P-BRUINS HOPE TO REVERSE TREND WITH FALCONS
Providence and Springfield Battle, Road Team has Taken Every Game
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (12-13-2-1, 27 PTS, 7th Atlantic) host the Springfield Falcons (14-14-1-1, 30 PTS, 6th Atlantic) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' sixth of 10 regular season meetings in 2010-11. So far, the road team has taken all five games in the season-series with Providence sitting at 2-2-0-1 overall and just 0-2-0-1 in Rhode Island.
The P-Bruins continued their road success on Saturday with a 2-1 victory in Hershey, powered by two third period goals from Kirk MacDonald and Jamie Arniel just 53 seconds apart. Arniel's goal gave him a team-high 12 on the year, as well as 20 points. Veteran goalie Nolan Schaefer earned the win against his former club with 26 saves for his second straight road win. Schaefer is now 5-8-1 with a 3.20 goals-against-average, while rookie Michael Hutchinson is 7-6-0 with a 3.04 GAA.
With the win, Providence is now an impressive 9-2-1-0 outside of the Ocean State, but 3-11-1-1 at The Dunk.
The Falcons, meanwhile, have won two games in a row and they are coming off a rare Saturday night off after Friday's 6-3 win at Bridgeport. Springfield has out-scored its opponents 10-4 during the stretch, the first win coming at Providence on Dec. 12. The win streak follows a difficult 2-7-1-0 run lasting from Nov. 21 to Dec. 11. The club is paced by rookie Matt Calvert's 13 goals and 23 points, while David LeNeveu has seen the bulk of the time in net, going 9-9-1 with a 2.86 GAA.
Not unlike Providence, Springfield has had its struggles at home at 5-9-1-0, but the Falcons are 9-5-0-1 when playing on foreign ice.
In the season-set, Springfield's Tom Sestito, currently in the NHL with Columbus, leads all players with six points, while Providence's Max Sauve paces his squad with five points. Sauve, Calvert and the Falcons' Mike Blunden have each scored a high of four goals, and David Savard shows five assists. In the crease, Schaefer is 1-1-1 with a 2.28 GAA to LeNeveu's 2-1-0 mark, 1.62 GAA and .944 save percentage.
On special teams, Providence ranks tied for 28th (12.3%) in the AHL on the power play and 25th (79.2%) on the penalty kill, while Springfield holds a share of 13th (17.8%) with the man-advantage and sits 16th (82.4%) when short-handed.
The P-Bruins are back in action with just one game next weekend on Sunday, Dec. 26 at Springfield at 3 p.m. Providence is on the road for five straight games before returning home to host Manchester at 7:05 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 7 for Kids Hat Night. Hats are free to the first 1,000 kids age 12 and under. 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 www.providencebruins.com.
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