Photo Credit:   Commercial Construction & Renovation

By: Josh B   |   Follow On Twitter @ToCauseway

Tl;Dr Recap for those who just want the stats:

3/23/18 Providence (38-21-5) vs. Lehigh Valley (42-16-8) 7:05 PM

Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 27 of 31 shots, 0.870 SV%; Dustin Tokarski, 29 of 34 shots, 0.852 SV%

Box Score w/ Scoring Summary:

PVD 5-4 OTW, Improves to (39-21-5) LV drops to (42-16-9)

3/24/18 Providence (39-21-5) vs. Lehigh Valley (42-16-9) 7:05 PM

Goalies: Jordan Binnington, 18 of 19 shots, 0.947 SV%; Anthony Stolarz, 29 of 35 shots, 0.828 SV%

Box Score w/ Scoring Summary:

PVD 6-1 Regulation W, Improves to (40-21-5) LV drops to (42-17-9)

Game Summaries:

Providence Bruins vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms I 3/23/18

On the first of back to back Star Wars Nights for the Providence Bruins, the action was intense from start to finish. Zane McIntyre made his 46th start for the Boston Bruins affiliate and helped backstop his team to a much-needed win. In the first period, both teams exchanged scoring chances, including a cannon slap shot from Tommy Cross that rang iron behind Dustin Tokarski at 8:18 of the first period. At 10:07 of the first frame, the Bruins did something they have been unable to do thus far in their season by scoring first against Atlantic Division 1st place heavyweight Lehigh Valley Phantoms.Ryan Fitzgerald finished off a chance at point-blank range by dangling Tokarski out of his net after a heads-up play by Austin Czarnik along the wall and Emil Johansson at the point.

The lead would not last long unfortunately as on the powerplay Dominique Martel scooped the puck high over the shoulder of McIntyre from almost the same spot Fitgerald scored in the opposite end of the ice. After the 1st period ended tied 1-1, Colby Cave would pull the Bruins ahead again 5 minutes into the 2nd period. After a hair-raising sequence in the Providence end of the ice where Colin McDonald rang the far post on McIntyre, the Bruins transitioned well into the Lehigh Valley zone. Cave, Peter Cehlarik, and Conor Clifton played tic tac toe with the puck, and by the tie, it reached Cave for the shot, he had a yawning net to shoot at Tokarski was down in the butterfly at the opposite post as Cave.

A couple minutes later, the Phantoms struck back. After plucking the puck out by the player benches, the puck came out to Chris Connor, who fed Tyrell Goulbourne streaking in on McIntyre alone. Zane made the initial stop on the shot, and ensuing hacks at the puck, however, Phantoms’ Corbin Knight flew in to chop a loose puck behind a sprawled McIntyre for the equalizer. Later in the second, newcomer Trent Frederic scored his first professional goal to pull the Bruins ahead a third time. After a bad intercepted Phantoms pass, Frederic and Czarnik broke two on one into the Lehigh Zone. Frederic looked poised to go cross-crease on Tokarski, but it bounced off a Phantoms’ shin pad and back to Frederic who had a window to shoot as Tokarski was moving away. In a common theme, the Phantoms tied the game right back up a few minutes later.

With Jeremy Lauzon in the box for interference, the Phantoms took an offensive-zone draw against the Bruins. Winning the faceoff, the Phantoms cycled the puck deftly around the Bruins penalty killers, and Greg Carey found a wide-open window to shoot into the Providence net. Providence would tally one more off the stick of Josh Hennessy before the period ended, but in the third, the Phantoms Phil Varone tied it up. As the scoring opened, so did it end in overtime: Ryan Fitzgerald took a dicey pass from McIntyre who saw a lane open up into the Phantoms end of the ice. McIntyre practically threw the pass out to Fitzgerald who was motoring along the left wing boards, and as soon as the puck was on his tape, Fitzgerald flew up the ice skating coast-to-coast. Upon entering the Phantoms zone, he deked around Alex Krushelnyski in the right-wing faceoff circle and went far post on Tokarski for the OT game-winner.

