WHALE WEEKLY: December 5-11, 2011

Bob CrawfordBY: Bob Crawford, Voice of the Connecticut Whale

The Whale took three out of four games this past week, posting wins over the Hershey Bears on Tuesday night, the Providence Bruins on Friday night and the Springfield Falcons on Saturday. After a 4-2 home victory over the Bears, Connecticut improved to 2-0 against the P-Bruins with a 4-1 win in Providence, before scoring five power-play goals in an epic third-period rally to defeat the Falcons, 6-3, on Saturday. The Whale fell in the weekend finale, losing to the defending Calder Cup champion Binghamton Senators, 4-3, on Sunday afternoon at the XL Center. Mats Zuccarello led the way offensively for the Whale during the week, with 3-4-7 in the four games.

This week:

The Whale will suiting up for action three times over the next week, beginning with a pair of XL Center home games on Friday and Saturday. Connecticut will host the Hershey Bears for the second time this season on Friday night (7:00 faceoff), before the Providence Bruins make their first visit of the year to Hartford on Saturday (7:00). That game will see 5,000 fans receive the first set of Whale trading cards, courtesy of Webster Bank, and will also be the first “Whale TV” telecast of the season on WCCT-TV.  The Whale will complete the week’s action with the back end of a home-and-home set with the Bruins, when they head to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence on Sunday (4:05).

Friday, December 9 vs. Hershey Bears at the XL Center, 7:00 PM

· Five-thousand lucky fans will receive the first set of Whale trading cards at this game, sponsored by Webster Bank.  The first cards will be of Chad Johnson, Wade Redden, Kris Newbury, Mats Zuccarello and Carl Hagelin, and this will be the first of three sets to be given away during the year.

· The Whale wives and girlfriends will be selling “Love for Lokomotiv” bracelets at this game, with the entirety of the proceeds from the sale of the comfortable, red silicone, debossed remembrance bracelets going 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 will receive an autographed Harvest-Properties.com Whale Bowl puck, and all buyers will be entered to win an autographed stick or jersey.

· This is the second of four meetings on the season between the Whale and the Bears.  Connecticut defeated the Bears in their first meeting of the season on Nov. 29, beating Hershey by a 4-2 margin.

· The AHL’s top two leading scorers each had two points in that November 29 game, with Keith Aucoin netting two assists and Chris Bourque notching a goal and an assist in his first pro game vs. his brother, the Whale’s Ryan Bourque.

· The Bears (12-6-3-2, 29 pts.) have won three straight games since their loss to Connecticut, defeating the Syracuse Crunch, Portland Pirates and Bridgeport Sound Tigers over the last week to move into a three-way tie for first place in the East Division.

· 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 10 vs. Providence Bruins at the XL Center, 7:00 PM

· This game will be seen live on WCCT-TV, with Bob Crawford and Rich Coppola calling the action.  This is the first of five “Whale TV” telecasts, presented by Webster Bank, to be aired during the season on WCCT.

· Fans are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped teddy bear to this game, for the annual “Teddy Bear Toss”.  The bears will be thrown on to the ice after the first Whale goal, and anyone who doesn’t bring a bear with them can purchase one at the game from St. Jude for $12.99.  All proceeds, and bears, will be donated to St. Jude of CT.

· The Whale wives and girlfriends will again be selling “Love for Lokomotiv” bracelets at this game, to benefit the Love for Lokomotiv Foundation.

· This is the third get-together on the season between the Whale and the Bruins, and the first visit to the XL Center for Providence this season. Connecticut has beaten the Bruins twice on the road thus far.

· Connecticut posted a 4-1 win over the P-Bruins on Friday night in Providence, with four different Whale players scoring, including Mats Zuccarello, who also added an assist. Zach Hamill scored for Providence.

· The Bruins find themselves mired in an eight-game slump, earning just two points in the standings over that time with a pair of shootout losses (0-6-0-2).  Providence currently stands at 8-14-1-2 for 19 points, fifth in the Atlantic Division.

· Providence lost in the shootout, 5-4, to the Manchester Monarchs in their last action on Saturday. Josh Hennessy scored twice and added an assist in the defeat.

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

Sunday, December 11 at Providence Bruins (Dunkin’ Donuts Center), 4:05 PM

· The Whale finish the weekend with their third visit to Providence, their fourth meeting overall against the P-Bruins.

· Rookie Carter Camper is pacing the Bruins in scoring so far this season, registering 17 points on the campaign (5-12-17).

· The Whale’s Jordan Owens leads all players in scoring in the season series, tallying three points (1-2-3) in two games. Three players have scored two points for Providence against the Whale, including Jamie Tardif (2-0-2).

· The Bruins will open the weekend’s action against the Manchester Monarchs on Friday.

· 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:

Lee Baldwin – reassigned by the New York Rangers to the Greenville Road Warriors December 1.

Andre Deveaux – returned to the Whale by the New York Rangers December 1.

Whale Tales:

The Whale’s annual Bowl-a-thon Sunday, November 27 at AMF Silver Lanes in East Hartford raised over $15,000 for Special Olympics Connecticut athletes, many of whom participated in the event, bowling alongside Whale players

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.

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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