WHALE WEEKLY: March 12 – 18, 2012

Bob CrawfordBY: Bob Crawford, Voice of the CTWhale

The Whale won two out of three games again this past weekend, starting off with a key 4-3 shootout victory at home Friday over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in Northeast Division action. The Whale would fall to the league-leading Norfolk Admirals Saturday at the XL Center, 3-1, on Connecticut Hockey Hall of Fame night, but would rebound nicely with a 5-3 road win over the Manchester Monarchs on Sunday. Casey Wellman had two goals and an assist in Sunday’s game, and both Jonathan Audy-Marchessault and Kris Newbury cracked the 20-goal mark over the course of the three games. Chad Johnson recorded his 20th win of the season in goal Sunday, after earning a First-Star nod in Friday’s win over the Sound Tigers.

This week:

  • The Whale will face a trio of heated rivals this weekend, as they begin a three-games-in-three-nights stint at the XL Center. Friday night, the Whale will host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in GEICO Connecticut Cup action (7:00 PM faceoff), before the Springfield Falcons come to town on Saturday night (7:00). The Whale will finish the weekend out with a Sunday afternoon tilt against the Portland Pirates.  That game faces off at 3:00.

Friday, March 16 vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the XL Center, 7:00 PM

  • 5,000 fans at this game will receive the third and final set of Whale trading cards, sponsored by Webster Bank.  This set includes cards of Andre Deveaux, Tim Erixon, Scott Tanski, Pavel Valentenko and Casey Wellman, plus a bonus Ken Gernander Hartford Wolf Pack card.
  • The Whale host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in GEICO Connecticut Cup action Friday, in a pivotal Northeast Division matchup with playoff implications.
  • As at every remaining Friday-night Whale home game in the regular season, fans can take advantage of a special meal combo deal at this game.  A hot dog and a 12-ounce soda is only $5.
  • The Whale have taken three of their first eight meetings with the Sound Tigers, including the last tilt, coming last Friday at the XL Center. The Whale are 3-0-0-1 in four home games against the Sound Tigers this season.
  • Connecticut edged the Sound Tigers, 4-3, last Friday in a shootout. Kris Newbury tied that game with 4.9 seconds remaining in regulation, and Mats Zuccarello’s shootout goal was enough to seal the win for the Whale.
  • · The Sound Tigers lost three straight games for the first time in 2012 this past weekend, losing in  shootouts to the Whale and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, before being doubled up by the Norfolk Admirals, 6-3, on Sunday.
  • Jonathan Audy-Marchessault leads the Whale in scoring vs. Bridgeport with ten points (6-4-10).
  • The Sound Tigers (32-20-3-5, 72 pts.) are currently tied with the Whale for first place in the Northeast Division, but they have one game at hand and own the first tie-breaker, which is most non-shootout wins.
  • Rhett Rakhshani has a six game point streak in March (4-4-8) and had three points this weekend (1-2-3).
  • 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, March 17 vs. Springfield Falcons at the XL Center, 7:00 PM

  • Green Whale koozies will be given away to 5,000 fans at this game, courtesy of Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
  • The Whale and the Falcons clash for the 12th and final time this season on Saturday, as the I-91 rivalry comes to its regular-season conclusion.
  • Connecticut has taken seven of the first eleven games in the season series between the clubs, winning three of five meetings at the XL Center (3-1-0-1).
  • The Whale were shut out by the Falcons in their last meeting, 2-0, on February 25 at the MassMutual Center, the first time the Whale had been blanked since the second game of the season.
  • Jonathan Audy-Marchessault leads both teams in scoring in the season series, tallying 19 points in 11 games (6-13-19).
  • Alexandre Giroux leads active Falcons in scoring against the Whale with nine points this season (6-3-9).
  • The Falcons have lost five of their last six (1-3-1-1) and will also play Portland and Providence this coming weekend.
  • 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.

Sunday, March 18 vs. Portland Pirates at the XL Center, 3:00 PM

  • Fans are encouraged to bring their skates to the game, as there will be a free postgame skate on the XL Center ice.
  • The Whale take the on the Portland Pirates in their sixth head-to-head tilt of the season. Each team has been perfect against each other on their home ice, with the Whale capturing two wins vs. Portland at the XL Center.
  • Connecticut was edged, 3-2, in the last meeting between the teams on Mar. 2 in Portland.
  • Tim Erixon leads the Whale in scoring against the Pirates with five assists, while rookie Andy Miele has tallied seven assists against the Whale for Portland.
  • The Pirates dropped two out of three games this past weekend, losing to Worcester and Manchester before defeating the Providence Bruins, 5-4, on Sunday at home.
  • The Pirates are sitting in fourth place in the AHL’s Atlantic Division with 62 points, just two points out of a potential Eastern Conference playoff spot.
  • 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

“Whale TV”, presented by Webster Bank:

  • The following special “Whale TV” selections are available this week to Comcast Xfinity on Demand customers throughout New England, in the “Get Local” folder of Comcast’s On Demand Service:
  • Connecticut Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee Videos (Whale Special Events folder) – video tributes to the seven 2012 Connecticut Hockey H-O-F inductees, detailing their careers and accomplishments, that were produced for Saturday’s Connecticut Hockey Hall of Fame Night.
  • Connecticut Hockey Hall of Fame Night Highlights (Game of the Week folder) – highlights of both the Connecticut Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony and the game Saturday night between the Whale and the powerful Norfolk Admirals.
  • Every week, CPTV Sports will air an edited re-broadcast of a Whale game, on “Whale TV Replay”.  CPTV Sports is available on Comcast cable channels 185, 187 and 744 and on the Cox Communications cable system channel 144.
  • This Tuesday night at 7:00 PM, Whale TV Replay will feature a re-broadcast of this past Saturday’s CT Hockey Hall of Fame Night contest against the league-leading Norfolk Admirals.

Recent Transactions:

  • Blake Parlett – Reassigned to the Whale by the NY Rangers from Greenville (ECHL), March 10
  • Mats Zuccarello – Recalled from the Whale by the NY Rangers, March 11

Whale Tales:

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.

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.

Since 1972, the CT Lottery has generated nearly $21.4 billion in sales and has transferred more than $7.2 billion to the state’s General Fund. Prizes have exceeded $12.3 billion. Purchasers must be 18 years or older. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call the Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-346-6238. For more information about the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, visit CTLottery.org.

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