P-BRUINS TRY FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT WIN
Providence Plays Bridgeport at Home in First of Two Weekend Meetings
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins (29-30-3-2, 63 PTS, 6th Atlantic) host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (21-35-3-4, 49 PTS, 7th Atlantic) tonight at the Dunkin' Donuts Center for the teams' ninth of 10 meetings in 2010-11. On the year, the P-Bruins are 5-2-1-0 versus the Sound Tigers and 2-0-1-0 against them in the Ocean State.
Providence has won three games in a row, including last Sunday's 6-0 drubbing of Bridgeport. In their most recent mid-week contest, the P-Bruins defeated the Manchester Monarchs 3-2 on the road after a 14-round marathon shootout. Lane MacDermid netting the winning shootout goal after scoring once in regulation, while veteran Trent Whitfield also found the back of the net in both regulation and the shootout.
The Sound Tigers have dropped eight games in a row, and have come out victorious just three times in the New Year (3-21-2-2 in 2011). Making matters worse, three of their last five losses have been decided by three goals or more.
On the transaction front, the P-Bruins signed defenseman Maury Edwards to an Amateur Tryout Agreement on Wednesday. The rookie played his entire collegiate career at UMass-Lowell, and appeared in his first pro game Wednesday night. The Sound Tigers' roster has been in flux lately, releasing Wes O'Neil, Eric Castonguay and Chris Frank over the last couple of days, while adding Steve Tarasuk and Riley Emmerson today.
Jamie Arniel's 39 points are a P-Bruins team-high, while Max Sauve is first on the club with 18 goals and Zach Hamill shows a club-best 29 assists. Sound Tigers right winger Rhett Rakhshani leads his team with 42 points and 28 helpers. Current New York Islander Justin DiBenedetto is the top goal-scorer for Bridgeport this year with 15.
Providence goalie Anton Khudobin has started each game of the current win streak, and is 22-12-1 with a 2.47 GAA and .914 save percentage on the 2010-11 season, spent in large part with Houston. Back-up Michael Hutchinson is 10-8-0 with one shutout, a 3.13 GAA and a .903 save percentage. On the other side, Bridgeport goalie Mikko Koskinen has a 7-19-1 record and 3.84 GAA, along with a .879 save percentage. Joel Martin has a 1-10-0 record with a 3.65 GAA, saving 87.3% shots directed his way.
Hamill leads all scorers in the season series with two goals and four assists. Three players on the P-Bruins have scored three goals apiece against the Sound Tigers (Arniel, Jeremy Reich and Jordan Smotherman). For Bridgeport, Rob Figren and Rob Hisey are tied with five points each against Providence with matching 2-3-5 lines.
Between the pipes, Hutchinson is 2-0-0 with a 0.98 GAA and .964 save percentage against the Sound Tigers. Koskinen has a 1-2-0 mark versus Providence to go with a 3.02 GAA and a .911 save percentage. Khudobin and Martin have each played just one game against one another, facing off last Sunday.
On special teams, the P-Bruins rank 29th (13.3%) in the league on the power play and 27th (78.4%) when short-handed, while the Sound Tigers are eighth on the man-advantage (19.7%) and 21st on the penalty kill (81.3%).
The P-Bruins will be back at home at 4:05 pm against the Sound Tigers on Sunday for Plush Snoopy Night, free for the first 2,000 fans into The Dunk. 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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