By Brian Ring
Providence, RI, February 19, 2012 – The Connecticut Whale were defeated by the Providence Bruins, 4-3, Sunday afternoon at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Carter Camper led the Bruins with a hat trick, including the third-period game-winning goal.
Andre Deveaux scored twice, and Kris Newbury had two assists, in the Whale’s first regulation loss in their last nine games (7-1-1-0).
“We really would have liked to have had two more points here tonight,” said Whale head coach Ken Gernander. “But we made some mistakes that cost you games and that’s often times the case when you don’t win.”
Camper scored the first goal of the game 5:47 into the first period, as he beat Whale goaltender Cam Talbot (35 saves) off of a pass from behind the net by Zach Hamill. Calle Ridderwall also assisted on the goal.
The Whale would tie the game back up just 1:26 later, as Mats Zuccarello and Deveaux entered the Providence zone on a two-on-one break. Quick passing opened up space behind Bruins’ netminder Anton Khudobin (29 saves), allowing Deveaux to capitalize on the play and score his 16th goal of the season. Newbury earned the secondary assist on the score.
Connecticut had two nearly back-to-back power-plays late in the first, but they were unable to convert against Khudobin.
Camper would strike again with his second goal of the night just 1:36 into the second period, on a second rebound, with Hamill and Ridderwall again setting up the play to give Providence a 2-1 lead.
The Bruins would bump their lead to 3-1 at the 5:43 mark, as Jamie Arniel wired a sharp-angle shot past Talbot’s glove side. Craig Cunningham and Maxime Sauve picked up assists on the score, which came just seconds after Newbury hit the crossbar behind Khudobin at the opposite end of the ice.
Deveaux would score his second of the night with 2:43 remaining in the second period on the power-play, as he buried a feed from defenseman Tim Erixon. Newbury also assisted on the goal, which enabled the Whale to head to the locker room down just one goal headed into the third.
The Whale would rally to tie the game at three 1:55 into the final frame, with Kelsey Tessier backhanding home a loose puck as Khudobin found himself out of position. Tommy Grant and Scott Tanski would both register assists on the goal.
The momentum appeared to be turning in the Whale’s favor, but Camper’s third goal of the night at 8:43 would once again put Connecticut behind, 4-3. Ridderwall notched his third assist of the game on the game-winning tally, as Camper buried his rebound.
“We got that big goal in the third and I thought things were moving in the right direction,” said Gernander. “Then they got that quick one and it’s hard to come back on the road when the other team is given a lead like that.”
The Whale had a late chance to tie the score with a man-advantage in the final 1:25 of the third, but the visitors could not pull even in six-on-four action with Talbot pulled for the extra attacker.
Connecticut will return home this Friday, February 24, when the Whale hosts the Portland Pirates at the XL Center (7:00 PM).
Tickets to all 2011-12 Whale home games, are on sale now at the Public Power Ticket Office at the XL Center, as well as on-line at www.ctwhale.com and through TicketMaster Charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000.
The 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.
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.
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Connecticut Whale 3 at Providence Bruins 4
Sunday, February 19, 2012 – Dunkin’ Donuts Center
Connecticut 1 1 1 – 3
Providence 1 2 1 – 4
1st Period-1, Providence, Camper 12 (Hamill, Ridderwall), 5:47. 2, Connecticut, Deveaux 16 (Zuccarello, Newbury), 7:13. Penalties-Robins Pro (high-sticking), 14:42; Miller Pro (cross-checking), 17:25.
2nd Period-3, Providence, Camper 13 (Hamill, Ridderwall), 1:36. 4, Providence, Arniel 5 (Cunningham, Sauve), 5:43. 5, Connecticut, Deveaux 17 (Erixon, Newbury), 17:17 (PP). Penalties-MacDermid Pro (high-sticking), 7:30; McKelvie Pro (hooking), 15:53; Thuresson Ct (holding), 18:11; MacKinnon Pro (slashing), 19:06.
3rd Period-6, Connecticut, Tessier 9 (Grant, Tanski), 1:55. 7, Providence, Camper 14 (Ridderwall), 8:43. Penalties-Deveaux Ct (holding the stick), 11:41; Bartkowski Pro (holding), 18:35.
Shots on Goal-Connecticut 14-10-8-32. Providence 12-16-11-39.
Power Play Opportunities-Connecticut 1 / 6; Providence 0 / 2.
Goalies-Connecticut, Talbot 11-12-0 (39 shots-35 saves). Providence, Khudobin 19-17-3 (32 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10), Chris Cozzan (18).
Linesmen-Bob Bernard (42), Chris Millea (33).