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Hunwick, Sobotka back to Providence

pro_200.jpgThe Providence Bruins, in their 17th season in the American Hockey League, announced that the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins have assigned defenseman Matt Hunwick and center Vladimir Sobotka to Providence.

Both will be eligible to play in Providence’s game against the Manchester Monarchs tonight at 7 p.m. at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

Hunwick is expected to be recalled and rejoin the parent Bruins on Wednesday.

Hunwick, 23, began this season in Providence, appearing in two games while earning two assists. The second-year blue-liner was recalled to Boston with Sobotka on October 14, 2008 and has since played in 38 NHL games, scoring three goals and adding 12 assists, along with a plus-nine rating. Hunwick tallied 14 of his 15 points in his first 18 games for Boston, including a career-best three assists on December 12, 2008 versus the Atlanta Thrashers. The defenseman also registered points in six straight games in mid-to-late-October, totaling eight points (3g, 5a) over that stretch. He played in his 100th professional game on January 10 against the Carolina Hurricanes. Hunwick has been a healthy scratch for each of Boston’s last six games.

Hunwick is coming off of a rookie season split between Boston and Providence, notching one assist in 13 games over four call-ups to the big club and 23 points (2g, 21a) in 55 contests for the P-Bruins. Prior to turning pro, Hunwick played in 163 games for the University of Michigan Wolverines, scoring 24 goals and adding 73 assists for 97 points. The two-year captain at Michigan and native of nearby Sterling Heights was drafted by Boston 224th overall in the seventh round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Sobotka, 21, was last recalled by Boston on February 12. He has appeared in 23 NHL games this season, recording four points (g, 3a) over four recalls. The second-year center scored his lone NHL goal of the year on December 21, 2008 at the St. Louis Blues before later suiting up for his 100th professional game on January 15 against the New York Islanders. Sobotka has added 27 points (12g, 15a) in 25 games for Providence, powered by nine multiple-point outings and an eight-game AHL point-streak (4g, 7a) that spanned nearly two months around call-ups.

Sobotka split the 2007-08 campaign between Boston and Providence, appearing in 48 regular season games with Boston while amassing seven points (g, 6a), plus another six Stanley Cup Playoff contests, where he scored two goals versus the Montreal Canadiens. A native of Trebic, Czech Republic, Sobotka had 20 points (10g, 10a) and a plus-12 rating in 18 regular season games for the P-Bruins a year ago. He was drafted by Boston 106th overall in the fourth round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.