Sharks First Prey: Providence Bruins

Sharks First Prey: Providence Bruins
By Andrew Stepanek
The Worcester Sharks kick off the 2011-12 regular season Sunday when they head to Providence, Rhode Island to take on the much rivaled Providence Bruins at 4:05pm.
Let’s take a look at what the Bruins are bringing to the table.
Providence compiled a regular season record of 38-36-3-3 with 82 points in 2010-11. The Bruins finished three points behind the Sharks to secure 5th place in the Atlantic Division but fell short of a Calder Cup Playoff spot by six points.
Despite missing the playoffs, the Providence Bruins have some spring in their step to start the 2011-12 season. Their NHL brethren, the Boston Bruins, came home with the Stanley Cup last spring and that’s not the only thing that’s new in Providence. They have a new boss behind the bench.
Bruce Cassidy takes over the reigns as the head coach of the Providence Bruins. He brings with him 15 years of coaching experience, including a stint as the Washington Capitals Head Coach from 2002-2004. Cassidy is no stranger to Providence as he spent the last three seasons serving as the teams’ Assistant Coach.
One roster change to note is the addition of speedy forward Calle Ridderwall. The 6-0 193 lbs left winger enters his first professional season after playing four years at the University of Notre Dame. Ridderwall was an Alternate Captain for the Irish and helped lead them to the 2008 NCAA National Championship Game where they fell to Boston College.
The 2011-12 Providence Bruins roster also features a few of the familiar foes that the Worcester Sharks know all too well.
One name that comes to mind is the Providence Captain Trent Whitfield who amassed 18 goals and 18 assists for 36 points in 2010-11. He is joined by his teammates Jamie Arniel 50 points (23G, 27A), Zach Hamill 43 points (9G, 34A), and Maxime Sauve 38 points (21 G, 17A) who were the top three leading scorers for the Providence Bruins in 2010-11.
Also returning to the lineup is the 6’2 190 lbs. tough guy Lane MacDermid who tallied 158 PIM complete with 20 fighting majors.
It will be interesting to see how these Providence Bruins handle the pressure that accompanies the intense Worcester Sharks-Providence Bruins rivalry.
Last season the Worcester Sharks and Providence Bruins met in twelve contests with a head-to-head record of 7-4-1-0 in favor of the Worcester Sharks. The Worcester-Providence rivalry has been a topic of conversation since 2006, The Worcester Sharks inaugural season.
The Worcester Sharks all-time record against the Providence Bruins is 23-27-4-0.
The 2011-12 season is sure to take on its own personality as Sunday's game is just the first of twelve tilts between the Worcester Sharks and the Providence Bruins. The rivalry is already heating up.

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