P-BRUINS HOST FIRST-PLACE MONARCHS
Providence Just Two Points Out of Second-Place in the Atlantic Division
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (15-12-1-0, 31 PTS, 6th Atlantic) host the Manchester Monarchs (19-8-1-2, 41 PTS, 1st Atlantic) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' fourth of 10 regular season meetings in 2009-10. On the year, Providence is 1-2-0-0 against Manchester but 1-0-0-0 in Rhode Island.
The P-Bruins enter the contest having won 10 of their last 14 games since November 13. Their six-game road winning streak and overall five-game run of success came to an end Saturday night in New York against the Albany River Rats. The Rats prevailed 3-1, helped by an empty-net goal. Dany Sabourin was sharp in net yet again with 26 saves but also saw an end to his personal three-game winning streak. The veteran goalie had also been unbeaten in his last six road games.
Manchester comes into the Ocean State with seven wins in its last nine games dating back to November 25. The Monarchs fell at home last night, 3-2 to the Lowell Devils, ending their four-game winning streak. With 41 points, they lead the Atlantic Division by eight points over three clubs, Lowell, the Portland Pirates and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, and they also rank second in the AHL in points behind the Texas Stars' 42.
Providence continues to be led offensively by Mikko Lehtonen's 25 points, including a team-best 10 goals after scoring last night. Andy Wozniewski is second on the club with 23 points and first with 17 assists. In net, Sabourin is 13-8-0 with one shutout, a 2.52 goals-against-average and a .914 save percentage. On the other side, Manchester is paced by Gabe Gauthier's 19 points and 14 helpers. Bud Holloway is first on squad with eight goals. Between the pipes, Jonathan Bernier is 13-7-2 with two blankings, a 2.05 GAA and a .939 save percentage. Bernier and Sabourin are the most frequently worked goalies in the league, ranked first and second in minutes played with Bernier holding the edge by only six minutes.
On special teams, Providence (19.4%, 8th) and Manchester (19.7%, 7th) both rank in the top 10 in the league on the power play. The P-Bruins sit 19th in the AHL on the penalty kill at 81.5% while the Monarchs are fourth at 89.1%.
Providence is back in action with two home games next weekend. On Friday, December 18, the P-Bruins host Bridgeport at 7:05 p.m. for Mikko Lehtonen Poster Night. The game on Saturday, December 19, is at the Springfield Falcons at 7 p.m. Then, the P-Bruins return home on Sunday, December 20, to host Lowell at 4:05 p.m. for a Family Game. 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 the team website at www.providencebruins.com.