P-BRUINS TO SHOWCASE NEW-LOOK LINE-UP
Providence Hosts Worcester in Only Home Game of the Weekend
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (33-35-5-1, 72 PTS, 7th Atlantic) host the Worcester Sharks (47-22-2-3, 99 PTS, 1st Atlantic) this evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' ninth of 10 regular season meetings in 2009-10. On the year, the P-Bruins are 3-4-1-0 against the Sharks, including 1-2-1-0 in Rhode Island.
Providence enters tonight's game with just six games remaining in its regular season and still a mathematic chance at making the postseason. The P-Bruins have not missed the playoffs since the 1997-98 campaign. Currently, Providence sits 10 points behind the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Lowell Devils, who each have 82 points for a fourth-place tie in the Atlantic. The fifth-place team in the Atlantic will qualify for the postseason if it has more points than the fourth-place squad in the East Division. The East's Norfolk Admirals are presently in fourth with 78 points.
The P-Bruins have been hurt by a recent slide. The club has not won in its last four games (0-2-2-0) and has only two wins in its last 12 contests (2-7-2-1) to drop to seventh in the division. Providence continues to be plagued by injuries and call-ups with Jamie Arniel, Drew Fata, Drew Larman, Lane MacDermid and Adam McQuaid all missing significant time since mid-February, along with Brad Marchand and Trent Whitfield spending their days in the National Hockey League with the Boston Bruins.
Providence expects to unveil a new-look line-up tonight, however, after being involved in nine transactions since the club last played last weekend. Olivier Labelle, John Lammers, Yannick Riendeau and Kenny Roche have all been sent elsewhere, while college and junior players have burst through the doors. Boston prospects Joe Colborne, Steve Kampfer and Maxime Sauve have all signed Amateur Tryout Agreements with Providence, as have Nevin Hamilton and Brian Roloff. Colborne, Boston's first round draft pick in 2008 (16th overall), turns pro following two years with the University of Denver Pioneers, where he had 22 goals and 41 points as a sophomore. Kampfer, a defenseman acquired at the NHL's Trade Deadline from the Anaheim Ducks, recently concluded his senior season with the University of Michigan Wolverines. Sauve, a second round pick and the cousin of former Bruins goalie Philippe Sauve, had a strong season with the Val d'Or Foreurs with 35 points in 25 games in a role limited by injury.
Worcester, meanwhile, has already clinched a playoff spot and sits five points ahead of the second-place Portland Pirates in the Atlantic. The Sharks' 99 points are good for fourth in the entire AHL. Much of their success has come on the road with a record of 22-12-0-2, which is also among the best in the league. Worcester enters play tonight with 10 wins in its last 12 games.
Mikko Lehtonen continues to lead the P-Bruins in scoring with 23 goals and 50 points, while Andy Wozniewski is first with 33 assists. In net, Dany Sabourin is 25-25-0 with three shutouts, a 2.68 goals-against-average and .914 save percentage in 51 games. On the other side, AHL First Team All-Star Danny Groulx paces the Sharks' offense and all league defensemen with 62 points and 51 assists. Former P-Bruins forward T.J. Trevelyan is first on his team with 25 goals. Between the pipes, AHL All-Rookie Team member Alex Stalock is 37-16-2 with three blankings, a 2.63 GAA and .908 save percentage in 56 outings.
On special teams, Providence sits 25th (14.9%) in the league on the power play and 22nd (80.2%) on the penalty kill. Worcester is ninth (18.9%) with the man-advantage and 16th (82.4%) when short-handed.
On Saturday, the P-Bruins travel to New Hampshire for a 7 p.m. tilt against the Manchester Monarchs, and then take on Portland on Sunday at 4 p.m. in Maine. Providence's final home game of the regular season is Friday, April 9 at 7:05 p.m. against the Springfield Falcons for Team Poster Night. To purchase 2009-10 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.