PAIR OF 1-0 CLUBS FACE-OFF TODAY
Providence Hosts Springfield Today at the Dunkin' Donuts Center at 4:05 p.m.
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (1-0-0-0, 2 PTS, T-2nd Atlantic) play host to the Springfield Falcons (1-0-0-0, 2 PTS, T-2nd Atlantic) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center with both clubs coming off of 4-3 victories in their season openers. The P-Bruins edged the Lowell Devils in a shootout Wednesday evening at The Dunk while the Falcons battled back from a 3-0 deficit to stun the Hartford Wolf Pack at the XL Center last night.
Providence's first game was highlighted by great special teams play as the club scored three power play goals in 11 chances, one goal for each Johnny Boychuk, alternate captain Byron Bitz and Vladimir Sobotka. Bangor, Maine, native John DiSalvatore scored a man-advantage goal for Lowell as the Devils went 1-for-8 on the power play. Lowell tied the game behind two goals from Russian rookie Vladimir Zharkov to eventually send the game into overtime, where neither team scored en route to a shootout. The P-Bruins connected twice in the four-round shootout with rookie Mikko Lehtonen and veteran Martin St. Pierre beating goaltender Scott Clemmensen. On the other side, Tuukka Rask blocked all four Devils attempts to secure the first career victory for rookie head coach Rob Murray. Bitz and Sobotka each registered a goal and an assist while new defenseman Ryan Stokes paced all players with 22 penalty minutes in a 101 PIM game. Providence accounted for 42 minutes in the sin bin.
Of note for Providence, rookies Lehtonen, Brad Marchand and Matt Marquardt each played in their first pro games. Blue-liner Andrew Bodnarchuk appeared in his first career regular season game after a one-game stint for the P-Bruins in the 2007 postseason. Marchand earned an assist for his first professional point.
Springfield, meanwhile, secured its victory despite being out-shot 37-22. Of the Falcons' overall shots total, 16 came in their three-goal second period. Alternate captain and new center Ryan Potulny notched a pair of goals, including the game-winner midway through the final stanza. Former P-Bruins wing and Massachusetts, native Carl Corazzini recorded an assist on the winning goal. Goalie Devan Dubnyk, who spent 33 games between the pipes last year for the Falcons, stopped 34 shots in the win while Miika Wiikman blocked 18 shots of his own for the Wolf Pack. In another game not short on special teams opportunities, each team scored one power play goal - Springfield in eight chances and Hartford in seven.
The Falcons welcome many new faces to their 2008-09 creation, including but not limited to Potulny, Corazzini, center Gilbert Brule and right wing Hans Benson. Potulny and Corazzi each had more than 20 goals a year ago while the 21-year-old Brule enjoyed 61 games in the National Hockey League for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Benson spent the season with the Peoria Rivermen.
Springfield, like Providence, also sports a new head coach in Jeff Truitt. Named as the 10th head coach in Falcons franchise history on June 17, 2008, Truitt served as an assistant for Springfield in 2007-08. Prior, the native of Saskatchewan served as head coach of the Western Hockey League's Kelowna Rockets for three seasons, compiling a record of 113-76-18-9 (W-L-OTL-SOL). He guided his clubs to one WHL championship and a Memorial Cup Tournament appearance in 2005.
Today's game marks the first of more than 25 Providence Bruins Promotional Nights at The Dunk. The P-Bruins will be giving away magnet schedules to the first 2,500 fans, courtesy of Shaw's Supermarkets. Providence is next home Friday, October 17 against Springfield at 7:05 p.m. The first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive free P-Bruins t-shirts, courtesy of ServiceMaster Clean, Graftek Systems, Dunkin' Donuts and your New England Dodge Dealers.
To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Providence Bruins office at (401) 273-5000 or log on to the team website at providencebruins.com. Tickets may be purchased in person by visiting the Dunkin' Donuts Center Box Office or all TicketMaster outlets.