By Brian Ring
Hartford, CT, March 24, 2012 – The Connecticut Whale were defeated by the Providence Bruins, 3-2, Saturday night at the XL Center before a crowd of 5,794. Craig Cunningham had a goal and an assist and Josh Hennessy had two assists to lead the Bruins in scoring, with Zach Trotman providing the game-winner.
Jonathan Audy-Marchessault and Kris Newbury both scored and had an assist for Connecticut, which lost its fourth straight game to the Bruins.
“This time of year you need points, it doesn’t matter how,” said Whale head coach Ken Gernander. “Our margin of error is such right now that given the time of year and the style we have to play, teams are going to create their own offense and it’s going to be tooth and nail.”
Audy-Marchessault opened the scoring 8:10 into the opening period with his 23rd goal of the season, blasting a shot from the point past Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin (33 saves). The goal was assisted by both Newbury and Wade Redden.
The Whale outshot the Bruins, 12-9, in the first period, with the home team carrying much of the offensive play. Khudobin contributed a key save on Andrew Yogan which kept the game 1-0 headed into the second period.
Cunningham would tie the game for Providence just 41 seconds into the second frame, taking advantage of a five minute power-play awarded after a boarding call on Yogan. Cunningham received a pass from Hennessy at the blue line and cut in past the Whale defense, breaking in on Whale goaltender Chad Johnson (28 saves) and scoring on the backhand.
The Bruins would stake themselves to a 2-1 lead with 5:01 left to play in the second, as Kirk MacDonald blasted a shot from the high slot through Johnson. Hennessy earned his second assist of the night on the goal, with Jared Staal notching the secondary helper.
Providence would strike again on the power-play 4:18 into the third period, as Trotman tallied his first professional goal in his first pro game to make it 3-1, providing the eventual game-winner. Trotman put a shot through traffic over Johnson, with assists going to David Warsofsky and Cunningham.
Newbury would get the Whale to within 3-2 on the power-play with 30 seconds to play, but a miracle comeback was not in the making, and the Whale fell by the same score.
The Whale close out this weekend’s action on Sunday afternoon, when they visit the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (3:00) at the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard. The Whale’s next home game is this Friday night, March 30 vs. the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at 7:00.
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.
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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Providence Bruins 3 at Connecticut Whale 2
Saturday, March 24, 2012 – XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Providence 0 2 1 – 3
Connecticut 1 0 1 – 2
1st Period-1, Connecticut, Audy-Marchessault 23 (Newbury, Redden), 8:10. Penalties-McKelvie Pro (fighting), 14:12; Owens Ct (fighting), 14:12; Yogan Ct (major – boarding, game misconduct – boarding), 18:55.
2nd Period-2, Providence, Cunningham 18 (Hennessy, Warsofsky), 0:41 (PP). 3, Providence, MacDonald 9 (Hennessy, Staal), 14:59. Penalties-No Penalties
3rd Period-4, Providence, Trotman 1 (Warsofsky, Cunningham), 4:18 (PP). 5, Connecticut, Newbury 23 (Audy-Marchessault), 19:31 (PP EN). Penalties-Audy-Marchessault Ct (charging), 3:48; Robins Pro (holding), 6:32; Miller Pro (high-sticking), 10:05; Ridderwall Pro (fighting), 11:42; Valentenko Ct (fighting), 11:42; Camper Pro (holding), 18:25.
Shots on Goal-Providence 9-15-7-31. Connecticut 12-15-8-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 2 / 3; Connecticut 1 / 3.
Goalies-Providence, Khudobin 21-17-3 (34 shots-33 saves). Connecticut, Johnson 21-16-5 (31 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Ryan Hersey (46).
Linesmen-Brent Colby (7), Marty Demers (79).