P-BRUINS HOST NEW WHALE FOR FIRST TIME
Providence Welcomes Connecticut, Formerly Hartford, into Town
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (9-8-2-1, 21 PTS, 7th Atlantic) host the newly-branded Connecticut Whale (8-11-2-4, 22 PTS, 6th Atlantic) this evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' first-ever meeting, though the second of 10 regular season match-ups between organizations in 2010-11. The P-Bruins and now old Hartford Wolf Pack played the final game in their long history on Oct. 17 in Rhode Island, a 3-0 win for the Wolf Pack.
The P-Bruins begin their December schedule following a successful 7-3-1-0 November, during which the club reeled off points in five straight games from Nov. 13-24, going 4-0-1-0, before finishing the month with two losses last weekend. Several players shined for Providence during the month, including leading-scorer Jamie Arniel, who had 12 of his 16 points and six of his nine goals, along with his first two career NHL recalls. The second-year pro is back in the Ocean State after making his NHL debut for Boston on Nov. 28 at Atlanta. Meanwhile, rookie goalie Michael Hutchinson shined in net with a 5-1-0 record. He currently paces the P-Bruins with a 6-3-0 mark, 2.87 goals-against-average and .901 save percentage.
Providence also welcomes a new player to its dressing room with the addition of highly-touted defenseman Colby Cohen, who was acquired on Nov. 29 from Colorado for former P-Bruins blue-liner Matt Hunwick. Cohen, a rookie and NCAA national champion at Boston University, had appeared in 14 games with Lake Erie this season, as well as three contests for the parent Avalance.
On the other side, the Whale were officially rebranded on Nov. 27 as a tribute to the former Hartford Whalers of the NHL. Since, the club is 2-0-0-1 and overall has points in six of seven contests at 4-1-0-2 dating back to Nov. 19. Connecticut is led by veteran Jeremy Williams' 12 goals and 21 points, while Kris Newbury has chipped in 17 assists of his 19 points. Three of those helpers have come against Providence.
Among many new faces for the new-look squad is Chad Kolarik, who came over in a trade from Columbus on Nov. 11 for former Wolf Pack captain Dane Byers. Kolarik had previously contributed 10 points (4g, 6a) in 13 games for Springfield and, since the deal, has eight points (5g, 3a) in nine outings for his new team. Between the pipes, Chad Johnson has seen the bulk of the time with a 6-10-3 record, 2.55 GAA and .904 save percentage.
On special teams, Providence ranks 24th (14.5%) in the AHL on the power play and 25th (78.8%) on the penalty kill. Connecticut, meanwhile, sits 12th (18.4%) in the league with the man-advantage and 11th (83.9%) when short-handed.
On Saturday, the P-Bruins travel to Bridgeport to take on the Sound Tigers at 8 p.m. Then, on Sunday, Providence hosts Manchester at 4:05 p.m. for Poster Night. Posters, which feature rookie Joe Colborne, are free to the first 1,000 fans. 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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