Photo Credit: Providence Bruins
By: Josh B. | Follow On Twitter @ToCauseway
Tl;Dr Recap for those who just want the stats:
3/16/18 Providence (36-20-5) vs. Rochester (30-17-16) 7:05 PM
Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 28 of 31 shots, 0.903 SV%; Adam Wilcox, 35 of 38 shots, 0.921 SV%, Replaced by Jonas Johansson, 9 of 10 shots, 0.900 SV%.
Box Score W/Scoring Summary:
PVD 5-3 Regulation W, Improves to (37-20-5), RCH drops to (30-18-16)
3/17/18 Providence (37-20-5) @ Lehigh Valley (40-16-8) 7:05 PM
Goalies: Jordan Binnington, 31 of 34 shots, 0.911 SV%; D. Tokarski, 33 of 33 shots, Shutout.
Box Score W/ Scoring Summary:
PVD 3-0 Regulation L, Drops to (37-21-5), LV Improves to (41-16-8)
3/18/18 Providence (37-21-5) vs. Bridgeport (31-24-8) 3:05 PM
Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 44 of 45 shots, 0.977 SV%; Kristers Gudlevskis, 39 of 44 shots, 0.886 SV%
Box Score W/ Scoring Summary:
PVD 4-1 Regulation W, Improves to (38-21-5), BRI drops to (31-25-8).
Providence Bruins vs. Rochester Americans (3/16/18)
Rochester’s only trip to the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence ended in a thumping for the visiting team. After surrendering an early goal in the first two minutes, the game took on a goal-for-goal tradeoff for almost 30 minutes of regulation. Rochester’s Adam Krause tipped a point shot from teammate Zach Redmond past Zane McIntyre 1:17 into the first period. It took Providence almost the entire first to solve the Rochester defense, but Adam Payerl popped the Rochester netminder’s bottle off a rink-wide feed from teammate Kenny Agostino to knot the score 1-1.
Almost 6 minutes into the second period, Alex Nylander tapped in a second rebound, as teammates Colin Blackwell and Hudson Fasching were both stoned by McIntyre. The tap from Nylander lazily slid over the goal line, but the score was now 2-1. This time, Providence wasted no time to tie the score. Rochester goalie Adam Wilcox fought off two initial Providence riflemen, but played the puck into dead ice, away from teammates, and into an easy spot for RHD Conor Clifton to skate in off the blue line and blast a hard, accurate shot past the resetting Wilcox for the equalizer. Providence took the lead for the first time with 11 minutes and change remaining in the 2nd as Austin Czarnik scored his first of three goals with help from Ryan Fitzgerald and Tommy Cross.
Providence entered the 2nd intermission up 3-2, but less than 5 minutes into the 3rd period, Rochester tied the game. After a flurry in front of McIntyre’s net, Rochester’s Danny O’Regan slammed the puck home on a frantic backhander to tie the game. Powerplay phenom Austin Czarnik would again pull the Bruins ahead by one with another goal on the man advantage. With Rochester’s goal empty in the dying minutes of the game, Czarnik found the empty net on a 200-foot bid for the net, completing the hat trick and a 5-3 win in regulation.
Providence Bruins @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms (3/17/18)
Saturday night, Providence skated against Atlantic Division leader Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Their second matchup of the season ended worse than the first, with the Phantoms blanking the Bruins. Despite a spirited first period and the goaltenders making unbelievable stops, it was a second period Providence powerplay where Lehigh Valley struck first. Tyrell Goulbourne created a turnover by his team’s bench, carried the puck behind the Providence defense, and fed teammate Radel Fazleev in front who sniped a shot over Jordan Binnington’s right shoulder.
The embarrassment of special teams would not end there, however. Later in the period, down by only a goal, Providence drew another penalty. In an eerily reminiscent situation, Phil Verone picked the puck off a Providence skater and took off toward Jordan Binnington, beating the goaltender on a great individual effort. Providence failed to put pressure on Lehigh Valley and Dustin Tokarski in net during the third period and surrendered a third goal for the final nail in the coffin. Colin McDonald made an initial bit for the net, but teammate Steven Swavely finished off the rebound to put the Phantoms ahead by 3. Tokarski turned away all 33 shots he faced, blanking the Providence Bruins who had scored 5 the night prior.
