The Whale (38-28-2-6, 84 pts.) split four games over the past week, winning two out of three home games before falling in the weekend’s finale at Providence. Connecticut came from behind to defeat Springfield, 3-2, on Wednesday in Hartford, before rallying late to beat Charlotte, in a shootout, in an instant-classic on Friday, also 3-2. The Whale were then defeated by the Sound Tigers, 5-1, in Saturday’s GEICO Connecticut Cup action at the XL Center, later dropping a 4-2 road decision to the Bruins to close out the week on Sunday. Derek Couture scored four times during the week’s action, while winger Tommy Grant recorded his first two professional points with a pair of assists on Sunday, his pro debut.
The Whale are in action three times to begin the last month of the AHL’s regular season schedule, starting with a pair of road contests before heading home Sunday for the week’s lone action at the XL Center. Connecticut returns to Providence for the second game in a row on Friday (7:05 PM faceoff), and then travels to meet I-91 rival Springfield on Saturday night (7:00 PM faceoff). The Whale will host the Atlantic Division-leading Portland Pirates Sunday afternoon in Hartford to close out the week (3:00 PM faceoff).
Friday, April 1 at Providence (Dunkin’ Donuts Center Providence), 7:05 PM
· The Whale visit the Bruins for the second time in less than a week Friday. Connecticut is 5-3-0-1 in the season series, and the Whale’s 4-2 loss Sunday afternoon was the club’s first defeat in four visits to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Friday’s meeting will be the last of ten games between the Atlantic Division arch-rivals.
· Three different Providence players have scored six points in action against the Whale, including Maxime Sauve (5-1-6), Jamie Arniel (1-5-6) and Zach Hamill (1-5-6).
· Goaltender Anton Khudobin has posted a 7-2-1 record and a 2.35 goals-against average with Providence after arriving from the Houston Aeros.
· Maxime Sauve has posted seven game-winning goals, giving him a share of the league lead in that category. Two of those game-winners have come at the expense of the Whale.
· The Bruins are 33-34-3-3 on the year for 67 points and stand fifth in the Atlantic Division, eight points behind Worcester and 12 back of the Whale.
Saturday, April 2 at Springfield (MassMutual Center), 7:00 PM
· Saturday’s tilt with the Whale will be the Falcons’ last meeting of the season with Connecticut. The Whale have beaten the Falcons in six of the year’s previous nine match-ups (6-1-1-1).
· The Whale have overcome the Falcons in three of four games at the MassMutual Center this season, not losing there since Oct. 30.
· Tomas Kubalik, the Falcons’ leading scorer with 50 points (22-28-50 in 73 GP), leads Springfield in scoring against the Whale with seven points in nine games (3-4-7).
· Springfield snapped a twelve-game winless streak (0-11-1-0) in resounding fashion on Saturday, beating Worcester, 7-2. Kubalik had four points in the win (1-3-4) and Ben Guite had three assists.
· The Falcons fell to the Binghamton Senators in Sunday’s action, 4-1. David Savard netted the only goal of the game for Springfield, despite the Falcons outshooting their opposition, 39-30.
· Springfield’s record on the year stands at 31-38-2-3 for 67 points. The Falcons are sixth in the Atlantic, five points behind Providence and 13 points behind Worcester.
Sunday, April 3 vs. Portland at the XL Center, 3:00 PM
· 3,000 fans will receive a Whale team poster at this game, courtesy of Supercuts.
· Fans are encouraged to bring their skates, as there will be a free postgame skate on the XL Center ice, presented by Stone Academy.
· This is a Guida’s Family Value game. Family Value packages start as low as $48 and include three tickets, three hot dogs or pizza slices, three sodas and a Whale souvenir. Guida’s Family Value packs are available at the XL Center ticket office and on-line at www.CTwhale.com.
· This is the final meeting of the regular season between the Whale and the Atlantic Division-leading Pirates. The Whale have topped the Pirates in four of the previous seven tilts, including three times in overtime.
· Nick Crawford (1-4-5), Dennis McCauley (1-4-5) and Corey Tropp (0-5-5) have all recorded five points in action against Connecticut.
· Goaltender David Leggio owns a perfect 3-0-0 record against the Whale this season, allowing just four goals in three games for a 1.33 goals-against average and a .957 save percentage.
· The Pirates (43-20-6-2, 94 pts.) have gone winless in three-straight games (0-2-1-0), allowing five goals to their opposition in each game. The skid has reduced their lead in the division to just one point over the Manchester Monarchs.
· Twelfth-year pro Mark Parrish comes into the week riding a nine-game point-scoring streak, during which he has rolled up six goals and 12 assists for 18 points.
· Portland captured a playoff berth this weekend for their fourth-consecutive season.
Kale Kerbashian – signed by the Whale to an Amateur Tryout (ATO) agreement March 22.
Tommy Grant – signed by the Whale to an Amateur Tryout (ATO) agreement March 26.
Individual tickets for Whale home games are on sale now at the XL Center ticket office and all Ticketmaster locations. Tickets may also be charged by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at www.CTwhale.com. Tickets start at $7 each at the XL Center ticket office on game day.
For information on Whale ticket packages, group sales and VIP packages, call (860) 728-3366
The merchandise stands at the XL Center are carrying a full selection of Whale items, including hats, t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, pucks, mini-sticks and even plush toy whales. Whale merchandise is also available at the Whale Pro Shop, which is located at 45 Pratt St. in downtown Hartford and is open 10 AM to 4 PM Tuesday through Saturday, and two hours before every home game. Fans preferring to shop on the web can check out the Whale selection on-line at www.ctwhaleshop.com.
Season tickets for the 2011-12 Whale season are available now, with a special early bird discount. Call (860) 728-3366 for information on that, as well as all Whale ticket packages, group sales and VIP packages.
Once again this season, the Whale are partnering with WTIC Radio to air Whale hockey action. All of the Whale’s regular-season and playoff games will air on 96.5 WTIC-FM’s HD 2 channel and will be streamed on-line at www.wtic.com. Select games will be carried live on the 50,000-watt AM powerhouse, WTIC NewsTalk 1080.
The AHL’s Connecticut Whale is operated by Whalers Sports and Entertainment, a Hartford-based sports marketing and event firm founded by Howard Baldwin. The team is the top player-development affiliate of the NHL’s New York Rangers.
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