Providence Hosts Manchester for First Time of Season

Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (9-10-2-1, 21 PTS, 7th Atlantic) host the Manchester Monarchs (16-8-1-1, 34 PTS, 1st Atlantic) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' fourth of 10 regular season meetings in 2010-11. The P-Bruins are 2-1-0-0 against the Monarchs this season, with all games having taken place at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

Providence enters play today trying to put a stop to a four-game losing skid since taking points in eight of nine games (7-1-1-0). During the recent drought, the P-Bruins have been out-scored 16-4, most recently falling in Bridgeport 4-1 on Saturday. The loss snapped the team's seven-game road point-streak (6-0-1-0) that dated back to Oct. 23. The P-Bruins have been hampered of late with injuries claiming captain Jeremy Reich and new defenseman Colby Cohen this weekend, as well as talented rookie Max Sauve for much of the season.

The P-Bruins are led overall by Jamie Arniel's nine goals and 16 points, while first-year defenseman Steve Kampfer is first with 12 assists. In net, Michael Hutchinson (6-4-0, 2.88 GAA, .902 SV%) and Nolan Schaefer (3-7-1, 3.47 GAA, .889 SV%) have essentially split time. Arniel leads all players in the season-series with Manchester with five points, including four assists, while Hutchinson is 2-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and .962 save percentage.

Manchester, meanwhile, sits fourth in the AHL standings and boasts a 9-2-0-0 record since Nov. 14. The Monarchs' offense comes in hot, averaging nearly four goals per game over their last 11 contests, including four outputs of five goals or more. On Saturday, Manchester entertained the home crowd to the tune of a 7-2 thumping of Springfield as Marc-Andre Cliche had two goals and two assists to power his team to victory. Oscar Moller has been among the hottest of the bunch, however, with points in 10 straight games dating back to Nov. 14, including six goals and seven assists. He has a goal and two assists against the P-Bruins this year, and rookie Brandon Kozun has two goals.

The Monarchs are paced by Andrei Loktionov's 20 points, including 16 helpers. David Meckler is first on the club with nine goals. Between the pipes, Jeff Zatkoff is 9-7-1 with a 3.05 GAA, while rookie Martin Jones has stood tall with a 6-1-0 record, 1.52 GAA and .947 save percentage. Both Jones' GAA and save percentage rank second among AHL goalies, though his only loss came against Providence. 

On special teams, Providence is 26th (13.2%) in the league on the power play and 25th (79.0%) on the penalty kill, while Manchester is 10th (17.8%) with the man-advantage and 14th (83.3%) when short-handed.

The P-Bruins get back into action with three games next weekend, beginning Friday against Portland at 7:05 p.m. for T-Shirt Night. On Saturday, Providence travels to Springfield for a 7:30 p.m. tilt to kick off a home-and-home series. The club returns home to The Dunk on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. versus the Falcons for Lip Balm Night. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Providence Bruins' ticket office at (401) 273-5000 or log on to the team website at providencebruins.com

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