2009 CONFERENCE FINALS REMATCH TODAY AT THE DUNK
Providence Hosts Hershey in First of Two Regular Season Meetings
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (5-7-1-0, 11 PTS, 7th Atlantic) host the Hershey Bears (9-5-0-0, 18 PTS, 1st East) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' first of two regular season meetings in 2009-10. The game marks a rematch of the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals, which the Bears claimed in five games on their way to a Calder Cup championship victory over the Manitoba Moose.
Providence enters today's game following a 3-0 loss to the Lowell Devils on the road last night, the P-Bruins third shutout loss in their last six games. Rookie Matt Dalton continues to search for his first pro win after suffering last night's defeat despite 26 saves. Hershey, meanwhile, has won five of its last six contests, including a 4-1 victory over the Manchester Monarchs last night in New Hampshire. This afternoon's game is the fourth in five days for the Bears, all against Atlantic Division foes. As the P-Bruins look to return to the win column today, they will take comfort in great success at home this season with a 5-2-1-0 record. The Bears have also been successful on the road, however, at 6-3-0-0.
Offensively, Providence is led by defenseman Andy Wozniewski's 17 points, including a team-high 12 assists. His five goals are tied for the active team lead with Mikko Lehtonen. Hershey has two 17-point performers, 2008-09 AHL MVP Alexandre Giroux and Andrew Gordon, each with seven goals and 10 assists. Wozniewski, Giroux and Gordon are all tied for third in the league's scoring race while Wozniewski also holds a share of the AHL's assist lead. Between the pipes, Dany Sabourin is 5-4-0 with a 2.69 goals-against-average and .910 save percentage for the P-Bruins. Bears netminders Michal Neuvirth (3-3-0, 2.67 GAA, .903 SV%) and Jason Bacashihua (4-1-0, 1.80 GAA, .932 SV%) have split time.
On special teams, Providence ranks fourth on the power play at 22.1% and sits in 22nd on the penalty kill at 82.3%. Hershey, on the other side, is 21st with the man-advantage at 12.5%, but fifth when short-handed at 90.7%.
Prior to today's game, local Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts will be collecting non-perishable food items for the Rhode Island Food Bank to support the Scouting for Food national campaign. Fans are encouraged to drop off their non-perishable food items in the Dunkin' Donuts Center lobby.
The P-Bruins return to action with three road games next weekend, Friday at the Syracuse Crunch at 7:30 p.m., Saturday versus Lowell at 7 p.m. and Sunday at the Worcester Sharks at 3:05 p.m. Providence is back on home-ice on Friday, November 20 at 7:05 p.m. against the Springfield Falcons for Dunkin' Donuts Mug Night. To purchase 2009-10 season tickets, Flex Tix or individual game tickets, please call the Providence Bruins ticket office at (401) 273-5000 or log on to the team website at www.providencebruins.com.