P-BRUINS HOST REGULAR SEASON HOME FINALE
Providence Continues Playoff Push Against Springfield Tonight
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (35-36-5-1, 76 PTS, 7th Atlantic) host the Springfield Falcons (24-38-11-4, 63 PTS, 8th Atlantic) this evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' last of 10 regular season meetings in 2009-10. On the year, the P-Bruins are 8-1-0-0 against the Falcons, including 4-0-0-0 in Rhode Island.
Providence enters the final weekend of the regular season still with a mathematical chance at making the postseason. In order to qualify, the P-Bruins will have to win all three of their games this weekend, as well as do quite a bit of scoreboard watching. Along with three Providence wins, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers must lose all three of their games in regulation, the Hartford Wolf Pack and the East Division's Binghamton Senators may earn no more than five of six possible points, and the Norfolk Admirals must drop each of their final two games against the Hershey Bears. Should all of that occur, Providence must then also hold the goals-differential tie-breaker over Norfolk. After tonight, Providence's final two games are on the road at the Worcester Sharks and the Lowell Devils.
Here are the final regular season games for the teams Providence is keeping a close eye on:
Bridgeport - at Lowell, vs. Manchester, vs. Hartford
Hartford - at Worcester, vs. Springfield, at Bridgeport
Binghamton - at Adirondack, vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Norfolk - vs. Hershey, vs. Hershey
Providence's opponent tonight, Springfield, fell out of the playoff race long ago but has the opportunity to play spoiler at The Dunk this evening. The Falcons have a league-low 63 points, worst in the AHL by eight points, trailing both the Adirondack Phantoms and Grand Rapids Griffins. Moreover, Springfield has not won in its last six games at 0-4-1-1.
The P-Bruins are led offensively by PlanetUSA All-Star Mikko Lehtonen, who will receive the Shaw's Leading Scorer award tonight for his 23 goals and 50 points. Fellow All-Star Andy Wozniewski paces the team with 33 assists. In net, Dany Sabourin is 27-26-0 with three shutouts, a 2.62 goals-against-average and a .917 save percentage.
Among the other award winners that will be announced in a pregame ceremony tonight, several players currently on recall to the National Hockey League's Boston Bruins will be honored with awards. Captain Trent Whitfield has been named Providence's MetLife Most Valuable Player, Andrew Bodnarchuk is the team's Dunkin' Donuts Best Defenseman and Jamie Arniel is the Martone Group Rookie of the Year. All three of those awards were voted on by the team. In addition, Zach Hamill will receive the US Army 3 Stars Award, Adam McQuaid will take the Champion Windows Plus-Minus Award, Kevin Regan will claim the Pawtucket Credit Union Community Service Award and Brad Marchand will win the Hendricks Fan Appreciation Award.
For Springfield, Chad Wiseman leads all active Falcons with 54 points and 32 assists. Colton Fretter is first on his club with 24 goals. Between the pipes, only one of Springfield's active goalies has AHL experience this year. Bryan Pitton is 2-5-0 in seven outings with a 4.16 GAA and .872 save percentage.
In the season-series, Whitfield leads all players with 15 points, including 11 assists. Lehtonen paces all active players with 10 points for Providence, while Fretter shows six points on the Springfield side. In the crease, Sabourin is 5-1-0 with a 1.33 GAA and .948 save percentage against the Falcons.
On special teams, Providence is 23rd in the league on both the power play (15.1%) and the penalty kill (80.3%). Springfield ranks 16th (17.1%) with the man-advantage and 27th (79.9%) when short-handed.
For P-Bruins ticket information, call (401) 273-5000 or log on to the team website at www.providencebruins.com.