The Connecticut Whale held its final practice at the MSG Training Center on Friday. After pre-season games Saturday against Adirondack and Sunday against Worcester, the Whale will begin final preparations for their 2012-13 season opener on October 12th by practicing in Cromwell, CT.
Kris Newbury (pictured) was one of 24 players who took part in Whale practice on Friday morning, returning to the ice quicker than expected after spraining his right knee on Sunday. Newbury centered a line with Chris Kreider on his left wing and Chad Kolarik on his right.
Marek Hrivik did not practice Friday, joining the injured Cam Talbot, Dylan McIlrath, and Jason Wilson on the sidelines. The latter three have yet to practice, though Talbot is the closest to returning to action.
In Talbot's absence Jason Missiaen and Scott Stajcer will handle the goaltending for Connecticut. Stajcer was sharp in stopping 21 of 22 shots in Thursday's 2-1 pre-season loss to Worcester, while Missiaen surrendered three goals in 30:48 worth of action Wednesday against Albany. Both Bryan Hince and Kyle Rank, goaltenders who were in camp on tryouts, were relased by the Whale on Friday.
Other than Newbury's line, the following forward line combinations were used by head coach Ken Gernander Friday: Andrew Yogan-Kyle Jean-JT Miller; Michael Haley-Kelsey Tessier-Christian Thomas; Brandon Segal- Shayne Wiebe-Ryan Bourque; Tommy Grant-Scott Pitt-Francis Verrault Paul.
The seven remaining healthy defenseman are Sean Collins, Mike Vernace, Jyri Niemi, Sam Klassen, Logan Pyett, Sebastien Piche, and Blake Parlett.
Twelve players, including Hince and Rank, were either reassigned to Greenville of the ECHL or released by the Whale on Friday. Those players are: Danny Hobbs, Brent Henley, Scott Tanski, Steven Delisle, Ryan Flanigan, Jordie Johnston, Kyle Haines, Andrew Coutney, and Colten Hayes.
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