WHALE WEEKLY: November 28-December 4, 2011

Bob CrawfordBY: Bob Crawford, Voice of the Connecticut Whale

The Whale took two out of three games this past week, defeating the Portland Pirates at home on Wednesday, 3-2 in overtime, before heading on the road for a pair of post-Thanksgiving tilts in Bridgeport and in Springfield. Connecticut was thumped, 6-2, by the Sound Tigers on Friday, but the team responded with a rousing, last-moment, 3-2 win over the Falcons on Saturday. Andreas Thuresson had two goals, including the game-winner with 21.6 seconds left, on Saturday, while Jonathan Audy-Marchessault tallied three points on the weekend (1-3-4).

This week:

The Whale will be busy with four games during the upcoming week, starting with a Tuesday night matchup with the Hershey Bears at the XL Center (7:00 PM faceoff). Connecticut will head to Providence for their second meeting of the season with the Bruins on Friday (7:05), before making their way to Springfield on Saturday night for their fourth meeting with the Falcons (7:00). The Whale will conclude the week’s action with a Sunday afternoon game in Hartford against the defending Calder Cup champion Binghamton Senators, with faceoff at 3:00.

Tuesday, November 29 vs. Hershey Bears at the XL Center, 7:00 PM

· The Whale meet the Hershey Bears Tuesday, for the first of four meetings between the two Eastern Conference foes this season.

· The Bears (9-5-3-2, 23 pts.) enter the week in third place in the AHL’s East Division, just four points back of the first-place, arch-rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

· Hershey boasts two of the league’s top three leading scorers in Keith Aucoin (4-24-28) and Chris Bourque (10-16-26). It will be the first professional head-to-head contest between brothers Chris Bourque and the Whale’s Ryan, sons of NHL Hall of Famer Ray Bourque.

· The Bears have won two of their last three games, defeating Providence and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before losing to Lake Erie on Saturday, 5-4.

· 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, December 2 at Providence Bruins (Dunkin’ Donuts Center), 7:05 PM

· The Whale and the Bruins will clash Friday in their second meeting of the season. Connecticut rallied to defeat the Bruins in their last meeting, 3-2 in a shootout, also at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, November 20.

· Carl Hagelin recorded the shootout winner in that game, and Jordan Owens and Brendan Bell both notched regulation goals against Providence.

· The Bruins (8-13-1-1) have dropped six straight games (0-5-0-1), and as of Monday find themselves in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with 18 points.

· Providence was topped, 3-2, by the Norfolk Admirals in their last action on Saturday. Matt Bartkowski and Jamie Arniel both registered a pair of assists in that 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.

Saturday, December 3 at Springfield Falcons (MassMutual Center), 7:00 PM

· The Whale take on the Falcons Saturday in their fourth of twelve meetings on the campaign.  Connecticut has won all three contests to date, winning both ends of a home-and-home set Oct. 22-23, as well as their last tilt, a 3-2 Whale win on Saturday night.

· Martin St. Pierre is leading the Falcons in scoring with 21 points (5-16-21), while Nick Drazenovic is close behind with 20 points on the season (5-15-20).

· Jonathan Audy-Marchessault has tallied six points (2-4-6) in action against the Falcons this season, while Cam Atkinson leads Springfield in scoring against the Whale with three points (1-2-3).

· The Falcons have dropped three games in a row, after losing to Adirondack, the Whale and the Albany Devils this weekend.

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

Sunday, December 4 vs. Binghamton Senators at the XL Center, 3:00 PM

· The Whale meet the defending Calder Cup champs for the first of just two meetings on the season between the two clubs.

· The Senators (7-12-1-1) find themselves in last place in the East Division to start the week with just 16 points, having dropped a pair of games this past weekend against Syracuse and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

· Mark Parrish is leading the Senators in scoring with 14 points on the season (8-16-14), while last year’s AHL MVP, and former Wolf Pack forward, Corey Locke has yet to register a goal in eight games (0-7-7).

· Nikita Filatov, a former first-round draft pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets, was recalled by Ottawa Sunday. Filatov has 12 points this season (7-5-12).

· 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:

Carl Hagelin – recalled from the Whale by New York Rangers November 24.

John Mitchell – recalled from the Whale by New York Rangers November 24.

Whale Tales:

To celebrate the 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.

The Whale wives and girlfriends will be selling “Love for Lokomotiv” bracelets at the Whale home games Friday, December 9 against Hershey and Saturday, December 10 against Providence.  The entirety of the proceeds from the sale of the comfortable, red silicone, debossed remembrance bracelets will go to the Love for Lokomotiv Foundation, a united effort by hockey wives and girlfriends around the world to support the grieving families who lost loved ones in the September Yaroslavl Lokomotiv plane-crash tragedy. The first 40 people to purchase a bracelet at the Whale games December 9 and 10 will received an autographed Harvest-Properties.com Whale Bowl puck, and all buyers will be entered to win an autographed stick or jersey.  More information about Love for Lokomotiv is available at its official website, loveforlokomotiv.com.

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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