she has continued choosing Quinnipiac alum and goalies. Her house is shared with Nicole Kosta, Cydney Roesler, Shenae Lundberg, and Captain- no, Captain is not Whale captain Molly Engstrom, but rather, Lundberg’s dog.

Man crush Monday goes out to this young pup @captaincattlepup #puppylove #mcm #cattledoglove

A photo posted by Shenae Lundberg (@shenarnia) on

Designated the fifth roommate, Babstock loves the reckless, but fun, puppy. She is quick to dismiss her roommates in favor of Captain.

“That’s the best part, having a puppy in the house. If we’re mad or something, he’ll always make us smile.”

In a house filled with potential caffeine addicts, Captain must be invaluable.

Coffee is a basic need

That particular house of Whale players love their coffee. When asked about the perks of Dunkin Donuts’ gift cards, Kosta answered with a rhetorical question.

“Who doesn’t love free coffee?! I’m excited. Ever since I knew they got it last year, I was pretty jealous. ... I don’t know if I can drink that much coffee, but definitely pre-game coffee and late night coffees and other coffees.”

“Excited” may be an understatement for Kosta’s feeling towards coffee. Still, the title of “Happiest Free Coffee Recipient” may go to one of her roommates. While Roesler remained calm and collected while expressing her gratitude for free coffee, Babstock took a completely different route. Babstock self-proclaims that she runs on Dunkin.

“I have a coffee a day. Even when I was little, every year since I drank coffee, I have had a cup of coffee before games, and now I’m excited that my cup is the best cup.” That is ad-worthy.

With all the praises of coffee from the Quinnipiac alum, there is a traitor in their midst. Nicole Connery attempted to keep the delicate balance at first, stating, “Honestly, I don’t drink as much.”

Less than a second later, she corrected herself, saying, “I don’t drink coffee.” Instead, she recommends their hot chocolate in the winter. Connery is also a big fan of Dunkin’s “morning food,” like smoothies, little hashbrowns, and egg sandwiches.

Along with her other teammates, she would probably be okay with green eggs and ham as well.

Green pants and green socks and green sweaters

When the NWHL announced the retirement of the inaugural jerseys, Whale fans were disappointed to see their beloved jerseys change, but excited to vote on the new jersey designs. Then, all they saw was green.

GM and Assistant Coach Lisa Giovanelli grew up in Connecticut watching the Hartford Whalers, so she can appreciate the green of the controversial uniforms for the second season.

“I think the green looks good, and everyone is entitled to their opinion that way.”

Luckily for her, she has at least a few players on her side as well. Roesler prefaced her opinion by saying, “I’m really happy to just don a jersey,” before she made a fashion statement, declaring, “We looked really good against Russia, style-wise. I’m happy with the change.”

Kosta agrees that the color is fun and quips, “I won’t have an excuse to not know who’s on my team because we stand out a bit much from the other teams.”

Connery seems most conflicted about the jersey color, initially declaring, “I’m a big fan of the blue. I thought they looked really cool.” After discussing the various shades of green worn for the preseason versus regular season games, she conceded that she liked the switch. “I’ve never worn a green jersey before, and it’s a new experience.”

Still, of the players The Ice Garden interviewed, Kelly Babstock is the only one who actually wore both jerseys, and her comments encapsulated all the opinions best.

“Last year’s jersey was awesome because it was the first Connecticut Whale jersey, but I’m not going to lie. I like the green. It goes well, obviously, because it’s our colors.”

The green is good - the players agree.

“Miracle.” “Miracle.” “Miracle.” “Blades of Glory.”

On the topic of favorite ice-related movies, however, there was not full consensus. There were many quotes about the Olympic dream and inspiration and underdogs from three of the players.

Then, there was Kelly Babstock.