By Brian Ring
Hartford, CT, March 31, 2012 – The Connecticut Whale defeated the Adirondack Phantoms, 3-0, Saturday night before a crowd of 6,253 at the XL Center. The win allowed the Whale to snap a four-game losing streak on the back of goaltender Cam Talbot, who notched his third shutout of the season with 26 saves.
Kelsey Tessier scored twice and Casey Wellman had a goal and an assist to lead the Connecticut offense.
“That was a good rebound game for us,” said Whale head coach Ken Gernander. “Obviously everyone is watching the standings and points, and with every passing day it becomes more important to get the two points, and gets closer to playoff-type hockey.”
Tessier gave the Whale a 1-0 lead, with what would turn out to be the game-winning goal, 13:19 into the first period, as he finished off a rebound left by Adirondack goaltender Michael Leighton (25 saves). Wade Redden’s shot from the point could not be buried by Andre Deveaux, but the puck bounced off of the pad of Leighton to Tessier, who tallied his eleventh goal of the season.
Connecticut afforded the Phantoms three power-play opportunities in the first period, but good penalty-killing kept the visitors off the board.
The Whale would extend their lead to 2-0 on the power-play 8:49 into the second period, as Leighton once again gave up a rebound, this time to Wellman. Wellman banged the puck home between the left pad of Leighton and the post for his 22nd goal of the season. Deveaux notched his second assist of the night on the goal, and Kris Newbury also had a touch on the play.
The home team would keep the pressure on the Phantoms the rest of the way, outshooting Adirondack 18-14 over the final two periods.
Tessier would finish the game off for Connecticut at 19:53 of the third period, taking a pass from Wellman before sending the puck into an empty net to give the Whale a 3-0 lead.
“I thought we had a much better start, a much better team game and a better game in general (than Friday night’s 3-0 loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton),” said Gernander.
The Whale will close out their three-games-in-three-nights homestand Sunday afternoon at the XL Center, as they host the Providence Bruins (2:00).
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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Adirondack Phantoms 0 at Connecticut Whale 3
Saturday, March 31, 2012 – XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Adirondack 0 0 0 – 0
Connecticut 1 1 1 – 3
1st Period-1, Connecticut, Tessier 11 (Deveaux, Redden), 13:19. Penalties-Prough Ct (high-sticking), 4:10; Redden Ct (interference), 7:30; Mathers Adk (roughing), 9:49; Nightingale Ct (roughing), 9:49; Rowe Adk (tripping), 11:16; Newbury Ct (high-sticking), 14:39.
2nd Period-2, Connecticut, Wellman 22 (Deveaux, Newbury), 8:49 (PP). Penalties-Moses Ct (hooking), 4:20; Eddy Adk (interference), 8:28.
3rd Period-3, Connecticut, Tessier 12 (Wellman), 19:53 (EN). Penalties-Eddy Adk (holding), 6:31; Manning Adk (cross-checking), 8:00; Deveaux Ct (holding), 8:00.
Shots on Goal-Adirondack 12-7-7-26. Connecticut 10-7-11-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 0 / 4; Connecticut 1 / 3.
Goalies-Adirondack, Leighton 25-24-1 (27 shots-25 saves). Connecticut, Talbot 13-13-0 (26 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Francis Charron (46).
Linesmen-Derek Wahl (46), Brent Colby (7).