Providence Welcomes in Manchester for First of Two Weekend Battles

Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (18-19-3-1, 40 PTS, 6th Atlantic) host the Manchester Monarchs (27-14-1-2, 57 PTS, 1st Atlantic) this evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' seventh of 10 regular season meetings in 2010-11. On the year, the P-Bruins are 4-2-0-0 against the Monarchs, including a 2-0-0-0 mark in Rhode Island.

The P-Bruins enter play tonight winners of three straight games for only the second time this year after coming from behind to defeat Bridgeport 3-2 in a shootout on Tuesday. The victory also gave goalie Matt Dalton his third straight triumph between the pipes, improving his AHL numbers this season to a 5-3-0 record, 2.57 goals-against-average and .915 save percentage after spending time in the ECHL with Reading. Over the club's successful run, defense has been the name of the game as Providence has out-scored its opponents 8-4, while all three wins have come within the division.

The schedule doesn't get any easier tonight, however, as Manchester comes into town with the league's second-best point-total. The Monarchs trail only the East's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, who have played 42 games and lost only nine. Manchester is 3-0-0-1 over its last four games after losing three of four contests in regulation, but rookie standout Martin Jones has continued to impress in net in all three wins to improve his record to 16-3-0, aided by a 1.93 GAA and .939 save percentage, both ranking among the best in the AHL. Up front, the Monarchs have relied on a high-powered offense of late, showing 19 goals over their last four outings.

Providence continues to be led offensively by Jamie Arniel's 14 goals and 26 points, though Zach Hamill is a close second with 25 points, including a team-best 22 assists. Along with Dalton, veteran Nolan Schaefer has appeared in 20 games in the crease, going 6-12-1 with a 3.25 GAA.

On the other side, defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov has 32 points to lead Manchester and all AHL blue-liners, and his 23 assists are tied with Andrei Loktionov for the team-high. Meanwhile, Bud Holloway and David Meckler each show 13 goals. In net, Jeff Zatkoff has complimented Jones with a 10-11-2 record and 3.31 GAA.

In the season-series, Manchester's Oscar Moller leads all players with eight points and six assists, while Arniel is second with seven points and five helpers. Providence's Joe Colborne is first among goals-scorers with four, accounting for all of his points. In net, Dalton is 1-0-0 with a shutout to his credit, while Schaefer is 0-2-0. For the Monarchs, both Jones and Zatkoff are 1-2-0, with Jones suffering two of his three overall losses to the P-Bruins.

On special teams, Providence sits last (10.5%) in the league on the power play and 27th (78.6%) on the penalty kill, while Manchester is 14th (17.8%) with the man-advantage and 10th (84.8%) when short-handed.

After tonight, the P-Bruins take to the road, where they have points in four straight, as the club travels to Portland for a 7 p.m. tilt on Saturday. Providence wraps up the weekend on Sunday with Manchester again for Poster Day at The Dunk at 4:05 p.m. with posters free to the first 1,000 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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