WHALE WEEKLY: October 17-23, 2011

Bob CrawfordBY: Bob Crawford, voice of the CT Whale

The Whale began last weekend’s action with the final tilt of a three-game, season opening road trip against the Albany Devils. Connecticut gathered another valuable point on the road despite losing, 3-2 in a shootout. Saturday saw the Whale host a home opener for the first time at the XL Center, drawing 8,832 fans that saw the Whale head to a shootout for the third consecutive game. Once again, the Whale gained a point but fell in the tie-breaker, 5-4, in the first meeting against their GEICO Connecticut Cup rivals this season.

This week:

The Whale will host the Manchester Monarchs in their first meeting of the season on Friday (7:00 PM), before playing a home-and-home series with the Springfield Falcons on Saturday and Sunday. Connecticut will head up I-91 to face the Falcons on Saturday (7:00 PM), before returning home to host their rivals on the XL Center ice in a Sunday afternoon matinee (3:00 PM.)

Friday, October 21 vs. Manchester Monarchs at the XL Center, 7:00 p.m.

· Fans can take advantage of a “buy one, get one free” ticket offer for this game.  Buy one upper level ticket, and you get a second upper level ticket free.  Offer is good at the Public Power Ticket Office at the XL Center only.

· The Whale take on the top affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings for the first time this year on Friday.  The two teams are now in separate divisions for the first time since the 2002-03 season.

· The Monarchs were defeated in their last game, 5-3, by the Springfield Falcons Sunday, and will be back on the road this Wednesday when they face the Portland Pirates.

· Goaltender Martin Jones is off to a hot start, winning three of his four starts while allowing just five total goals to the opposition.

· The Monarchs took six of eight meetings from the Whale last season, including three of the four games between the teams in Hartford.

· Radio – CT Whale “Rockin’ Hockey”, live with Bob Crawford and Garry Swain, on “The Rock”, 106.9 WCCC-FM, and on-line at www.ctwhale.com.

Saturday, October 22 @ Springfield Falcons (MassMutual Center), 7:00 p.m.

· The Whale face their I-91 rivals for the first of 12 meetings this season on Saturday, as they renew hostilities this season with a home-and-home weekend set.

· Springfield (3-2-0-0) enters the week tied atop the Northeast Division with the Adirondack Phantoms, with six points through their first five games.

· Nick Drazenovic is tied for the league lead in scoring as of Monday, tallying two goals and seven assists for nine points through Springfield’s first five games.

· The Whale triumphed in six of their ten meetings (6-2-1-1) with the Falcons during the 2010-11 campaign, winning three of their five head-to-head tilts on home ice (3-0-1-1).

· Radio – CT Whale “Rockin’ Hockey” live with Bob Crawford on “The Rock”, 106.9 WCCC-FM, and on-line at www.ctwhale.com.

Sunday, October 23 vs. Springfield Falcons at the XL Center, 3:00 p.m.

· Fans can take advantage of a “buy one, get one free” ticket offer for this game.  Buy one upper level ticket, and you get a second upper level ticket free.  Offer is good at the Public Power Ticket Office at the XL Center only.

· The Falcons will be hosting the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday night before beginning their home-and-home with the Whale.

· Former Wolf Pack forward and AHL MVP Alexandre Giroux is currently on recall with Springfield’s parent Columbus Blue Jackets. Giroux has scored in his only NHL game this season and added a goal and an assist in two games with Springfield.

· Connecticut native Cam Atkinson has gathered two points (1-1-2) in three games with the Falcons this season, and former Wolf Pack and Whale forwards Ryan Garlock and Dane Byers are both back for their second stints with Springfield.

· Radio – CT Whale “Rockin’ Hockey”, live with Bob Crawford and Garry Swain, on “The Rock”, 106.9 WCCC-FM, and on-line at www.ctwhale.com.

Recent Transactions:

T.J. Fast – released by the Whale from Professional Tryout (PTO) agreement October 11

Mats Zuccarello – loaned to the Whale by the NY Rangers October 15

Brendan Bell – recalled by the NY Rangers from the Whale October 16

Kris Newbury – recalled by the NY Rangers from the Whale October 16

Whale Tales:

Save on your tickets, and get the best seats, with a ticket plan for the Whale’s 2011-12 AHL campaign, which are on sale now. For information on season seats, mini plans and great group discounts, visit www.ctwhale.com, or call the CT Whale ticket office at (860) 728-3366 to talk with an account executive today.

The AHL’s Connecticut Whale is operated by Whalers Sports and Entertainment, a Hartford-based sports marketing and event firm founded by Howard Baldwin and Howard Baldwin, Jr..  The team is the top player-development affiliate of the NHL’s New York Rangers.

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