HARTFORD – After sweeping past their in-state archrivals, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, in the first round of the American Hockey League playoffs, the road to the Calder Cup has gotten a little more challenging for the Connecticut Whale, who will face the Norfolk Admirals in the AHL’s Eastern Conference semifinal series. The Admirals, who defeated the Manchester Monarchs three games to one games in their quarterfinal series, finished the regular season with the league’s best record (55-18-1-2; 113 points), and took an AHL-record 28-game winning streak into the postseason. That streak reached 29 before a 5-2 loss to the Monarchs in Game 2 of the first-round series.
After sweeping the Bridgeport Sound Tigers out of the playoffs, the Connecticut Whale will meet the AHL's top regular-season team, the Norfolk Admirals, in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Games 1 and 2 of the best-of-seven series will be played at the Norfolk Scope Arena on Wed., May 2 and Fri., May 4. Faceoff on Wednesday will be at 7:15 p.m., while Friday night’s start time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The teams will then head to Hartford for Games 3 and 4 at the XL Center on Sun., May 6 and Mon., May 7. Faceoff is at 7 p.m. on both evenings.
Should Game 5 be necessary, the series will shift to Bridgeport and will be played at the Webster Bank Arena on Wed., May 9, at 7 p.m. The shift in venues was necessitated by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which will be setting up that day for a four-day run at the XL Center (May 10-13). Ticket information for that game will be forthcoming.
“Scheduling is always a challenge this time of year, and happily for Hartford, the XL Center is extra busy this spring with premier events,” said Whalers Sports & Entertainment president and COO Howard Baldwin, Jr. “We have worked hard with our partners at AEG and the XL Center to come up with the best possible schedule for this exciting matchup, and we appreciate them agreeing to have us move Game 5 to Bridgeport in order to schedule the series in a way that works best for the teams and our fans.”
Should Games 6 and/or 7 be necessary, they will be played in Norfolk on Fri., May 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Sun., May 13 at 5 p.m.
Tickets to Whale home games can be purchased at the XL Center box office, as well as on-line at www.ctwhale.com and through TicketMaster Charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000.