P-Bruins to play games at the New England Sports Center in Massachusetts
PROVIDENCE – The Bruins of Providence are heading north for winter – and spring.
The team announced Monday that it will play home games for the 2020-21 American Hockey League season at the New England Sports Center in Marlboro, Massachusetts.
The traditional P-Bruins ‘home – the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in downtown Providence – is used by the state for COVID-19 initiatives and is not available for this season. The team will play a shortened 2020-21 season, with no fans present, from early February until early May.
The New England Sports Center, about an hour’s drive north of Providence, bills itself as the largest ice sports venue for hockey, figure skating and public skating in North America and has eight full-size rinks .
“We welcome the Providence Bruins to the New England Sports Center for this fan-less season,” said H. Larue Renfroe, owner / president of the Providence Bruins as well as owner of the New England Sports Center.
“We’re doing it with a heavy heart because the team is in the Dunk, where we look forward to returning next season and beyond. The Boston-Providence partnership is very strong and we’re playing this season to support the Bruins as they go. they’re playing for a Stanley Cup.
Boston Bruins president Cam Neeley said, given the circumstances, he is “grateful that the New England Sports Center can host the team this season,” noting that the P-Bruins are vital to development and to the success of the organization’s players.
“We look forward to the Bruins’ return to Providence, not just for the ’21-22 season, but for many more to come,” he said.
Providence is one of four AHL teams that have been allowed a temporary move for the season. The Binghamton Devils will play home games in Newark, New Jersey, where their NHL affiliate is located. The Ontario Reign will perform in El Segundo, California; and the San Diego Gulls in Irvine, California.
Three other teams have chosen not to play this season – the Charlotte Checkers (Florida Panthers affiliate), Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators) and Springfield Thunderbirds (St. Louis Blues) will return in action in 2021-22.
Lawrence Lepore, general manager of Dunkin ‘Donuts Center-Providence, said: for COVID-19 initiatives. We look forward to next season when the team returns to the ice at Dunk for many successful seasons thereafter. “
“I want to thank our fans, subscribers, business partners and suite owners for their incredible support,” said Jeff Hagan, COO of P-Bruins. “Subscriptions and partnerships are now on sale for 2021-2022. season, and we’ll need all the support of our fans and the business community as we rebuild the business for our return to The Dunk next season.
More details on the upcoming season will be announced at a later date, the team said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.