WHALE WEEKLY: February 21 – 26, 2012

Bob CrawfordBY: Bob Crawford, Voice of the Connecticut Whale

The Whale posted another successful week as they entered the third weekend in February, winning two out of three games on their slate. Connecticut began the weekend with a 6-3 defeat of the Springfield Falcons on Friday at the XL Center, before winning a home-ice thriller against the Worcester Sharks, 3-1, on Saturday night. The Whale closed out the weekend’s action Sunday in Providence, where they dropped a narrow 4-3 decision to the P-Bruins. Andre Deveaux was on fire this past weekend, scoring four times and adding an assist for five points in three games. Kris Newbury led the team in scoring over that span with a goal and five assists, and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault tallied four assists.

This week:

The Whale will look to get back on a roll with a pair of important Eastern Conference matchups this weekend, as Connecticut hosts the Portland Pirates on Friday night at the XL Center (7:00 PM faceoff), before heading up to Springfield to face the Falcons for the eleventh time this season on Saturday (7:00).

Friday, February 24 vs. Portland Pirates at the XL Center, 7:00 PM

· The Whale will be saluting “Hometown Heroes” at this game.  All active duty military personnel, veterans and their families can purchase Upper Level tickets for only $10 each, and Lower Level tickets for only $15 each, for this game.

· This tilt will be the fourth head-to-head meeting of the season between the Whale and the Pirates, with Portland having taken a pair of their previous three contests this year.

· The Whale fell to the Pirates twice in the month of January, 5-4 in overtime to start the month on Jan. 2, and then again, 4-2, on Jan. 18, both games coming in Portland. The Whale defeated the Pirates, 3-2 in overtime, on November 23 at the XL Center.

· Kris Newbury has notched a goal and three assists against the Pirates to lead the Whale versus Portland, while Pirates leading scorer Brock Trotter has tallied five points (2-3-5) against Connecticut in two games.

· Rookie Andy Miele (10-25-35 in 46 GP) has tallied four points against the Whale this season (0-4-4) and is just three points behind Trotter (14-24-38 in 40 GP) for the team lead in scoring.

· The Pirates (24-23-3-3, 54 pts.) currently sit in fifth place in the AHL’s East Division.

· Portland has dropped two games in a row and five of their last six games overall (1-4-1-0).

· 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 CTWhale.com.

Saturday, February 25 at Springfield Falcons (MassMutual Center), 7:00 PM

· The Whale and Falcons meet for the eleventh of twelve contests Saturday in Springfield, as Connecticut looks to make it two straight against their I-91 opponents.

· The Whale have won seven of the previous ten meetings with the Falcons this season (7-2-0-1), including the last, a 6-3 win at the XL Center on February 17.

· Jonathan Audy-Marchessault had three assists in that February 17 game to bring his season total against the Falcons to a gaudy 19 points (6-13-19). Kris Newbury has registered ten points (5-5-10) in just six games against Springfield.

· Cam Atkinson leads the Falcons in scoring against the Whale with nine points (6-3-9), while former Wolf Pack captain Dane Byers has scored four times against Connecticut this season.

· The Falcons lost two out of three games this past weekend, and they will host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday before they face the Whale Saturday.

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

“Whale TV”, presented by Webster Bank:

· The following 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 Casey Wellman Interview (Whale Special Events folder) – Bob Crawford, the voice of the Whale, chats with the newest addition to the Whale, former U. Mass-Amherst centerman Casey Wellman.

o Game Highlights (Game of the Week folder) – highlights of a border battle between the Whale and Springfield at the XL center from this past Friday night.

· Every week, CPTV Sports will air an edited re-broadcast of a Whale game, on “Whale TV Replay”.

o Tonight at 7:00 PM, Whale TV Replay will feature a re-broadcast of this past Saturday’s exciting duel with the Worcester Sharks at the XL Center.

· The third of five live Whale TV broadcasts on WCCT-TV, Connecticut’s CW affiliate, presented by Webster Bank, is coming up Saturday, March 10, when the Whale host the Norfolk Admirals at 7:00 PM.

Recent Transactions:

Wojtek Wolski – Recalled from the Whale by the NY Rangers Feb. 15

Jeff Woywitka – Recalled from the Whale by the NY Rangers February 15

Jason Missiaen – Reassigned to the Whale by the NY Rangers from Greenville (ECHL) February 18

Whale Tales:

The Whale’s home game next Tuesday, February 28 vs. the Worcester Sharks features a special morning-start faceoff time of 11:00 AM.  At that game, the Whale, the Metro Hartford Alliance and HYPE will host a special business-networking event in the XL Center Director’s Suite.  Attendees at the event can lunch on a hot dog and a 12-ounce soda for $5, and hear a speech by Whale chairman and CEO Howard Baldwin, Sr..  Admission to the event, plus a ticket to the game, costs only $10 (food not included).

Whale season seat-holders who reserve their full-season 2012-13 Whale tickets by April 13 will receive access for four people to the luxurious CT Whale Director’s Suite at the XL Center, for one Whale 2012-13 home game.  This allows the opportunity to watch the game alongside Whale executive personnel and special guests, and to enjoy all of the high-end amenities of the Director’s Suite.  Additionally, all Whale full-season 2012-13 subscribers who purchase by April 13 will receive a custom-made, high-quality season ticket-holder jersey fleece.  The jersey fleece will be exclusive to Whale full-season ticket-holders, and will feature a “Season Ticket Holder 2012-13” patch that designates it as a unique item.  For more information on purchasing Whale season tickets, call (860) 728-3366, visit the Season Ticket Holder table behind Section 101 at a Whale home game or log on to CTWhale.com.

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.  The new inductees are: Connecticut-bred Hockey Hall of Famer Brian Leetch, ex-Hartford Whalers 56-goal scorer Blaine Stoughton, former Whalers goaltender Mike Liut, former Whalers captain Pat Verbeek, Connecticut Whale/Hartford Wolf Pack franchise icon, long-time captain and current head coach Ken Gernander, three-time Olympic medalist for Team USA and all-time NCAA women’s leading scorer Julie Chu, and one of the founders of the New England Whalers, William E. Barnes.  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.  There will also be a special meet-and-greet event on March 10, details of which will be announced soon.  This will be the first class of inductees since 1990, and further details are available at cthockeyHOF.org.

The AHL, Labatt’s Blue and the CT Whale have come together to present the Labatt’s Blue Bubble Hockey Tournament. Join the CT Whale at the below Downtown Hartford locations. Registration is free, and winners have a chance to play at the XL Center on March 16th in the team finals, for a chance to win a trip to Hershey for the event finals, and their very own Super Chexx Bubble Hockey game.

Thu., Feb. 23, The Tavern Downtown, 100 Allyn St., 5:00-7:00 PM

Sat., Feb 25, PourHouse, 103 Allyn St., 10:00 PM – midnight

Sat., Mar. 3, Federal Café, 84 Union Place, 10:00 PM – midnight

Sun., Mar. 11, McKinnon’s Irish Pub, 114 Asylum St., 5:00-7:00 PM

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 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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