A GAME OF TWO’S

Connecticut Whale VERSUS     Providence

Dale Weise returned to the Connecticut Whale and potted two goals. Maxime Sauve matched Weise’s two goals with two of his own for the visiting Providence Bruins. The Whale took five two-minute penalties in the third period allowing two power play goals and went on to drop a 4-2 decision to the visiting P-Bruins at the XL Center in front of 3,119 Tuesday night.

“We did a good job on 5-on-5 play,” Devin DiDiomete said afterwards. “But we can’t take three penalties in a row and expect to win the game.”

Weise agreed. “Even when I was here before, penalties are what were hurting us…We take a couple that are completely unnecessary, and they come back to bite you in the ass, and that’s usually what happens. I thought we were in full control of that game, and then we took some penalties, they scored on the power play and we just gave up two points.

“It’s lack of discipline,” Weise went on to say. “The penalties we took in the third period were unnecessary. We’re not picking on any guys. It’s been everybody all year, and we have to find a way not as a team to not take penalties. If you’re up in a 2-1 game, you can’t afford to take penalties in the third period. Power plays are the biggest momentum swings you have in games. We get a big (penalty) kill and all of a sudden we start rolling, and they score a couple and they get rolling. There are always going to be penalties in games, but you’ve got to find ways to take them at smarter times and better reasons.”

Whale Head Coach Ken Gernander was even more direct about it. “We had some power plays in the second period (three) and capitalized (twice), and (referees Jamie Koharski and Tim Mayer) are going to look to maybe make amends. But if you keep your stick on the ice and your feet moving, you should be all right.

“But when you feel you’re on the defensive and flat-footed, there are going to be opportunities where you’re going to put yourself in a compromising position and possibly take a penalty. They were playing the whole third period in the offensive zone and could be aggressive.”

The Whale led 2-1 coming into the third period on Weise’s two power play goals in the second period. It was safe to think that the Whale were well on their way to picking up two points given their 13-0-0-2 record when leading after two periods. But an early undisciplined penalty by Stu Bickel picking up an interference call just 1:53 in didn’t bode well for the home team, as Providence didn’t score but got momentum going their way.

5:28 into the third, Sauve got by Jared Nightingale, who possibly had his poorest game of the season and had a breakaway opportunity. Fortunately for the Whale, Chad Johnson, (31 saves, 14-15-3) was there to turn it aside.

But just 35 seconds later, Nightingale took a very unnecessary boarding penalty, that could just as easily been called interference, along the left wing boards in the Whale defensive zone.

It only took 13 seconds for Sauve to get his first on the power play. Jason Williams lost a defensive zone draw to Trent Whitfield, who sent the puck back to Colby Cohen on the left point. Cohen sent it across to David Ling at the right point. Ling sent it right back to Cohen who one-timed it. The shot was handled by Johnson but rebounded in front. Wade Redden got bumped off by Whitfield knocking him out of the play creating space for Sauve to blast away from just inside the left circle in front of Johnson to knot the score at two apiece.

Then Koharski and Mayer got whistle-happy and it didn’t help the New York Ranger’s AHL affiliate get back into the contest.

First Bretton Cameron, playing in just his second game with the Whale since being signed to a Professional Try-Out (PTO) agreement on Monday, took an offensive zone tripping call. It was a penalty that was questionable-at-best, both on the call and for the play itself. Cameron’s penalty came at 7:34.

Then as if recognizing their mistake, the Whale were granted a reprieve when the zebras called an even more ticky-tacky call on Joe Colborne of the P-Bruins to even up the sides at four each for 1:19.

But then out came the whistle again with an even more ridiculous call as Kelsey Tessier was called for slashing just 16 seconds into the 4-on-4 at 8:31.

At 9:49 Weise’s bid for the hat-trick off a nifty backhanded deflection he took off a point shot was denied by Nolan Schaefer (27 saves, 8-12-1).

Sauve then would net his second power-play chance when he got to the inside of Weise along the right-wing side and behind Nightingale as the Tours, France native followed up on a rebound of a Jamie Arniel shot from the slot and put it up-and-over Johnson’s right pad for what would prove to be the game-winner at 10:23.

