Providence Bruins 2, Connecticut Whale 1 (SO)
Hartford, CT, December 17, 2011 – The Connecticut Whale were defeated by the Providence Bruins, 2-1, in a shootout before a crowd of 4,863 at the XL Center Saturday night in Hartford.
Kris Newbury scored the only goal in regulation for Connecticut, with Jamie Tardif tallying Providence’s lone score. Josh Hennessy recorded the shootout-ending goal for the Bruins, who defeated the Whale for the second time in five meetings on the year.
“There were chances,” said Whale head coach Ken Gernander. “I thought we worked pretty hard…[Providence] works hard and bottles things up in the neutral zone.
“That being said, you have got to get pucks in behind them and win the footraces or create the turn-overs to get possession.”
Newbury got the Whale on the board first with a snipe of a slap shot that got past Providence goaltender Michael Hutchinson (30 saves) at 5:57 of the first period. Hutchinson had no chance on Newbury’s shot, which beat him high to the stick side for the Whale forward’s ninth goal of the season. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault and Pavel Valentenko accounted for the assists on the goal, the only scoring in the first period.
Providence evened the game at one at 7:49 of the second period, as Whale goaltender Chad Johnson (29 saves) attempted to defuse a Jamie Tardif breakaway chance by rushing towards the loose puck pursued by the Bruins wing. The puck, however, hit the heel of Johnson’s stick and went straight to Tardif, who had an easy empty-net goal.
“You want them to earn everything they get,” said Johnson. “Then you give them a gift right there with the empty net. It’s disappointing but it happens.”
Neither team broke through in the third period, leading to an eventful overtime frame.
The Whale wound up shorthanded in overtime, but Jordan Owens was hooked on a breakaway during the penalty-kill, creating a rare overtime penalty shot opportunity for Connecticut. Hutchinson, however, was up to the task and the game was forced to the shootout, the second between the teams this season.
Providence received shootout goals from Jamie Arniel and Josh Hennessy, which proved to be more than enough, as the Whale could not solve Hutchinson in the tie-breaker.
“I thought we played hard but they came out with a lot of jump too,” said Johnson. “It was a hockey game, that’s all you can really say about it.”
The Whale will be back in action Wednesday night, when they take on the Adirondack Phantoms at the XL Center in their last game before the Christmas holiday (7:00 PM).
Providence Bruins 2 (SO) at Connecticut Whale 1
Saturday, December 17, 2011 – XL Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Providence 0 1 0 0 – 2
Connecticut 1 0 0 0 – 1
1st Period-1, Connecticut, Newbury 9 (Audy-Marchessault, Valentenko), 5:57. Penalties-Audy-Marchessault Ct (tripping), 9:47.
2nd Period-2, Providence, Tardif 8 7:49. Penalties-Whitfield Pro (hooking), 10:19; Owens Ct (tripping), 12:52; Newbury Ct (cross-checking), 17:42; Arniel Pro (slashing), 18:13.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Bodnarchuk Pro (tripping), 0:13; Thuresson Ct (tripping), 5:29; Tardif Pro (diving), 11:01; Erixon Ct (slashing), 11:01; Bickel Ct (tripping), 17:12.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Whitfield Pro (roughing), 3:42; Bell Ct (tripping), 3:42; Nightingale Ct (roughing), 3:42.
Shootout – Providence 2 (Camper NG, Caron NG, Arniel G, Hennessy G), Connecticut 0 (Bell NG, Audy-Marchessault NG, Newbury NG, Thuresson NG).
Shots on Goal-Providence 6-8-15-1-1-31. Connecticut 6-13-7-5-0-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 0 / 6; Connecticut 0 / 3.
Goalies-Providence, Hutchinson 2-5-0 (31 shots-30 saves). Connecticut, Johnson 9-4-3 (30 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Chris Brown (86), Tim Mayer (19).
Linesmen-Jim Briggs (83), Brent Colby (7).