( Above Photo Credit: NHL .com )
By: Mark Allred Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277
Bruins Prospect Update – Week Of Dec. 17th to Dec. 23rd
Providence Bruins – American Hockey League
The Providence team played in two games last week to continue the season-long eight-game road trip. The first game of the week had the B’s in Hartford, Connecticut on Friday night December 22nd against the Hartford Wolf Pack and unfortunately lost 6-4 suffering their second loss of the month-long stretch on the road.
B’s goals scored by Justin Hickman who got his second of the season which went unassisted at 12:31 of the first period to tie the game at one apiece. Recently demoted Matt Beleskey got his first goal in his second game with Providence at the 14:52 mark of the first period assisted by Ben Marshall and Josh Hennessy. The only B’s goal in the second period came from Kenny Agostino who scored his 8th of the year just seconds into the middle frame assisted by Colton Hargrove and Austin Czarnik. The final B’s goal and second of the game came from Hickman who scored his third of the year assisted by Emil Johansson and Jesse Gabrielle who got his third point in 20 games and its currently on a career-high two-game-point streak.
Zane McIntyre stopped 34 of 39 shots and got his sixth loss of the 2017-18 campaign. Zane has not been himself in his last three games after going on a five-game winning streak to start the month of December. In the previous three appearances, he has a goals-against-average of 4.63, and .856 save percentage.
The second game of last week was on Saturday night December 23rd when the B’s traveled to Springfield, Massachusetts to play the Thunderbirds before taking the Christmas holiday break. This was an entertaining game between the two clubs that started quickly with the B’s getting on the board first in the opening period with a goal from Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson his 9th of the season assisted by Kenny Agostino at the 1:09 mark of the opening frame.
The Thunderbirds would tie the score at one a little over two minutes later on the power-play. This was a defensive and goaltending juggernaut as both teams failed to put the biscuit in the basket for the next 40 minutes of action leading into the overtone frame where neither team could end the game. JFK got the shootout winner who gave the Providence team the 2-1 victory at the MassMutual Center. Goaltender on Loan Jordan Binnington got the win stopping 23 of 24 Thunderbirds shots and now has a season record of 8-1-1 with a 1.65 goals-against-average and .936 save percentage since joining the Providence team from the St. Louis Blues organization at the beginning of this season.
The Next games for the Providence team is on Wednesday, December 27th when the B’s play game six of the current road trip against the Utica Comets. To finish the long trip the B’s play Utica one more time on Friday, December 29th and they finish with a contest in Belleville, Ontario against the new AHL franchise the Belleville Senators.
Providence is currently in third place in the Atlantic Division when it comes to points (40) and has a record of 19-8-2-0 and is 8-2-0-0 in their last ten games.
Atlanta Gladiators – East Coast Hockey League
The Gladiators played in three games last week and Bruins 2015 third round goaltending prospect Dan Vladar appeared in one of those contests with a victory on Friday night December, 22nd at the North Charleston Coliseum against the South Carolina Stingrays. Vladar helped his Glads team to a 4-3 regulation win while stopping 28 of 31 Stingrays shots for his 7th win of the 2017-18 season. The big, athletic netminder is now 7-7-1-0 on the year with a 3.00 goals-against-average, and .907 save percentage in 16 games played for the Premier “AA” minor-pro affiliate of the NHL Bruins.
Due to the Holidays, there were no Bruins prospect games last week in the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Western Hockey League, or the NCAA collegiate levels. Most of the leagues mentioned will be back in operation starting on December, 27th.
2018 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships
This years event will be hosted in Buffalo, New York in two different locations to maximize the number of games played during the week-long event. Games will be played at the KeyBank Center and the HarborCenter with one game being played outdoors at the New Era Field in Orchard Park,. New York featuring team Canada and team USA on December, 29th.
Boston Bruins prospects participating in this year event are defenseman Urho Vaakanainen and forward Joona Koppanen both of Team Finland. Goaltender Jeremy Swayman, defenseman Ryan Lindgren, and forward Trent Frederic all playing for Team USA. Forward Oskar Steen of Team Sweden rounds out the B’s young players involved in this year’s festivities.