With the puck in the offensive zone, and Johnson pulled for an extra attacker, Kirk MacDonald got to a loose puck along the right-wing boards in the P-Bruins zone. Nightingale pinched and went for the puck and it popped-up to the half boards to Jeremy Reich. The P-Bruins left-winger grabbed the puck and raced up the ice with Oren Eizenman smacking him with his stick. But Reich crossed center the red line and let go a shot that found the empty-net just three seconds after it had been vacated by Johnson for his tenth of the season.

The first P-Bruins goal came with 2:55 to go in the first period.

Tim Kennedy was advancing the puck just over the Whale defensive blue-line when he went to pass to Weise on his right, but got hammered by MacDermid sending the puck loose in the neutral zone. The puck was picked-up and advanced by Jeff Penner who found MacDonald free on the left-wing side. MacDonald rushed up ice and Nightingale was late getting over and the shot was released from the left face off dot. Johnson handled the initial shot, but the puck flipped out to MacDonald just in front of the left side goal-line. MacDonald took a second whack at it with Nightingale all over him and it got past the blocker of Johnson and into the net.

Weise got his first tally on the power-play at 3:01 of the second frame with Reich in the box on a hooking call.

Along the right-wing half-boards, Kennedy fed the puck back to Weise who skated from right to the left side behind the net and fed it to Jeremy Williams at the left point. Williams then fired it back into the right corner to Kennedy. In the right corner, Kennedy backhanded a perfect pass over to Weise just inside the left circle. Weise one-timed it past Schaefer for his 8th of the year.

4:19 later, with Whitfield in the box on a Tripping call, the Whale went to their second power-play after converting on the first and repeated it.

Redden had the puck on the power-play at the left point. He moved the biscuit over to Jeremy Williams at the top of the slot. Williams then sent the puck down low to Jason Williams in the left circle. Andrew Bodnarchuk came out to challenge Williams and tried to take away both the pass and the shot on one knee. The pass got by him though and Weise, who had beaten Cohen in front redirected the pass over Schaefer for his ninth.

After playing so little in his time up in New York and hearing some criticism publicly from Head Coach John Tortorella, as fired up as Weise was playing, it wasn’t to send a message to the big club hierarchy.

“You come down you have a little more hop in your step. Obviously things happen a little slower here so I had a little extra time with the puck… I believe in myself as a player. I never lose my confidence in myself. I know I can play, and I just came down here to try to help the team win,” Weise said. “I’m not trying to send a message to anyone. I play with a chip on my shoulder, that’s the way that I play and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.”

Weise was quick to praise both his linemates, Jason Williams and Tim Kennedy. “Both passes were great passes from both guys. A great pass from Kennedy on the first one. Anyone puts that one in. Hell of a play on the second one. I just kind of strong-sticked it in front of (Schaefer) like we worked on in practice (Monday) and a great pass from Jason Williams. Playing with those guys things are going to happen.”

Bruce Berlet’s unabridged story on Howlings.  What you might call a story, if you were desperate enough for Providence comes at ProJo.com.

GAME SUMMARY and OFFICIAL SCORERS SHEET

VIDEO:

PENALTIES SINK WHALE

SOUNDS OF THE GAME:

Ken Gernander: 

Dale Weise: 

NOTES:

* After the game Glen Sather announced that forwards Vinny Prospal and Ryan Callahan had been activated from injured reserve and could possibly play Tuesday after the NHL All-Star break against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Sather also announced that defenseman Michael Del Zotto and forwards Chad Kolarik, Evgeny Grachev, Kris Newbury and Brodie Dupont had been reassigned to the Whale. Speculation out of New York is that at least two of them and possibly three will head back to the Big Apple depending upon who’s ready to play from the walking wounded the Rangers have become.

We would speculate that Kris Newbury will be one of those for certain. Newbury has made a good case for himself as the fourth line center. Kolarik has played well but fallen off the past couple of games. He too is likely to go. But Grachev has only registered 3 shots in 8 games in the NHL and will likely remain in Connecticut to continue to develop his game. Dan Girardi will be ready to go next Tuesday so Del Zotto is also likely to remain in Harford to continue to get the consistency that Tortorella wants to see in him.

