Friday, November 11, 2011

Pre-game Puckbag: P-Bruins vs. Manchester Monarchs

Opening draw
The Providence Bruins will engage Manchester for the third time in four overall outings as the Monarchs drop in on the Dunkin Donuts Center for the second straight Friday night.

Through the first three out of 10 total installments in their season series, the road team has consistently emerged the victor. The Monarchs have reaped 7-1 and 2-1 decisions at The Dunk before the P-Bruins claimed a 3-2 shootout triumph last Saturday up at Verizon Wireless Arena.

The regional rivals enter this contest in a virtual tie for second place in the Atlantic Division with 13 points apiece, although Providence has one game in hand. In addition, the fourth-place Worcester Sharks trail each team by three points, but have six games in hand on the Bruins and seven on the Monarchs.

Notable names
Monarchs winger Brandon Kozun and center Andrei Loktionov have both scored one point in each of the first three Providence-Manchester meetings this season. Their total output in the season series is matched by Richard Clune (two goals, assist) and eclipsed only by defenseman David Kolomatis, who had two strikes and two helpers against the Bruins.

Josh Hennessy has a hand in all four of the P-Bruins’ goals scored at Manchester’s expense this season. He inserted a power-play strike in his season debut as part of the 7-1 shellacking Oct. 14, set up Max Sauve’s wraparound in last Friday’s 2-1 home falter and had a 1-1-2 regulation log along with the shootout clincher last Saturday.

Clune and teammate Jordan Nolan are a 1-2 punch on the AHL’s penalty-minute leaderboard with 67 and 56, respectively.

The upshot of their last meeting dropped Manchester to 0-1 in shootouts while the P-Bruins own the league’s best one-on-one record at 3-0.

The Monarchs enter Friday’s contest as the only AHL team with more than 300 penalty minutes (312) on their transcript.