BY: Bob Crawford, Voice of the Connecticut Whale
The Whale finished out their run of five games in eight nights by going 1-1-1-0 in three games over the holiday weekend, including two on the road. Connecticut was foiled Friday in Worcester, as they lost 4-3 to the Sharks, but then rolled to a 5-2 home victory over the Springfield Falcons in Saturday night’s New Year’s Eve match-up. On Monday, the Whale traveled for the first time this season to Portland, where they were defeated in overtime by the Pirates, 5-4. Kris Newbury, last week’s Reebok/AHL Player of the Week, has run his Whale season-high point streak to eight games, in which he has tallied four goals and eleven assists. The Whale currently sit in first place in the Northeast Division, seven points ahead of second-place Adirondack.
The Whale take to the road for a Friday-night clash with the defending Calder Cup-champion Binghamton Senators (7:05), before beginning a home-and-home set with the Springfield Falcons. Connecticut will host the Falcons Saturday at the XL Center (7:00), before heading up I-91 to the MassMutual Center on Sunday afternoon (3:00).
Friday, January 6 at Binghamton Senators (Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena), 7:05 PM
· The Whale head to Binghamton Friday night to meet the Senators, for their second and final head-to-head game of the regular season.
· Connecticut was edged by the B-Sens, 4-3, in their first meeting at the XL Center back on Dec. 4. Mats Zuccarello scored twice for the Whale in that game, while Andre Petersson tallied twice for the Senators.
· The Senators had a three-game winning-streak snapped Saturday night against the Syracuse Crunch, as they lost 6-2.
· Binghamton is currently last in the East Division with 30 points on the season, Mark Parrish (11-10-21) and rookie Pat Cannone (8-13-21) share the team lead in scoring with 21 points
Saturday, January 7 vs. Springfield Falcons at the XL Center, 7:00 PM
· Fans wearing a Whale or New York Ranger jersey to this game will receive a 50% discount on upper-level seats and lower-level end-zone seats. The offer is valid only on the day of the game and only at the Public Power Ticket Office at the XL Center.
· I-91 rivals Connecticut and Springfield meet for the sixth time this season on Saturday, and the Whale have topped the Falcons in all five of their previous head-to-head tilts this season.
· The Whale bested the Falcons, 5-2, in their last meeting on New Year’s Eve. Kris Newbury had two goals in that game, while Francois Bouchard netted three assists and First-Star honors. Dane Byers and Tomas Kubalik both had goals for Springfield.
· Jonathan Audy-Marchessault has recorded nine points in four games vs. Springfield (3-6-9), four more than any other player involved in the season series.
· Byers leads the Falcons in scoring against the Whale with three goals on the season. Greenwich, CT native Cam Atkinson has netted a goal and two assists against Connecticut.
· 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.
Sunday, January 8 at Springfield Falcons (MassMutual Center), 3:00 PM
· The Whale conclude their set of three games in three nights with the back-end of a home-and-home with the Falcons Sunday.
· The Falcons have lost three straight games coming into this week’s action, and carry in a record of 7(w)-10(l)-0(otl)-1(sol) on home ice.
· Springfield has not played since their 5-2 loss to the Whale last Saturday, which followed a 5-2 road loss to Syracuse Wednesday and a 2-1 shootout loss at home to Providence on Friday night.
· The Falcons will host the Worcester Sharks on Friday for their fifth meeting of the season before their home-and-home with the Whale.
· Radio – CT Whale “Rockin’ Hockey”, live with Bob Crawford, on “The Rock”, 106.9 WCCC-FM, and on-line at www.ctwhale.com.
· The following three special “Whale TV” selections will be available this week to Comcast Xfinity on Demand customers throughout New England, in the “Get Local” folder of Comcast’s On Demand Service:
o Kacey Bellamy Interview (Whale Special Events folder) – get to know Kacey Bellamy, a blueliner for the Boston Blades of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, who will take on Team Alberta at the XL Center on January 21 at 3:00, prior to the Whale’s game later that night vs. Norfolk. Bellamy is a native of nearby Westfield, MA and a graduate of the University of New Hampshire.
o Whale-Falcons Fan Series (Whale Special Events folder) – Seth Dussault talks about the special seven-game series being played between a team of Whale fans and a team of Springfield Falcons fans, before selected Whale-Falcons games at both the XL Center and Springfield’s MassMutual Center. Dussault is the coach of the Whale fan team and one of the organizers of the series.
o Game Highlights (Game of the Week folder) – the featured game is a tight battle between the Whale and their Northeast-Division rivals the Albany Devils, from December 27 at the XL Center.
· Every Tuesday night, CPTV Sports will air an edited re-broadcast of a Whale game from the previous week, on “Whale TV Replay”.
o This Tuesday night, January 3 at 7:00 PM, Whale TV Replay will feature a re-broadcast of the game this Saturday night, December 31 vs. the Springfield Falcons.
· The second of five live Whale TV broadcasts on WCCT-TV, Connecticut’s CW affiliate, presented by Webster Bank, is coming up Saturday, January 28, when the Whale host the Springfield Falcons at 7:00 PM.
Jason Missiaen – reassigned by the New York Rangers to the Whale from Greenville (ECHL) December 28, and returned December 31.
Sean Avery – returned by the New York Rangers to the Whale December 31.
The Whale will host a top-level professional women’s hockey game prior to their home game Saturday, January 21 at the XL Center vs. the Norfolk Admirals. The women’s game will be a Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) regular-season battle between the Boston Blades and Team Alberta. That contest will face off at 3:00 PM on January 21, before the Whale and Admirals lock horns at 7:00. Tickets for the Whale game will also be good for admission to the CWHL tilt.
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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