WHALE WEEKLY: October 31 – November 6, 2011

Connecticut WhaleBY: Bob Crawford, Voice of the Connecticut Whale

The Whale extended its winning streak to five games last week, winning road contests at Adirondack Friday, 4-2, and in Worcester Saturday, 3-2 in a shootout.  Connecticut is now unbeaten in regulation in eight consecutive games (6-0-0-2) since a season-opening, 6-3 defeat at Adirondack October 8.  The Whale currently sit in first place in the Northeast Division with a 6-1-0-2 record for 14 points, the franchise’s best start since a team-record 9-0-0-0 run to begin the 2004-05 campaign.  Jordan Owens scored a pair of goals, his first two points of the season, to pace the victory Friday night, and defenseman Brendan Bell chipped in a total of three assists in the two wins.

This week:

The Whale starts a three-game week with a GEICO Connecticut Cup visit Wednesday to Bridgeport, for a “school-day special” morning game, which faces off at 11:00 AM.  Then on Friday night, it’s the Whale’s only home game in a stretch of seven games, as the new St. John’s IceCaps make their first-ever visit to the XL Center for a 7:00 game.  Saturday sees the Whale travel to Albany for its second encounter with the Devils, also a 7:00 game.

Wednesday, November 2 @ Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Webster Bank Arena), 11:00 AM

· This is the second morning-start game that the Whale have played on the road in their history.  The first was a 4-3 loss at Manchester November 17 of last season.

· The Sound Tigers took the first of ten GEICO Connecticut Cup meetings with the Whale in Connecticut’s home opener October 15, recovering from a 2-0 deficit for a 5-4 shootout win.  The Whale won the GEICO Connecticut Cup last year with a 6-3-0-1 mark vs. the Sound Tigers, including a 3-1-0-1 slate in five visits to Webster Bank Arena.

· Bridgeport, under new head coach, and former Hartford Wolf Pack defenseman, Brent Thompson, is 4-4-1-0 through its first nine games, for nine points.  The Sound Tigers, though, have won only one of their first four home outings (1-2-1-0).

· Justin DiBenedetto is tied for second in the AHL in goals, only one off the lead, with eight in nine games (8-1-9).

· Radio – CT Whale “Rockin’ Hockey” live with Bob Crawford on Beethoven Radio 1290 AM, and on-line at www.ctwhale.com.

Friday, November 4 vs. St. John’s IceCaps at the XL Center, 7:00 PM

· This is the first visit by the new IceCaps to the XL Center.  The IceCaps are the top affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets, and the franchise was moved this year from Winnipeg, where it had been in AHL action as the Manitoba Moose since the 2001-02 season.

· Rookie head coach Keith McCambridge has the IceCaps sitting atop the Atlantic Division after 10 games, with a record of 5-2-3-0 for 13 points, although St. John’s is winless in its last three (0-1-2-0).

· Defenseman Paul Postma leads the IceCaps in points with 2-6-8 in nine games, and rookie winger Karl Klingberg (6-1-7 in 10 GP) tops the club in goals.

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

Saturday, November 5 @ Albany Devils (Times-Union Center), 7:00 PM

· This is already the Whale’s second-and-final visit to Albany on the season.  On October 14 at the Times-Union Center, the Devils came back from a 2-0 deficit to post a 3-2 shootout win over the Whale.

· Head Coach Rick Kowalsky’s Albany squad currently trails the field in the Northeast Division, but is only six points behind the first-place Whale, with a record of 4-6-0-0 for eight points.

· Veteran forward Matt Anderson (3-4-7), defenseman Matt Corrente (2-5-7) and rookie forward Joe Whitney (3-4-7) are currently in a three-way tie for the Devils’ points leadership.

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

Recent Transactions:

Brendan Bell – returned to the Whale by the New York Rangers Oct. 25.

Tim Erixon – loaned to the Whale by the New York Rangers Oct. 29.

Kris Newbury – returned to the Whale by the New York Rangers Oct. 29.

Andre Deveaux – recalled from the Whale by the NY Rangers October 30.

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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