By Brian Ring

Hartford, CT, January 7, 2012 – The Connecticut Whale were defeated, 5-4, by the Springfield Falcons in a shootout before a crowd of 7,159 at the XL Center Saturday night in Hartford.

CT WhaleMatt Calvert had a goal and an assist for Springfield and then registered the shootout winner. Kris Newbury (2-1-3) and Jonathan Audy-Marchessault (1-2-3) both had three points for the Whale, who lost their third straight game (0-1-1-1).

Connecticut had a 4-2 lead midway through the third period, but two late Springfield goals would knot the game and force the extra session.

“It’s a 60-minute game and you aren’t afforded any mistakes at any point in time,” said Whale head coach Ken Gernander. “It’s an opportunity for the other team to capitalize.”

The Whale took the first lead of the game at 4:19 of the first on the power-play, as Newbury shot an Audy-Marchessault rebound past Springfield goaltender Mark Dekanich (34 saves). Audy-Marchessault’s shot kicked out to Newbury in the left circle, and he wristed his shot up and over the sprawled netminder. Andre Deveaux also assisted on the score, Newbury’s 14th.

The Falcons would tie the game on Alexandre Giroux’s eleventh goal of the season with just 56 seconds remaining in the opening period. Giroux’s initial bid deflected off of the skate of a Whale defender in front of goaltender Chad Johnson (26 saves), but Giroux handled the rebound for the equalizer, with the assist going to Martin St. Pierre.

Andrew Joudrey enabled the Falcons to jump out to a 2-1 lead 18 seconds later, as his shot squeaked by Johnson to the Whale goaltender’s left.  Matt Calvert assisted on the goal.

Neither team broke though in the second period, but it would be the Connecticut offense that would first capitalize on their chances in the third to set up a wild last regulation frame.

Jordan Owens wristed a shot over the shoulder of Dekanich to tie the game at two apiece just 1:24 into the period, as he skated down the right wing boards and fired. Owens’ fourth of the season was assisted by Andreas Thuresson.

The Whale would take the lead on the power-play 6:40 into the period, as Audy-Marchessault banged home a Newbury pass from across the slot on a five-on-three power play. Newbury’s pass found a wide-open Audy-Marchessault, who tallied his 13th of the season with an easy put-in. Tim Erixon would also assist on the goal.

Newbury gathered his second goal and third point of the night at 13:07 of the period to extend the Whale lead to 4-2, finishing a nice passing play with Erixon and Audy-Marchessault, who also earned his third point of the game.

Springfield, however, would begin to mount a comeback on the power-play at 16:25, when Calvert scored to close the Falcons to within 4-3.

St. Pierre would then tie the game with just 35 seconds left, forcing overtime and eventually a shootout.

Calvert scored the shootout winner against Johnson with a hesitation move, as Springfield took the tiebreaker two goals to one and the game, 5-4. Brendan Bell scored the lone shootout goal for the Whale.

The Whale will be back in action against the very same Falcons Sunday afternoon in Springfield at the MassMutual Center (3:00). The next Whale home game will be Jan. 20, when they host the St. John’s IceCaps.

Tickets to the January 20 game, the January 21 CWHL double-header vs. Norfolk, Trading Card Weekend and CT Hockey Hall of Fame Night, and 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 and through TicketMaster Charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000.

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Springfield Falcons 5 (SO) at Connecticut Whale 4
Saturday, January 7, 2012 – XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Springfield 2 0 2 0 – 5
Connecticut 1 0 3 0 – 4

1st Period-1, Connecticut, Newbury 14 (Deveaux, Audy-Marchessault), 4:19 (PP). 2, Springfield, Giroux 11 (St. Pierre), 19:04. 3, Springfield, Joudrey 3 (Calvert), 19:22. Penalties-Blomqvist Spr (roughing), 2:56; Deveaux Ct (slashing), 9:25; Lebda Spr (interference), 9:44; St. Pierre Spr (high-sticking), 13:20; Deveaux Ct (major – boarding, game misconduct – boarding), 14:01.

2nd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Blomqvist Spr (hooking), 3:00; Regner Spr (boarding, roughing), 6:01; Grant Ct (roughing), 6:01; Calvert Spr (cross-checking), 10:02; Audy-Marchessault Ct (slashing), 10:02; Grant Ct (high-sticking), 14:05.

3rd Period-4, Connecticut, Owens 4 (Thuresson), 1:24. 5, Connecticut, Audy-Marchessault 13 (Newbury, Erixon), 6:40 (PP). 6, Connecticut, Newbury 15 (Erixon, Audy-Marchessault), 13:07. 7, Springfield, Calvert 5 (Byers, Prout), 16:25 (PP). 8, Springfield, St. Pierre 7 (MacLeod, Giroux), 19:25. Penalties-Parlett Ct (tripping), 4:36; Lebda Spr (hooking), 5:39; Prout Spr (tripping), 6:31; Audy-Marchessault Ct (slashing), 14:57.

OT Period- No Scoring. Penalties-No Penalties

Shootout – Springfield 2 (Kubalik NG, St. Pierre NG, Giroux NG, Regner G, Calvert G), Connecticut 1 (Newbury NG, Audy-Marchessault NG, Bell G, Thuresson NG, Owens NG).
Shots on Goal-Springfield 9-9-12-0-1-31. Connecticut 13-11-8-6-0-38.
Power Play Opportunities-Springfield 1 / 5; Connecticut 2 / 7.
Goalies-Springfield, Dekanich 1-0-0 (38 shots-34 saves). Connecticut, Johnson 10-6-4 (30 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Keith Kaval (40).
Linesmen-Paul Simeon (66), Luke Galvin (2).

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