WHALE WEEKLY: November 21-27, 2011

Bob Crawford

BY: Bob Crawford, Voice of the Connecticut Whale

The Whale swept two games on the weekend, to move back into first place in the Northeast Division, rebounding nicely from the previous weekend’s 0-2-0-0 trip to St. John’s, Newfoundland. The Whale knocked off the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the first time this season in GEICO Connecticut Cup action with a 3-2 overtime victory on Friday at the XL Center, before defeating the Providence Bruins in a come-from-behind shootout win by the same score on Sunday night in Providence. Brendan Bell scored twice for the Whale on the weekend, including Friday’s overtime game-winner, and also added an assist for a three-point weekend.



(Standings provided by TheAHL.com)

This week:

The Whale enters Thanksgiving week, and the week of the one-year anniversary of their rebranding, with three games on the schedule. Connecticut will host a familiar foe in the Portland Pirates on Wednesday night (7:00), before hitting the road for a pair of divisional matchups. The Whale will head to Bridgeport to face the Sound Tigers in another GEICO Connecticut Cup battle on Friday (7:00), before heading up I-91 to meet the Springfield Falcons on Saturday night (7:00).

Wednesday, November 23 vs. Portland Pirates (XL Center), 7:00 PM

· Five-thousand fans at this game will receive a Whale rally towel, sponsored by Xfinity.

· The Whale will be giving away a Wii at this game, as well as tickets to the upcoming “Jingle Jam”, starring Drake.

· The Whale meet the Portland Pirates for the first time this season on Wednesday night, looking to avenge last season’s first-round playoff defeat to their Maine foes.

· The Pirates enter the week in fourth place in the AHL’s Atlantic Division, with 17 points and a record of 8-7-0-1.

· Rookie and former Hobey Baker winner Andy Miele leads the Pirates in scoring with 15 points on the season (5g-10a-15pts.).

· The Pirates have won four straight games coming into this week’s action, all at home, while allowing just two goals to their opposition in each game.

· 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.

Friday, November 25 at Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Webster Bank Arena), 7:00 PM

· The Whale and the Sound Tigers will clash in GEICO Connecticut Cup action for the fourth of ten meetings this season.

· All three tilts between the in-state rivals have gone past regulation, with the Sound Tigers posting wins in the shootout and in overtime against the Whale. Connecticut defeated Bridgeport in their last meeting at XL Center, winning 3-2 with just six seconds remaining in overtime.

· Bridgeport lost team co-leading scorer David Ullstrom (12-2-14) to recall by the parent New York Islanders on Sunday, Ullstrom had just completed a run of scoring in seven straight games, amassing eight goals during the streak.

· The Sound Tigers lost two out of three games this past weekend, falling to the Whale and Springfield while defeating Adirondack on Sunday, 5-3, at home.

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

Saturday, November 26 at Springfield Falcons (MassMutual Center), 7:00 PM

· The Whale take on the Falcons Saturday in their third of twelve meetings on the campaign.  Connecticut has won both head-to-head contests to date, winning both ends of a home-and-home set Oct. 22-23.

· Martin St. Pierre is leading the Falcons in scoring with 21 points (5-16-21), while former Hartford Wolf Pack Alexandre Giroux has tallied nine points in just six games with Springfield (6-3-9).

· Jonathan Audy-Marchessault has tallied four points (2-2-4) in action against the Falcons this season, while Wade MacLeod and St. Pierre have both scored against the Whale for Springfield.

· The Falcons have won three straight games entering the week, defeating Worcester, Providence and Bridgeport. Springfield will host Adirondack on Friday night before facing the Whale on Saturday.

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

Sunday, November 27 – Whale Bowl-a-thon for Special Olympics Connecticut – AMF Silver Lanes, East Hartford, 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM

Whale players will be bowling this Sunday, November 27 at AMF Silver Lanes, 241 Silver Lane, East Hartford, to benefit Special Olympics Connecticut in the annual Whale “Bowl-a-thon”.  Teams of four players have raised funds for the privilege of bowling with a Whale player for two games, for a fun and lighthearted bonding experience.  There will be two sessions of bowling, from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM and from 2:00 to 3:30 PM, and teams can register on-line at http://www.soctbowlathon.com/, or at the event.

Recent Transactions:

Aaron Voros – signed to a Professional Tryout (PTO) agreement by the Whale November 15.

Lee Baldwin – reassigned by the New York Rangers to the Whale from Greenville (ECHL) November 19.

Whale Tales:

To celebrate the upcoming Holiday season, the Whale are offering a “Holiday Hat Trick” package.  A package of four Upper Level tickets, four Whale winter hats and four Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards is only $80, with upgrades available.  Purchase your Holiday Hat Trick package through the Whale ticket office at (860) 728-3366.

Fans who purchase Whale season tickets, or a mini-plan, before December 31 will be entered to win a round-trip excursion via limousine to a New York Rangers regular-season home game at Madison Square Garden.  Current season seat-holders and mini-plan-holders are also automatically entered.

College students can get discounted tickets to Whale weekday games with the Whale’s “Ditch the Dorms” deal.  For Monday through Friday home games, students who show a valid student ID at the Public Power Ticket Office at the XL Center can get $2 off Upper Level tickets and $5 off Lower Level seats.

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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