There are a multitude of ways to lose in any sporting event, and the Connecticut Whale have certainly explored many of them this season, but Saturday night’s 2-0 loss to the Springfield Falcons at the MassMutual Center in front of 5,003 was in no small part due to some of the most bizarre officiating certainly of the season and possibly longer than that.
Tag Archives: Martin St. Pierre
The late, great Gilda Radner’s character, “Roseanne Rosannadannna” used to say to great laughs, “If it’s not one thing, it’s another…” Those words rang very true Saturday night for the Connecticut Whale, but nobody was laughing as the New York Rangers’ top farm team dropped a 2-1 decision and lost their eleventh straight (0-6-3-2) to the Springfield Falcons before the season’s second largest crowd of 11,181.
After struggling to maintain discipline by taking foolish and avoidable penalties the night before against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton that left them shorthanded seven times, they played more cautiously Saturday and were only shorthanded twice. But somehow along with the penalties went the passion as they played very uninspired hockey for two periods before finding the right balance between aggressive and overly aggressive with a strong sense of urgency in their play for the third period. As it turned out though, it was a matter of, “too little, too late” mixed with a a costly mistake and finished off by a generous portion of excellent goaltending by the Falcons’ Paul Dainton (4-2-0, 24 saves) that would do them in. Continue reading
Kris Newbury, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Andreas Thuresson and Jordan Owens were unsuccessful in their shootout attempts. Only Brendan Bell managed to score for the Whale while Brent Regner tied the shootout in the Falcon’s fourth attempt and Matt Culvert made a tremendous move that beat Chad Johnson (10-6-4, 26 saves) clinching the win.
Both I-91 rivals are a mix of veteran and young talent, but after scoring four unanswered goals over the last two periods, the Connecticut Whale showed how they have managed to hold onto first palace in the Northeast Division while the Springfield Falcons struggle to remain out of the division basement with a chemistry-led and convincing 5-2 win over in front of 5,448 at the XL Center on the last game of 2011.
Despite having strong talent like goaltender Manny Legace, AHL All-Star Martin St. Pierre, veteran Adam Mair, left winger Matt Calvert, ex-Wolf Pack captain Dane Byers and future AHL Hall-of-Famer Alexandre Giroux and young talent like Cam Atkinson and Tomas Kubalik the Falcons just seem adrift on the ice as they have lost all five games against the Whale this season.
For the Whale, Francois Bouchard, the game’s First Star, had a break-out game pacing the Whale with three assists. Kris Newbury extended his points scoring streak to seven games with two goals and Pavel Valentenko, quickly moving up the depth chart, had a goal and a helper, including what proved to be the game-winner for the Whale.
Cam Atkinson could be the Tim Tebow of hockey.
Virtually all Atkinson has ever heard about are his shortcomings (pardon the pun) rather than the big things that he has to offer, like speed, soft hands and a good shot.
But like the much-maligned Denver Broncos quarterback, Atkinson has been a winner everywhere he has gone, from three New England Prep School Championships at Avon Old Farms — where doctors said he would never play again because of a severe leg injury in his freshman year — to a NCAA Division I title in his second of three seasons at Boston College.
Hartford, CT, October 23, 2011 – The Connecticut Whale defeated the Springfield Falcons, 4-1, Sunday afternoon at the XL Center, completing a sweep of their set of three games in three days. The Whale beat Springfield for the second consecutive night, after winning 2-1 at the MassMutual Center Saturday night.
The Whale scored three goals in the second period to open the game up, and rookie Jonathan Audy-Marchessault earned First-Star honors with a goal and two assists on the night.
When the Connecticut Whale next take on the Columbus Blue Jacket’s top farm club in Massachusetts to face off with their 1-91 rivals the Springfield Falcons, staring at them across the red line will be two former Hartford Wolf Pack alumni.