ROUTE 146 RIVALS CLASH AT THE DUNK
Providence Hosts Worcester for Third Match-Up of Season
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (8-9-1-0, 17 PTS, 7th Atlantic) host the Worcester Sharks (8-10-0-1, 17 PTS, 8th Atlantic) this evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' third of 10 regular season meetings in 2009-10. The clubs last met on Sunday, a 5-3 win for the P-Bruins at the DCU Center.
Providence enters tonight's game riding a two-game win streak following last night's 5-2 victory over the Springfield Falcons. The game marked the second straight contest in which the P-Bruins scored five goals, the second time the team has done so this year and the first since the opening two games of the season. Despite the club's run of offensive success, however, the P-Bruins line-up will be happy to welcome back two players assigned by the Boston Bruins, forwards Brad Marchand and captain Trent Whitfield. Both players spent one month with the big club after mid-October recalls. Marchand appeared in 12 games for Boston during his first career National Hockey League experience, tallying one assist for his first NHL point. Prior to his call-up, he registered at least one point in each of Providence's first six games of the year, including six goals and two helpers. The veteran Whitfield suited up for seven games for the parent Bruins in his first recall of the season. He has also posted eight points in six P-Bruins games, including three goals and five assists.
Worcester, meanwhile, is in the midst of its worst run in the four-year history of the franchise. The Sharks have lost seven straight games in regulation, most recently falling 3-1 at the Portland Pirates last night to drop to last place in the division. Worcester has not won a game since November 6, a 2-1 shootout win over the Manchester Monarchs. Over the last seven games, the Sharks have been out-scored 31-12 by their opponents and they have managed only two power play goals in their last 35 attempts (5.7%). Not unlike Providence during its early-November struggles, Worcester has been hampered by a depleted line-up. Forwards Logan Couture, Benn Ferriero, Jamie McGinn and Frazer McLaren, as well as defenseman Derek Joslin, are all on recall to the San Jose Sharks.
Offensively, Providence is paced by Andy Wozniewski's 20 points, tied for fourth in the AHL. The defenseman also has 14 assists, good for a share of fifth in the league. Rookie Jeff LoVecchio is first on the club in goals with eight, which puts him tied for the AHL-lead among first-year players. In net, Dany Sabourin is 8-5-0 with a 2.85 goals-against-average and .903 save percentage. On the other side, Worcester's Danny Groulx ranks first on the team with 14 points and 12 assists. Steven Zalewski has a club-best seven goals. Between the pipes, Alex Stalock has seen the bulk of the action for the Sharks with a 6-6-1 mark, one shutout, a 2.60 GAA and .901 save percentage.
On special teams, the P-Bruins sit eighth in the league on the power play at 21.3% and 19th on the penalty kill at 80.6%. The Sharks are 22nd in the AHL with the man-advantage at 12.5% and 20th when short-handed at 80.5%.
For one hour prior to each of the two remaining P-Bruins games this weekend, players wives and girlfriends will be collecting non-perishable food items in the lobby of the Dunkin' Donuts Center in support of the Thanksgiving Salvation Army Food Drive.
The P-Bruins wrap up the weekend against Manchester at 4:05 p.m. on Sunday for a Family Game, where fans can buy one ticket, hot dog and soda for one low price. 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 www.providencebruins.com.