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Newfoundland senior hockey goalie A.J. Whiffen has been an ECHL expansion team emergency specialist

A.J. Whiffen — Newfoundland Growlers photos/Jeff Parsons
A.J. Whiffen — Newfoundland Growlers photos/Jeff Parsons

He would be the answer to a tough trivia question: Who was the first player to suit up for the two 2018-19 ECHL expansion teams, the Newfoundland Growlers and the Maine Mariners?

It’s Grand Falls-Windsor native A. J. Whiffen, who has been signed by both the Growlers and Mariners as an emergency backup netminder.

The 29-year-old Whiffen, who normally plays for the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League’s Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts, has been on the bench for five games for the Growlers and was the backup to former NHLer Hannu Toivonen for Maine in a pair of games against Newfoundland at Mile One Centre earlier this week.

However, Whiffen hasn’t seen any on-ice action other than practices and pre-game warmups. That’s because ECHL rules say an emergency backup can only be used in a game if the starting goalie is injured and can’t continue playing.

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