Providence Bruins vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms II 3/24/18

Anthony Stolarz’ return to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms was a miserable one: in the first 4 minutes back from a rehab stint in the ECHL, he gave up 2 goals to a hungry Providence Bruins squad. After Phantoms’ Cole Bardreau committed an early holding violation that sent him to the box for 2 minutes, Providence capitalized on the man advantage. Kenny Agostino fired an initial shot, and Stolarz made a save but gave up a juicy rebound to Colby Cave waiting in the slot. Cave roofed the loose puck, popping Stolarz’ bottle in the process. Providence added insult to injury 2 minutes later. Peter Cehlarik scored his first of the night off several quick passes. Cehlarik began the passing sequence himself, feeding Cross by the point, who fired a shot in on Stolarz that rebounded out to Kenny Agostino.

The latter passed cross-crease to a waiting Cehlarik for a quick tap-in goal, and a 2 goal lead very early in the period. In the second period, rookie Zach Senyshyn was rewarded for prior hard work with an important goal during a delayed penalty. With 6 skaters for Providence, they cycled the puck until Colby Cave fed Anton Blidh behind the Phantoms goal stripe, who made a short shot-pass out to Senyshyn in the slot for a redirection goal early in the 2nd period. Providence ended the period with Joona Koppanen’s first professional tally: Jeremy Lauzon fed Colton Hargrove who carried the puck in and below the Phantoms goal line, and Hargrove’s no-look backhand pass found Koppanen in the slot for a quick snapshot goal.

Joona would tally another early in the third period, as Jakub Zboril carried the puck into the Phantoms zone, shoveling a pass to Colton Hargrove, who then made a cross-crease pass to Koppanen for a catch-and-release snapshot blocker side on Stolarz. Less than 5 minutes later, Lehigh Valley struck on the powerplay, but still trailed by 4 goals. Peter Cehlarik restored the Bruins’ 5 goal lead late in the final frame, off feeds from Agostino and Johansson. The Bruins thumped the Phantoms by a final score of 6-1 in front of 10,427 enthusiastic fans: the Bruins’ largest crowd this season.

Plus / Minus

Plus: + Providence swept this weekend series with 4 of 4 points, both against Atlantic Division (2nd in the AHL) Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Till now, Providence hadn’t won a game against LV in this season. With these crucial wins, Providence can overtake WBS Penguins for 2nd in the division with wins in the coming games.

+ Providence offense exploded for 11 total goals against an opponent they had only managed 2 goals against up till now.

+ Zane McIntyre snagged an assist on Ryan Fitzgerald’s OT game-winner and stopped enough shots for his team to put the final nail in the Lehigh coffin Friday night.

+ Peter Cehlarik had his best weekend yet, with 2G, 2A for 5P total. Jeremy Lauzon and Jakub Zboril picked up an assist each Saturday night. Newcomer Joona Koppanen scored his first 2 pro goals Saturday night. Ryan Fitzgerald potted 2G (including the OT GWG Friday), Zach Senyshyn scored a goal, while Colby Cave notched 2G (one PPG) and 1A. Kenny Agostino secured 4A, while Emil Johansson earned 2A.

+ Providence suppressed the Phantoms to 5 shots in the first period Saturday night, and only 19 shots total.

Minus: – Providence surrendered 2 goals on the penalty kill (2 for 5 on the kill total.)

Providence could not hold a lead Friday night, as they would go up a goal and surrender a goal with little time between scoring and being scored on.

Zane McIntyre gave up 4 goals for the first time in months Friday night against Lehigh Valley.

3rd In points (AHL-wide) Austin Czarnik only took 2 shots total this weekend, and only managed 1 assist.

Newcomer Cameron Hughes is having a period of adjustment lately, with a -1 rating, only 2 shots this weekend, and no points. Occasionally looked lost and out of position.