Providence and Charlotte Match Up for First of Four Meetings

Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (11-12-2-1, 25 PTS, 7th Atlantic) host the Charlotte Checkers (15-9-1-3, 34 PTS, 3rd East) this evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' first of four regular season meetings in 2010-11. This marks the first ever meeting between the P-Bruins and the former Albany River Rats.

Providence enters play looking to turn things around at home, where the club is 3-10-1-1 in its first 15 games. Since an overall five-game point-streak (4-0-1-0), the P-Bruins are just 2-6-0-0 since Nov. 26. But, for the first time in weeks, the squad is back to full health and with a full week of practice under its collective belt. The P-Bruins are missing only defenseman Steve Kampfer among its regular skaters as the rookie is currently on recall to Boston.

The P-Bruins are paced by Jamie Arniel's 11 goals and 19 points, while Zach Hamill leads all active Providence skaters with 11 assists. Between the pipes, rookie Michael Hutchinson (7-5-0, 2.90 GAA) and veteran Nolan Schaefer (4-8-1, 3.39 GAA) have essentially split time. 

On the other side, Charlotte opens a five-game road trip tonight riding an AHL season-high five straight road wins dating back to Oct. 29. The Checkers sit at 7-4-1-0 on foreign ice overall. Charlotte has been hot of late with points in three games in a row at 2-0-0-1 and a 9-2-0-1 mark in 12 outings since Nov. 11.

First-year goalie Mike Murphy has won five straight games and has not lost since a 5-2 setback against Hershey on Nov. 9. Not unlike Providence, Charlotte's goalies have spent nearly the same amount of time in the crease with Murphy at 8-4-2 and a 2.69 goals-against-average, while Justin Pogge is 7-6-1 with a 2.84 GAA. Offensively, Zach Boychuk has 32 points, including 22 helpers, to rank tied for second in the league in scoring. Meanwhile, Jerome Samson is hot on his heels with 29 points, showing a team-best 15 goals. 

On special teams, Providence is 28th (12.5%) in the AHL on the power play and 27th (78.8%) on the penalty kill, while Charlotte is third in the league on the man-advantage at 21.8% and second when short-handed at 88.0%.

After tonight's game, the P-Bruins travel to Hershey for a 7 p.m. tilt on Saturday. The weekend wraps up on Sunday as Providence hosts Springfield at 4:05 p.m. for a Hand Sanitizer 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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