P-BRUINS LOOK TO EXTINGUISH HEAT
Providence Hosts Abbotsford in Second Meeting of the Weekend
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (28-26-3-0, 59 PTS, 6th Atlantic) host the Abbotsford Heat (27-24-4-4, 62 PTS, 4th North) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' second of four regular season meetings in 2009-10. The P-Bruins lead the season-series with a 1-0-0-0 record after a 4-2 victory on Friday at The Dunk.
In Friday's match-up, the first ever between the two clubs, Providence squandered a 1-0 first period advantage but rallied for three third period goals for the win. Zach Hamill assisted on three of his team's four goals and finished the contest with a plus-three rating. Andrew Bodnarchuk, John Lammers, Brad Marchand and Craig Weller burried the goals and Dany Sabourin blocked 34 shots for the win. David Shantz suffered the loss with 28 saves for Abbotsford, which received goals from Jason Jaffray and Brad Cole.
The clubs took on other foes last night with Providence falling 4-0 in New Hampshire at the hands of the Manchester Monarchs, while Abbotsford shutout the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 1-0. The P-Bruins have now been shutout five times by the Monarchs in seven meetings this season with three whitewashes courtesy of Jonathan Bernier. Because Providence and Bridgeport both lost, the Sound Tigers remain fifth in the Atlantic, two points ahead of the P-Bruins for what will potentially be the division's final playoff spot. Abbotsford's win kept the Heat in fourth-place in the North and improved the squad's record to 4-1-0-0 to start its season-long nine-game road trip. Overall, the Heat are 6-1-0-1 over their last eight games.
Providence continues to be led offensively by PlanetUSA All-Star Mikko Lehtonen's 20 goals and 45 points, while fellow PlanetUSA All-Star Andy Wozniewski has a team-best 26 assists. Marchand paces the squad with a plus-15 rating in only 29 games. In net, Sabourin is 22-18-0 with three shutouts, a 2.46 goals-against-average and .918 save percentage. On the other side, Abbotsford's Jaffray, a Canadian All-Star, shows 19 goals, 23 assists, 42 points and a plus-17 rating to lead the Heat across the board. Between the pipes Matt Keetley, fresh off last night's 23-save shutout, is 10-7-1 with two blankings, a 2.55 GAA and a .912 save percentage.
On special teams, Providence ranks 20th (16.7%) in the AHL on the power play and 24th (80.4%) on the penalty kill. Abbotsford, meanwhile, is 24th (14.6%) on the man-advantage and 27th (79.7%) when short-handed.
The P-Bruins return to action with two games next weekend, both on the road. Providence is at the Binghamton Senators on Friday night for a 7:05 p.m. start, then takes on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday, also for a 7:05 p.m. tilt. Providence's next four games are on the road before returning home to host Manchester at 7:05 p.m. on Friday, March 5 for Sport Bottle Night. Sport bottles free to the first 2,000 fans. 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.