All five will play this weekend with the Whale.

*  Weise averaged 6:30 in ice time in NY and played 24 1/2 in this one. Weise said, “I felt like I could have played another 10.”

* Weise’s first goal was his first tally since Dec. 21

* Weise led everyone on the ice with a game-high seven shots.

* Weise has nine goals in 17 games this season with the Whale.

* Over their entire history as the Whale/Wolf Pack, the team has an overall losing record with only one team, the Hamilton Bulldogs. Their record against the Montreal Canadians top farm team is 3-6-0-1-(1). Against Providence all-time, after Tuesday night’s defeat, the Whale stand at 67-41-8-8-(3).

* When the Whale score 2-goals the team is 3-5-0-1 and when they allow 4-goals they are 2-7-0-2.

* Sauve has a third of his 12 goal production for the season in his last two games against the Whale.

* Todd White returned after missing four games with an upper body injury.

* Tyler Donati played his first game with the club since Nov. 17th at Manchester. After not dressing for six straight, Donati was returned to the Elmira Jackals of the ECHL

LINES:
Soryal – Tessier – Jeremy Williams
Weise – Kennedy – Jason Williams
DiDiomete – Eizenman – Cameron
Chappell – White – Donati

Valentenko – Kundratek
ReddenNightingale
Niemi – Bickel

Johnson
Pelletier

(Assistant Captains Bold and Italicized)

SCRATCHES:
Ryan Garlock – Flu, Day-to-Day
Cam Talbot – High Ankle Sprain, Day-to-Day
Chris McKelvie – Foot Surgery, Undetermined

THREE STARS:
1. PRO – M. Sauve
2. CT – D. Weise
3. PRO – J. Penner

ON ICE OFFICIALS:
Referee:
Tim Mayer (19)
Jamie Koharski (84)

Linesmen:
Paul Simeon (66)
Luke Galvin (2)

NEXT GAME:

The Whale get back at it again with a fill compliment of their call-ups back on Friday night when they take on the Manchester Monarchs and then follow it up the next night with a battle with the red-hot Portland Pirates night. Bob Crawford has the pregame a half an hour before the puck drops at 7pm.

To watch the game live, you can purchased it for $6.99 at AHL-live.

For Ticket information for all home games, call (860) 548-2000.

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SCORE-SHEET:

Providence Bruins 4 at Connecticut Whale 2 – Status: Final
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 – XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Providence 1 0 3 – 4
Connecticut 0 2 0 – 2

1st Period-1, Providence, MacDonald 9 (Penner), 17:05. Penalties-Valentenko Ct (hooking), 6:19.

2nd Period-2, Connecticut, Weise 8 (Kennedy, Williams), 3:01 (PP). 3, Connecticut, Weise 9 (Williams, Williams), 7:20 (PP). Penalties-Reich Pro (hooking), 1:26; Whitfield Pro (tripping), 6:34; Caron Pro (hooking), 17:01.

3rd Period-4, Providence, Sauve 11 (Cohen, Ling), 6:16 (PP). 5, Providence, Sauve 12 (Arniel, Alexandrov), 10:23 (PP). 6, Providence, Reich 10 (MacDonald), 18:56 (EN). Penalties-Bickel Ct (interference), 1:53; Nightingale Ct (boarding), 6:03; Cameron Ct (tripping), 7:34; Colborne Pro (hooking), 8:15; Tessier Ct (slashing), 8:31; Redden Ct (hooking), 19:23.

Shots on Goal-Providence 11-7-17-35. Connecticut 12-11-6-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 2 / 6; Connecticut 2 / 3.
Goalies-Providence, Schaefer 8-12-1 (29 shots-27 saves). Connecticut, Johnson 14-15-3 (34 shots-31 saves).
A-3,119
Referees-Tim Mayer (19), Jamie Koharski (84).
Linesmen-Paul Simeon (66), Luke Galvin (2).

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