BY: Brian Ring

The Connecticut Whale fell to the Albany Devils, 3-1, Tuesday night in their preseason opener at Trinity College’s Koeppel Community Sports Center.

Nathan Perkovich scored the game-winning goal for Albany and former Wolf Pack forward Chad Wiseman had a goal and an assist in the Devils’ win over the Whale. Kale Kerbashian scored the lone goal for Connecticut.

“We’re evaluating players and obviously there’s things from a team perspective that we’d like to do better,” said fifth-year Whale head coach Ken Gernander. “I thought we had a real good hard-working first period. We haven’t worked a ton on special teams and that was a big difference in tonight’s game.”

The Devils broke a scoreless tie with 3:23 left to play in the first period as Wiseman scored on the power-play, putting his own rebound past Whale starter Chad Johnson (13 saves). Eric Gelinas and Mike Sislo recorded the assists on the first goal of the AHL preseason, with the Whale’s Sam Klassen off the ice for boarding.

Kerbashian tied the game for the Whale 7:42 into the second period following a failed Devils clear, beating Albany goaltender Keith Kinkaid (30 saves) with a backhander under the goaltender’s left pad. Matt Rust and Tommy Grant assisted on the score.

The rest of the second remained tied, as the Whale went scoreless during five power-play opportunities afforded to them by the Devils in the frame.

Albany again capitalized on the power-play at 3:21 of the third period, as Perkovich put the Devils ahead for good, 2-1, scoring high to the glove side on Whale goaltender Jason Missiaen (nine saves). The goal was assisted by Brandon Burlon.

The Devils extended their lead to 3-1 with 10:36 remaining in the third, as Darcy Zajac found the range with a snap shot low to the stick side of Missiaen. Wiseman earned the lone assist on the goal, his second point of the night.

The Whale will be in preseason action again Wednesday night, when they face the Springfield Falcons at the MassMutual Center (7:00 PM faceoff). Connecticut will play their last two tune-ups against the Worcester Sharks, with games Friday at Quinnipiac University’s TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden (7:00 PM faceoff) and Sunday at Champions Skating Center in Cromwell (2:00 PM faceoff).

Albany Devils 3 at Connecticut Whale 1
Tuesday, September 27, 2011 – Koeppel Community Sports Center
Albany 1 0 2 – 3
Connecticut 0 1 0 – 1
1st Period-1, Albany, Wiseman 1 (Gelinas, Sislo), 16:37 (PP). Penalties-Kelly Alb (cross-checking), 3:47; Klassen Ct (boarding), 15:37.
2nd Period-2, Connecticut, Kerbashian 1 (Rust, Grant), 12:18. Penalties-Young Alb (hooking), 7:56; Anderson Alb (high-sticking, high-sticking), 12:36; Kelly Alb (hooking), 17:28; Banwell Alb (high-sticking), 18:57; Audy-Marchessault Ct (high-sticking), 19:50.
3rd Period-3, Albany, Perkovich 1 (Burlon), 3:21 (PP). 4, Albany, Zajac 1 (Wiseman), 9:24. Penalties- Alb (holding the stick), 0:21; McKelvie Ct (hooking), 5:01; Campbell Ct (tripping), 11:37.
Shots on Goal-Albany 6-12-7-25. Connecticut 10-13-8-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Albany 2 / 4; Connecticut 0 / 7.
Goalies-Albany, Kinkaid 1-0-0 (31 shots-30 saves). Connecticut, Johnson (14 shots-13 saves); Missiaen 0-1-0 (11 shots-9 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10).
Linesmen-Luke Galvin (2), Kevin Redding (16).


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