( Above Photo Credit: Chocolate Hockey )
By: Mark Allred Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277
The Providence Bruins played a solid effort against the Hershey Bears last night from the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania and Blanked the top minor-pro affiliate of the Washington Capitals 3-0. As in past seasons, the Baby B’s are getting healthy and waiver exempt skaters from National Hockey League call-ups returning, the American Hockey League’s Providence Bruins are once again using the month of December as the starting point for a long Calder Cup Playoff run. As many of you know, the team from the Capital city of Rhode Island made it as far as the Eastern Conference Finals against Friday’s game two of the road trip opponent, Syracuse Crunch.
With last night’s win over fellow Atlantic Division Hershey team, the 17-6-2-0 Baby B’s have now won eight-straight, are 9-1-0-0 in their last ten games, and are currently in first place in the Atlantic and second place in the Eastern Conference with 36 points only four behind Toronto Marlies. Providence goals last night scored by Colton Hargrove’s power-play goal at the 14:54 mark of the first period with his eighth of the season assisted by Jordan Szwarz and recently hot Austin Czarnik. The scrappy bottom six forward Anton Blidh scored his fourth of the year at 13:05 of the third period as Hargrove repaid the the Swede the favor when he received a pass from fellow teammate Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson to give the B’s a 2-0 lead. Often Criticized 2015 first-round selection, Zach Senyshyn silenced the critics for a moment with his fourth of the year at 14:35 of the third period to seal the deal to get the Bruins their 17th victory of the season.
Players With Points Last Night
Anton Blidh 1-3-4 in his last five games.
Austin Czarnik 3-9-12 in his last eleven games.
Jakob Forsback-Karlsson 5-6-11 in his last fifteen games.
Jordan Szwarz 4-3-7 in his last six games.
B’s goaltender Zane McIntyre had the game of the season with a 28 save effort last night for his first shutout of the 2017-18 campaign and earned his 10th victory of the year. Although McIntyre hasn’t played his best for the first two months and giving up 31 goals in his first ten games of the season, the 2010 sixth round selection of the NHL Bruins is now 5-0 in his last five games and has settled in nicely with an outstanding 1.76 goals-against-average, and very impressive .936 save percentage in those five appearances. Zane’s stats from the first ten games to give those an example of his start, he had a 3.11 GAA and .896 save%. His up to date states after tonight’s contest in Pennsylvania are now a 10-4-1 record with a 2.66 GAA and .907 save%.
@ZanoInsano_29 looked like a stud tonight. @TheHersheyBears absolutely buzzing the first two periods but couldn’t muster anything past Zane. Phenomenal performance to watch. Kudos to the guy, looks like his confidence is coming way back. #PBruinsPride #NHLBruins #letsgobruins
— ShippingUpToCauseway (@ToCauseway) December 14, 2017
The 6′-2″ 200-pound netminder and Minnesota native hasn’t played all that bad during his AHL tenure posting a 45-18-10 record, 2.41 GAA and .913 save% but he’s also feeding off the success from the supporting role in front of him lately and really showing the NHL’s Boston Bruins brass that he wants to be in the thoughts of Bruins management as he has one more year remaining on his current contract and could make a serious push to walk away from current backup and pending unrestricted free agent Anton Khudobin. Easy folks! Dobby’s been a solid backup this season, but I believe the goalie market is going up with the increased salary cap that’s being talked about and also believe the Bruins should walk away. Again, pump the brakes Khudobin supporters. As the business side always bears its ugly head, this might be a smart move to let him go and address other needs outside of the crease while a player with one-year remaining on his contract walks into the backup role in 2018-19 season carrying a very “cap-friendly” $650K two-way year.
Zane hasn’t exactly been stellar in his limited time in the NHL with the Bruins organization but with the remainder of the Providence 2017-18 regular season, strong offseason workouts, and stellar training camp proving he’s the man for the backup role why not take a chance with him and hopefully keep a prospect like Dan Vladar in the AHL for good until it’s his time for him to rise to the highest professional league in the world.
— Providence Bruins (@AHLBruins) December 14, 2017
As mentioned above, the next game for the Baby B’s is against the North Divisions third-place Syracuse Crunch who have a 12-9-1-2 record as the top minor-pro affiliate of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. Providence is the third ranked team in the AHL with a .720 winning percentage and look to add to that when the puck drops from the War Memorial Arena at 7 pm on Friday night December 15th as the B’s look for their second straight victory on the road with hopes of continuing the current winning streak with their season high ninth consecutive victory.
Support Your Baby B’s!!!
If you’d like to watch tomorrow’s stars today, I highly suggest you take advantage of the cheap tickets and family atmosphere that’s available at every Providence Bruins home game at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. You can get ticket information and other great info by clicking HERE to enter the official Baby B’s website.
Also, if you do happen to go and support the team at the Dunk, be sure to stop by the Providence Bruins Fan Club table behind sections 101 and 102. Fantastic season ticket holders and Fan Club volunteers Jenna Labush, Rhonda Labush, and Steven Labush are always there with other valued members to help with any information and questions. You can also use the address below or visit the Official Fan Club page on the Providence Bruins website by clicking HERE. Follow the Baby B’s Fan Club on Social Media!
PO Box 40963
Providence, RI 02940