P-BRUINS EYE FIRST WINNING RECORD
Providence Hosts Abbotsford for Second Time this Weekend
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (6-6-1-1, 14 PTS, 5th Atlantic) host the Abbotsford Heat (11-6-0-1, 23 PTS, 1st North) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' second of four regular season meetings in 2010-11. The clubs matched up on Friday, a 5-2 win for the Heat, and they wrap up their season-series with two tilts in western Canada on Feb. 25-26.
Providence is coming off a 3-1 victory in Manchester on Saturday after staking Michael Hutchinson to a 3-0 lead early in the second period on goals from rookies Yury Alexandrov, Matt Bartkowski and third-year pro Levi Nelson. The offensive output provided the rookie goalie more than enough breathing room as Hutchinson shined with 24 saves to extend his personal unbeaten streak to four appearances, including two wins. Bartkowski has enjoyed a recent offensive surge, totaling two goals and three assists in his last four games after registering only one helper in his first eight games of the season. Fellow first-year blue-liner Alexandrov has also been hot of late with two goals and two assists in his last three contests, using that stretch to double the point-total he produced in the first 11 games of the year.
The P-Bruins are led overall by rookie Joe Colborne and second-year forward Jamie Arniel, each with 11 points. Jordan Knackstedt shows a squad-high seven goals, while Steve Kampfer and Zach Hamill each have eight assists to pace the club. In net, goalies Nolan Schaefer and Hutchinson each have three wins, while Schaefer is first with a 3.06 goals-against-average and .902 save percentage.
Abbotsford, meanwhile, has been on fire with five straight wins to climb to the top of the Western Conference as the team's 23 points are tied with San Antonio for a conference-best. The Heat have won six of their last seven games dating back to Oct. 30 and they have opened their five-game road trip with two straight wins. Last night, Abbotsford prevailed 4-2 at Adirondack, receiving a goal and an assist from each Bryan Cameron and former P-Bruins forward Jon Rheault.
The Heat have four players with 11 points apiece, including Carter Bancks, Matt Keith, Greg Nemisz and Gaelan Patterson. Keith is first with eight goals, while Bancks, Patterson and Keith Seabrook each have eight assists. Keith and Quintin Laing each have two points on the year against the P-Bruins with a goal and an assist apiece. Between the pipes, Leland Irving has won his last five games to up his record to 10-3-0, an AHL-best in wins, with one shutout, a 2.31 GAA and .908 save percentage.
On special teams, Providence ranks 21st in the league on the power play at 15.8% and 27th on the penalty kill at 76.1%. Abbotsford, on the other side, is 25th on the man-advantage at 12.9% and 28th when short-handed at 75.9%.
The P-Bruins are back in action with a two-game week next weekend, hosting the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday, November 19 at 7:05 p.m. for Dunkin' Donuts Mug Night and then they travel to face Manchester on Sunday, November 21 at 3 p.m. Providence has a rare Saturday off. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the P-Bruins ticket office at (401) 273-5000 or log on to the team website at providencebruins.com.
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