RT. 146 RIVALRY CONTINUES AT THE DUNK
Providence Hosts Worcester to Close Another Busy Weekend
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (16-19-3-1, 36 PTS, 7th Atlantic) host the Worcester Sharks (19-15-2-5, 45 PTS, 4th Atlantic) this afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' fifth of 12 regular season meetings in 2010-11. On the year, the P-Bruins are 1-2-1-0 against the Sharks, but 0-2-0-0 in Rhode Island.
The P-Bruins storm back into action riding the high of a 3-2 road win at Connecticut on Saturday, extending their road point-streak to three games at 2-0-1-0. Goalie Matt Dalton evened his record at 3-3-0 with 34 saves, while rookie Max Sauve led all scorers with two goals. The win snapped a 0-2-1-0 slide, while also providing a Whale team decimated by NHL call-ups their second straight defeat for the first time since Nov. 21-26.
Providence continues to be paced offensively by Jamie Arnie's 14 goals and 26 points, while Zach Hamill is hot on his heels with 24 points of his own, including 21 assists. Hamill scored his third goal of the season last night, bringing him to 100 career points. In net, veteran Nolan Schaefer has seen the bulk of the action, going 6-12-1 with a 3.25 goals-against-average.
On the other side, Worcester sits right in the middle of a crowded Atlantic, just six points out of second place, but five points ahead of sixth. The club's season has been a bit of a roller coaster as it enjoyed great success in the first two-plus months of the season, but is just 4-7-1-1 since Dec. 17. The Sharks suffered an ugly 8-3 loss at Portland last night, allowing goals to eight different scorers in the process. Not unlike the Whale, they are missing many players to NHL recall with Andrew Desjardins, Benn Ferriero, Brandon Mashinter and Justin Braun all up in San Jose.
With fill-ins in place, Jonathan Cheechoo leads Worcester and ranks 10th in the AHL with 37 points, including highs of 14 goals and 23 assists. Between the pipes, Alex Stalock is 16-15-3 with a 2.55 GAA and .911 save percentage.
In the season series, Arniel leads all P-Bruins in the series with three points, including two goals. The Sharks, however, have 10 players with at least three points and several leading the way with four apiece. Among active players, Tommy Wingels leads the way with two goals and two helpers. In net, Schaefer is 1-1-0 with a 3.98 GAA to Stalock's 2-1-0 mark and 1.94 GAA.
On special teams, the P-Bruins sit 30th (11.2%) in the league on the power play and 27th (78.3%) on the penalty kill, while the Sharks are 18th (16.1%) with the man-advantage and 22nd (80.3%) when short-handed.
The P-Bruins are next in action on Tuesday as they play their fourth game in five days, taking on Bridgeport at 7 p.m. in Connecticut. Providence returns to the Ocean State on Friday for Dunkin' Donuts Mug Night at 7:05 p.m. against Manchester. The mugs are free to the first 3,000 fans in attendance. 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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