Providence Bruins vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (3/18/18)
After getting blanked by Lehigh Valley, Providence closed out its weekend with a statement game on short rest after a ~ 500-mile commute back to Rhode Island and a 3PM matinee start time. From the opening faceoff, Providence made its presence known, swarming Bridgeport on the forecheck and scoring an early goal 40 seconds into the game. Off an offensive zone draw, newcomer Trent Frederic won the puck back to Tommy Cross who slipped the puck to his partner Conor Clifton. The latter scooped up the puck and made a back foot snap-shot beating the Bridgeport goaltender.
Initially it was credited to a Blidh tip, however, Clifton would later be credited with the goal and Frederic would pick up his first professional point as his faceoff win begun the sequence. Half a period later, Providence struck again in quick succession to build a staggering three-goal lead. On the powerplay, Paul Postma held the puck in at the blue line and fed it up the left wing boards to Kenny Agostino. He dished cross-crease to Austin Czarnik who delayed a shot waiting for a lane to open and the goalie to bite, and Czarnik’s patience was rewarded with his 4th goal of this 3-in-3 weekend.
A few minutes later, Jordan Szwarz misplayed a cross-ice pass as he and Czarnik sped in over the Bridgeport line, but as the Sound Tigers attempted to clear the puck, the trailing Ryan Fitzgerald held the puck in the attacking zone, sending the disc floating through the air. Czarnik caught it, dropping it in front of him, and sliding it a few feet to Szwarz who cycled the zone and ripped the puck up over the blocker of the Bridgeport goalie. To begin the second period, Bridgeport broke McIntyre’s bid for a shutout. Steve Bernier held the puck behind the Providence net, passing along the dasher to teammate Mitch Vande Sompel at the left point. He fired a booming slap shot that was initially saved by McIntyre, but the rebound popped up and onto the stick of John Stevens camped at the far post for an easy tap-in.
Providence battled back and regained their three-goal lead off the stick of rookie Jakub Zboril. After some extended time in the attacking zone for Providence, Cameron Hughes collected a rebound off a Chris Breen slap shot and protected the puck enough along the boards to slide the puck to teammate Josh Hennessy behind the net. Hennessy turned and picked up Jakub Zboril purposefully drifting into the slot and threaded a perfect pass to the rookie defenseman. Zboril collected the puck calmly with the Bridgeport goalie scrambling and wound up a perfectly released wrister for his second goal of the season. Despite 20 shots from Bridgeport in the third period, they weren’t able to solve McIntyre again, and the Bruins won by a final score of 4-1 to end the week on a cheerful note.
Plus / MinusPlus:
+ Austin Czarnik had an offensive explosion: 4G, 1A complete with a Hat Trick against Rochester. Trent Frederic and Cameron Hughes both tallied their first professional point after signing ATO’s to finish off the 2017-2018 season. Jakub Zboril was rewarded for his development and work with the 2nd goal of his pro career. Ryan Fitzgerald and Kenny Agostino earned 3A each this weekend.
+ Providence scored 3 goals on the Powerplay this weekend and only gave up one goal on the kill.
+ Zane McIntyre had one of his best games of this season, turning away a pile of rubber against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. After losing several in a row to the Bridgeport squad, Providence’s record is now 5-4-1 against them this season, pulling ahead on the win column.
+ In each of the past 3 weekends, Providence has won 2 of 3 games, continuing to solidify their playoff berth and slowly work toward better seeding. If they win their next 2 matchups against Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins, they can overtake the Baby Pens for 2nd in the Atlantic, and home ice advantage in the playoffs.
+ Zach Senyshyn didn’t have a point this week, but he passed the eye test with flying colors. With Zach’s blazing speed, his line would help set up in the offensive zone to wear down the defense and goalie for teammates to finish the scoring change.
Minus: – Providence gave up two ugly shorthanded goals to Lehigh Valley on Saturday night, losing for the second time in a row against the Atlantic Division’s best team.
– Zane’s shaky start against Rochester was reminiscent of earlier in the season when his numbers weren’t that great and the offense had to compensate for him letting in soft goals.
– Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson has yet to return from what’s mysteriously been dubbed “Upper Body Injury”. Speculation abounds it’s a concussion.