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Family Matters: Florida Panthers have another link to Connecticut Whale

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The Connecticut Whale of the PHF signed Melissa Samoskevich to a contract before beating the Boston Pride on Sunday. // Graphic courtesy @CTWhaleHockey

On Sunday, the Premier Hockey Federation’s Connecticut Whale signed Melissa Samoskevich — sister of top Florida Panthers prospect Mackie Samoskevich — prior to its game against the Boston Pride.

Samoskevich was selected second overall in the 2018-19 draft by the Whale after scoring 23 points (13 goals, 10 assists) in 34 games as captain of Quinnipiac’s women’s hockey team.

Also during the ’18-19 campaign, Samoskevich led Team USA to a gold medal in the IIHF Women’s World Championships, scoring 10 points (six goals, four assists) in 10 games.

Before signing her first contract with the Whale, she spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach of Penn State’s women’s hockey team after being hired in 2020.

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Samoskevich joins Kennedy Marchment, who is the cousin of Panthers forward Mason Marchment, as family members who play for Connecticut.

Marchment has been one of the best players in the PHF this season, ranking second in both goals (9) and points (19) in 14 games on one of the league’s best teams going into play on Sunday.

The Whale currently are atop the PHF standings at 10-3-1 with 31 points.

While Samoskevich made her Connecticut season debut on Sunday against the Pride, it was Marchment who stole the show.

Her three points — including a goal 1:20 into the game that got the Whale started — helped propel Connecticut to a 6-1 victory over Boston.

Samoskevich finished the game with two shots on goal.

Marchment, Samoskevich and the Whale head on the road for a weekend set against the Minnesota Whitecaps next week, the final road trip of the regular season.

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