STREAKING TEAMS MATCH UP AT THE DUNK
Providence Hosts Worcester After Thanksgiving Feast
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (9-6-2-1, 21 PTS, 4th Atlantic) host the Worcester Sharks (9-5-1-3, 22 PTS, 3rd Atlantic) this evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' fourth of 12 regular season meetings in 2010-11. The clubs last matched up on Oct. 31, a 6-1 Sharks win in Rhode Island. On the year, Providence is 1-1-1-0 against Worcester.
Tonight's game pits a pair of streaking teams against one another with Providence at 4-0-1-0 in its last five games and Worcester at 2-0-0-1 in its previous three. The P-Bruins have been gradually rising in the Atlantic Division standings thanks to a 7-1-1-0 November, including three wins after regulation. Most recently, Providence traveled to Bridgeport on Wednesday and left Connecticut 2-1 overtime winners. Second-year forward Jamie Arniel was the game's top star after netting his third overtime winner of the year, while Michael Hutchinson shined yet again with 27 saves. The rookie net-minder is a perfect 5-0-0 in his last seven games dating back to Halloween.
Both Arniel and Hutchinson are among Providence's leaders at their respective positions with Arniel pacing the P-Bruins with nine goals and 15 points and Hutchinson leading the club with six wins, a 2.75 goals-against-average and .909 save percentage. Zach Hamill and Steve Kampfer have each dished out 11 assists for the team-lead.
On the other side, the Sharks went into Thanksgiving after a 3-2 victory at Hershey on Wednesday evening. Goalie Alex Stalock earned 41 saves in defeating former P-Bruins net-minder Dany Sabourin. Sean Sullivan scored a goal, the eventual winner, and added an assist to extend his point-streak to three games. Worcester is led by Jonathan Cheechoo's 17 points, including a team-best 12 assists, while Benn Ferriero has 10 goals. In net, Stalock has seen the bulk of the action, going 8-6-1 in 15 outings with a 2.83 GAA and .902 save percentage.
In the season-series, Ferriero has three goals and four points for Worcester, a point-total matched by Brandon Mashinter and Justin Braun, who is currently in San Jose. Arniel leads all Providence players with two goals, while Kampfer and Joe Colborne each have two points as well. Between the pipes, Nolan Schaefer is 1-1-0 for the P-Bruins, as is Stalock for the Sharks.
Worcester brings one of the top power plays in the AHL into the game, currently sitting third at 21.5%, while Providence is ranked 24th at 14.5% with the man-advantage. Meanwhile, the P-Bruins are 26th on the penalty kill at 78.0%, while the Sharks are 10th when short-handed at 86.4%.
After a rare Saturday off, the P-Bruins get back to work on Sunday at The Dunk, playing host to the Portland Pirates for Silly Band Night at 4:05 p.m. The silly band packs are free to the first 1,000 kids age 12 and under. 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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