By Brian Ring
Springfield, MA, February 25, 2012 – The Connecticut Whale were defeated by the Springfield Falcons, 2-0, Saturday night at the MassMutual Center. The Falcons’ Maksim Mayorov had the game-winning goal and an assist, and defenseman Brent Regner added two assists. Springfield goaltender Paul Dainton made 30 saves to record the shutout in goal, the first of his AHL career, and the first against the Whale since the second game of the season.
“We had a couple good opportunities,” said Whale head coach Ken Gernander. “We couldn’t bury any of them, it could have been a different game. That being said, [Springfield] did a good job protecting the front of the net. Dainton challenged and we didn’t get a lot of second and third chances on him.”
The Falcons would get on the board at 12:15 of the first period, as Dane Byers got a greasy goal past Whale goaltender Chad Johnson (29 saves) just seconds after Springfield’s first power-play expired. Mayorov’s shot was deflected in front of the Whale net and underneath Johnson, squeaking through just enough so that Byers could tap it in. Regner would collect the secondary assist on the score, Byers’ fifth of the season against his former team.
Springfield would bump the lead to 2-0 off the stick of Mayorov, who converted on a down-low three-on-two on a feed from Martin St. Pierre at 5:10 of the second period. Regner recorded his second assist of the night on the goal. Mayorov had an easy one-time opening, as Johnson was committed to the other side of the cage.
Neither team would break through in the third period, as the Whale struggled to amount any consistent attack in the Springfield end. Their best chance of the period came off of a Kris Newbury shot that found iron behind Dainton midway through.
The period saw 68 minutes in penalties doled out, largely the result of a brawl with 37 seconds remaining in the game.
“You want emotion, but it’s got to be directed and it’s got to make a positive impact on the game,” said Gernander.
The teams combined to go 0-for-12 on the power-play in the contest, with the Whale failing to score in five attempts.
The Whale will be back on home action this Tuesday, when they host the Worcester Sharks at the XL Center for a special 11:00 AM start time.
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 0 at Springfield Falcons 2
Saturday, February 25, 2012 – MassMutual Center
Connecticut 0 0 0 – 0
Springfield 1 1 0 – 2
1st Period-1, Springfield, Byers 14 (Mayorov, Regner), 12:15. Penalties-Garlock Spr (tripping), 6:04; Erixon Ct (hooking), 10:14; Erixon Ct (high-sticking), 14:28; Kubalik Spr (holding), 16:23.
2nd Period-2, Springfield, Mayorov 6 (St. Pierre, Regner), 5:10. Penalties-Wellman Ct (high-sticking), 6:37; Bell Ct (hooking), 8:01; Nightingale Ct (roughing, fighting), 8:01; Byers Spr (unsportsmanlike conduct), 8:01; Calvert Spr (fighting), 8:01; Cullity Spr (hooking), 11:57; Cullity Spr (slashing), 19:30.
3rd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Newbury Ct (goaltender interference), 3:11; served by MacLeod Spr (bench minor – too many men), 4:18; Deveaux Ct (unsportsmanlike conduct), 5:45; Zuccarello Ct (misconduct – abuse of officials), 6:22; Byers Spr (tripping), 10:59; Deveaux Ct (roughing, roughing, misconduct – abuse of officials, game misconduct – continuing altercation), 19:22; Newbury Ct (roughing), 19:22; Amadio Spr (roughing, misconduct – continuing altercation, game misconduct – continuing altercation), 19:22; Dainton Spr (roughing), 19:22.
Shots on Goal-Connecticut 5-13-12-30. Springfield 9-16-6-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Connecticut 0 / 5; Springfield 0 / 7.
Goalies-Connecticut, Johnson 16-11-5 (31 shots-29 saves). Springfield, Dainton 8-4-0 (30 shots-30 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10), Jon McIsaac (39).
Linesmen-Rich Patry (52), Jim Briggs (83).