WHALE WEEKLY: January 9 – 15, 2011

Bob CrawfordBY: Bob Crawford, Voice of the CTWhale

The Whale went 0-2-0-1 in three games this past weekend, but still maintained their grasp on first place in the Northeast Division. Connecticut was edged by the defending Calder Cup champion Binghamton Senators, 3-1, Friday in Binghamton. The Whale fell in a shootout, 5-4, to the Springfield Falcons on Saturday in the front end of a home-and-home series with their I-91 rivals, before dropping a 4-2 decision in Springfield to wrap up the week on Sunday. Kris Newbury gathered three goals and three assists in the week’s action, as did All-Star Jonathan Audy-Marchessault.

This week:

The Whale heads to Virginia to face the Norfolk Admirals for two games this weekend, clashing with their East Division foe Friday and Saturday. It will be the only trip of the season to Norfolk for the Whale, who will host the Admirals Jan. 21 and Mar. 10 at the XL Center.

Friday, January 13 at Norfolk Admirals (Norfolk Scope), 7:30 PM

· The Whale head to Norfolk Friday for their first of four meetings on the season with the Admirals.

· The Admirals enter the week in second place in the AHL’s East Division, four points behind the Eastern Conference-leading Hershey Bears.

· Norfolk is currently in a two-game skid, having dropped a pair of home games to the Albany Devils this past week.

· Richard Panik scored the only goal of the game for the Admirals in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to the Devils, and also collected a pair of assists in Friday’s 5-4 overtime loss.

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

Saturday, January 14 at Norfolk Admirals (Norfolk Scope), 7:15 PM

· The Admirals boast two of the league’s top five leading scorers, with Trevor Smith carrying the team lead with 44 points (16-28-44). Cory Conacher is the league’s top scoring rookie with 41 points on the season (21-20-41), and is tied for the overall league lead in goals with 21.

· Norfolk owns the second-best power-play in the league, clicking at a 22.2% rate. Their 38 power-play goals are second in the league to Hershey’s 51.

· The Admirals’ penalty-kill is ranked 23rd in the AHL, working at a 79.7% success rate so far this season.

· Dustin Tokarski is ranked 13th among qualifying goaltenders with a 2.45 goals against average, and he has the decision in 14 of the Admirals’ 21 wins this season.

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

“Whale TV”:

· The following two 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 Kris Newbury Interview (Whale Special Events folder) – the Whale’s veteran scoring leader talks about his recent point-scoring run, and his Reebok/AHL Player of the Week honor.

o Game Highlights (Game of the Week folder) – the featured game is an exciting, back-and-forth skirmish between the Whale and their most familiar rivals, the Springfield Falcons, from January 7 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 10 at 7:00 PM, Whale TV Replay will feature a re-broadcast of the game from this past Saturday night, January 7 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.

Recent Transactions:

Jeff Prough – returned by the Whale to Greenville (ECHL) January 4.

All Whale practices are open to the media at the XL Center or Champions Skating Center in Cromwell.  As schedules are subject to last-minute changes, please call the public relations department at (860) 728-3366 before attending a practice.

Tue., January 10            10:00 – 11:00 AM, Champions Skating Center

Wed., January 11          11:00 – 12 Noon, Champions Skating Center

Thurs., January 12         Practice in Voorhees, NJ
Fri., January 13             Game at Norfolk

Sat., January 14            Game at Norfolk

Sun., January 15           No practice

Mon., January 16 10:00 – 11:00 AM, Champions Skating Center

Whale Tales:

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 “International Women’s Hockey Challenge”, presented by Aetna, 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.

Whale fans can pick up some collectible goodies at Whale home games January 27 and January 28, which will be “Trading Card Weekend” at the XL Center.  Friday, January 27, when the Whale entertain the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (7:00 PM faceoff), 5,000 fans will receive the Whale’s second set of player trading cards, sponsored by Webster Bank.  The featured players for this set are All-Star Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Cam Talbot, Ryan Bourque, Kelsey Tessier, Jordan Owens and, in a historical tribute, former Hartford Wolf Pack star Ryan Callahan, now captain of the parent New York Rangers.  Then the next night, Saturday, January 28, when the Springfield Falcons visit the XL Center for a 7:00 game, will feature a giveaway of additional sets of the first group of Whale trading cards.  That array included cards of All-Star Mats Zuccarello, Wade Redden, Kris Newbury, Chad Johnson and Carl Hagelin.  Also, after the game on January 28, selected Whale players will conduct an autograph session to sign their cards.

The Connecticut Whale and the CT Hockey Hall of Fame will partner to hold a CT Hockey Hall of Fame night at the Whale’s home game at the XL Center Saturday, March 10 vs. the Norfolk Admirals.  That night will mark the enshrinement of a new class of 2012 inductees into the CT Hockey Hall of Fame, which has adopted eight members from the storied Hartford Whalers Hall of Fame.  There will be an induction ceremony before the game, which faces off at 7:00 PM on March 10, and the new inductees will also be recognized on the ice during the first intermission.  Fans can take home a special souvenir of the March 10 night, as 5,000 Hall of Fame posters will be given away, courtesy of SuperCuts.  This will be the first class of inductees since 1990, and the 2012 class will be announced later this month.  Further details are available at cthockeyHOF.org.

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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