( Above Photo Credit:  NHL .com )

By: Mark Allred          Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Bruins Prospect Update – Week Of Dec. 24th to Dec. 30th, 2017

Providence Bruins – American Hockey League

The Providence team wrapped up the final three games of the season-long eight-game road trip last week and went 2-1 to end the 2017 calendar year. The week started in Utica, New York on Wednesday, December 27th at Adirondack Bank Center against the Utica Comets and the B’s walked away with a 5-4 shootout victory. B’s goal scorers were Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson with his 10th assisted by Austin Czarnik and Kenny Agostino at the 4:09 mark of the second period to tie the score at one apiece. Jumping to the third period Adam Payerl ties the score at 2-2 with his second goal of the season at the 6:28 mark assisted by Colby Cave and Colton Hargrove.

Providence forward Justin Hickman got his 4th of the year at 9:40 of the third assisted by Chris Porter and Payerl and were down to Utica by the score of 4-3. At the 18:47 mark of the third period recently demoted Matt Beleskey got his second of the year unassisted to tie the score at 4-4 to force overtime. There was no scoring in the extra frame which resulted in a shootout that was won from the effort of Kenny Agostino who had some quick hands and shoulder movements to fake Comets goaltender Thatcher Demko out of his skates for the 5-4 victory.
Zane McIntyre got the start on the rare mid-week contest and stopped 26 of 30 shots for his 11th win of the season.

Stars of the game for the B’s against the Comets were Austin Czarnik with the third star, and first star honors went to Jakob-Forsbacka-Karlsson.

The second to last game of the road trip had the Providence team staying in the city of Utica, New York on December 29th with another tilt against the Comets and the B’s played much better on this night only giving up one goal to the opposition leading to a 3-1 victory. B’s goal scorers were defenseman Connor Clifton with his 2nd of the season at the 4:53 mark of the first period assisted by Zach Senyshyn and Kenny Agostino. Moving to the second period with ten seconds remaining in the middle frame Austin Czarnik nets his 9th of the year assisted by Jordan Szwarz and Agostino.

The Comets pull goaltender Richard Bachman late in the third period, but with six seconds remaining in the third frame, Anton Blidh scores an empty-net goal for his 6th goal of the season which went unassisted.
Goaltender on-loan Jordan Binnington got the start on this night stopping 21 of 22 Utica shots for his 9th win of the season and 7th straight victory in a row. The 24-year-old Binnington is undoubtedly putting in an All-Star effort this season coming from the St. Louis Blues organization and should get recognition for his efforts in the All-Star game being held in Utica this year. Jordan has a league-best goal-against-average of 1.59, and second-ranked .938 save percentage.

Bruins stars of the game against the Comets were Kenny Agostino with the 3rd Star and Connor Clifton with the 1st Star.

The third game of the week and final of the month-long road trip had the Providence team crossing the border into Ontario, Canada on December 30th against the new AHL franchise the Belleville Senators but unfortunately, the B’s could not hold off the pesky Sens and lost 3-2 in overtime. After the Bruins went scoreless and down 2-0 in the first period, they made a courageous effort to make a game of it with a goal from big defenseman Chris Breen who scored his first of the season at the 17:44 mark of the middle frame assisted by Kenny Agostino and Jordan Szwarz. Tying the game at two a piece at the 12:26 mark of the third period, scrappy forward Anton Blidh scored his 7th and second goal in as many nights to eventually force the two teams to overtime.

Belleville would only need 1:47 into the extra session to take advantage of a discombobulated Bruins defense which left the B’s goaltender out high and dry to end the game and the forever long road trip.
Zane McIntyre got the start in this nights game stopping 29 of 32 and looks to get back on track with his efforts from last season as the new 2018 calendar year has turned.

No Bruins factored in the three stars of the game against the Sens.

The Providence Bruins end 2017 with a 21-8-3-0 record earning 45 points good for first in the Atlantic Division and first in the Eastern Conference. Also, the team is currently on a three-game unbeaten streak and 7-2-1 in last ten.

East Coast Hockey League

The Atlanta Gladiators played in three games last week, and Boston Bruins third-round pick in 2015 goaltender Dan Vladar got to see action in two of those contests between the pipes. The first game was at home on Wednesday, December 27th when he stopped 42 of 46 shots taking a 4-0 shutout to the hands of rival Florida Everblades and suffering his 8th loss of the year. The second game of the week came on Saturday, December 30th on the road against the South Carolina Stingrays and made 27 of 30 shots for a 3-1 loss and 9th defeat of the season.
Vladar has now appeared in 18 games for the “AA” Premier League Gladiators and has a record of 7-9-1-0 with a 3.06 goals-against-average and .907 save percentage.

Ontario Hockey League

The Oshawa Generals played in two games last week after the 2017 Holiday stoppage and b’s prospect forward Jack Studnicka was ready to get back to work with two assists at home on Thursday night December 28th in a 4-2 win over the Erie Otters. The second game of the week was on Friday night December 29th on the road against the Ottawa 67’s and got another two helpers in a 4-3 win in the Canadian Capital City. In 37 game played this season for the Gens the 18-year-old 2017 B’s second-round pick leads his club in assists and overall points with 10-27-37 numbers.

Staying with the Generals team is Bruins goaltending prospect Kyle Keyser who was in net for both victories last week improving his season record to 11-6-0 with a 2.98 goals-against-average and .901 save percentage. With the two wins last week the Bruins free agent signing from Coral Springs, Florida is now on a four-game winning streak.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

The Saint John Sea Dogs appeared in three games after the holiday break and Bruins prospect forward Cedric Pare factored in two of the three contests. The 2017 sixth-round B’s draft pick scored a goal at home against Cape Breton on Thursday night December 28th and added an assist on Friday night December 29th at home against Moncton to get his season and career-high point streak to six games. Unfortunately, that impressive streak was snapped against rival Moncton this time on the road when the top-six forward failed to get on the score sheet to end the 2017 year.

Western Hockey League

The Brandon Wheat Kings played in four games after the mandated holiday break last week, and Bruins 2017 7th round pick Daniel Bukac manned the blue line in all of them. The big defenseman who had offseason surgery returned to action at the beginning of December last year, and after going pointless in his first six contests of the 2017-18 season, he has an assist in three of the four games played last week and is currently on a two-game point streak.

NCAA Men’s Hockey

Harvard University’s Ryan Donato continues to have his best year in the college ranks scoring a point-per-game in all in the 2017-18 campaign. Returning to action after almost a month off the talented forward got back to work offensively when his Crimson team appeared in the Catamount Cup Holiday Tournament that was held in Burlington, Vermont. The first Cup game was against Hockey East’s UMass-Lowell Riverhawks on Friday December 29th where he scored a goal in a 5-2 loss but was explosive in the second game on Saturday, December 30th against host and Hockey East’s Vermont Catamounts where he scored three goals and added an assist to extend his point streak to 12 games. The 2014 Bruins draft pick leads the team with 12-8-20 numbers and is ranked 39th in scoring in the country.

2018 World Junior Championship Tournament

Six Boston Bruins prospects are playing in the popular U-20 tournament in the Buffalo, New York area and at about the half-way point of the festivities below are some stats on how they are doing offensively.

Team USA
D – Ryan Lindgren   4GP 0 points
F – Trent Frederic   4GP 1-0-1
G – Jeremy Swayman Not Played As of Yet

Team Finland
F – Joona Koppanen   4GP 3-1-1
D – Urho Vaakanainen   4GP 0-1-1

Team Sweden
F – Oskar Steen   4GP 1-1-2