Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pre-game Puckbag: P-Bruins @ Portland Pirates

Opening draw
A week to date, the Providence Bruins let the Portland Pirates pipe burst on the rest of the American Hockey League. Now this Saturday is their chance to quickly plug it back up with a return trip to the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Before clipping the visiting P-Bruins, 4-2, last week, the Pirates had not won consecutive games on the year. But that victory has since led to a three-game winning streak, prolonged with a 4-2 Tuesday triumph over Adirondack and a 3-2 shootout decision Friday night at the expense of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Providence, on the other hand, has followed a strict loss-win-loss pattern over its last nine outings dating back to Oct. 29 and continuing with Friday’s 7-2 submission to the Springfield Falcons. The Bruins have not formulated a win streak of any length since a four-game tear that coincidentally culminated in a 4-3 seesaw triumph at Portland on Oct. 23.

Notable names
Portland winger Jordan Szwarz, who was pointless in seven appearances prior to the P-Bruins’ last visit, has since notched a point in every installment of his team’s winning streak. An assist against Providence and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton sandwiched a goal against Adirondack that came on his only shot on net in any of the last three outings.

Goaltender Marc Cheverie, called up to fill in for an injured Justin Pogge, has made one appearance thus far for the Pirates. After consensus starter Curtis McElhinney authorized two unanswered Adirondack goals on seven shots in less than nine minutes, Cheverie stepped in and repelled all 17 Phantoms bids while his mates sculpted a four-goal rally.

Productive rookie Andy Miele has at least one assist in each of his last five games for a total of six helpers in that span.

P-Bruins forwards Carter Camper and Kirk MacDonald have notched at least one point in all three meetings with the Pirates so far this season. Camper has charged up a goal-assist value pack in both of his first two visits to the Cumberland County Civic Center and leads all participants in the season series with a 2-3-5 transcript.

The Pirates are currently second in attendance among New England AHL teams behind the P-Bruins, drawing an average of 5,588 spectators per night.