Photo Credit:  Official Providence Bruins Twitter Account

By: Josh B.   |   Follow On Twitter @ToCauseway 

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

3/7/18 Providence (34-19-5) @ Laval (22-28-8) 7:30 PM
Goalies: Dan Vladar, 23 of 26 shots, 0.887 SV%; Michael McNiven 11 of 14 shots, 0.785 SV%, Replaced by: Zach Fucale, 14 of 16 shots, 0.875 SV%

Box Score W/Scoring Summary:

PVD 6-3 Regulation W, Improves to (35-19-5), LAV Drops to (22-29-8)

3/9/18 Providence (35-19-5) @ Rochester (29-15-15) 7:05 PM
Goalies: Jordan Binnington, 23 of 24 shots, 0.958 SV% ;Linus Ullmark 27 of 29 shots, 0.931 SV%

Box Score W/ Scoring Summary:

PVD 2-1 Regulation W, Improves to (36-19-5), RCH Drops to (29-16-15)

3/10/18 Providence (36-19-5) @ Toronto (40-16-2) 4:00 PM
Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 34 of 38 shots, 0.897 SV%; Calvin Pickard, 23 of 26 shots, 0.884 SV%

Box Score W/ Scoring Summary:

PVD 4-3 Regulation Loss, Drops to (36-20-5), TOR improves to (41-16-2)

Game Summaries:

Bruins De Providence @ Rocket De Laval (3/7/18)

In their second and final matchup of the season, Providence faced off against the Montreal Canadiens affiliate in Laval, QC to begin this week’s sequence of games. Starting in net for Providence was a rare sighting of Dan Vladar who usually has starting goaltender duty for the Bruins’ ECHL affiliate Atlanta Gladiators. Zane McIntyre had been held back in New England in the event Tuukka Rask was unable to perform backup duties for the NHL Bruins Tuesday night against Detroit. Providence wasted no time in taking control of the game, with strong forecheck and tight gap control on defense. The result was a lead less than 6 minutes into the game, as Senyshyn fed Colby Cave, who fed Colton Hargrove, who returned the puck to Cave. As the centering feed came in, one of the Laval defense hooked Cave to the ice, however, Colby had the presence of mind to tip the puck past the Laval goaltender for the 1-0 lead.

Despite 3 powerplay opportunities in the first for Providence, they would not convert and headed to the locker room up by one. During the second period, Providence would cash in for 3 goals, including 2 on the powerplay. Early in the 2nd, the Providence powerplay took only a few seconds to strike. Austin Czarnik won the faceoff cleanly, passed out to Hargrove below the goal line, who tapped right over to Jordan Szwarz waiting in the slot for a pass he buried for the 2 goal lead. After being denied a goal earlier, Anton Blidh put the Bruins up by three after what looked like a sloppy zone entry by linemate Adam Payerl. The latter passed out to Blidh in the left wing circle, who beat Laval goalie McNiven from a sharp, seemingly impossible angle. With three goals on 14 shots, Laval elected to pull McNiven in favor of Zach Fucale.

The change seemed to spark the Laval squad, as Chris Terry put one past Vladar a minute and change after the Blidh goal. Providence took this as a challenge and restored a 3 goal cushion at 18:26 of the 2nd period with another powerplay goal. In the final frame, Anton Blidh added insult to injury with his second goal of the night early in the third period. Adam Payerl again made a zone entry, rushed behind the net, close to Gretzky’s office, and passed out to Blidh streaking into the slot for a quick tap in goal past the blocker side of Fucale. Newly minted Canadien property Kerby Rychel struck twice in the third period to bring the Rocket back to within 2 goals, however, a final empty-net goal off the stick of Austin Czarnik iced the win for Providence who opened this week with the same score as they opened the previous week, 6-3.

Providence Bruins @ Rochester Americans (3/9/18)

In their only game visiting Rochester, New York, the Bruins skated against the Americans in a battle of quality defense at both ends of the ice. In the first period, play between the two clubs was an even give and take. Scoring chances were low-danger events, and the only penalty call to Providence was suffocated quickly and efficiently. Entering the period scoreless, the Bruins drew a penalty midway through the second frame, however, Josh Hennessey would negate most of the powerplay with a high-sticking double minor that handicapped Providence for 4 minutes. Energized by the kill, Ryan Fitzgerald finished off a chance that began as a Paul Postma point-blast, putting the Bruins up by one.

Entering the third up by one goal, Rochester turned up the intensity early and were rewarded with an equalizer off a bomb by Sahir Gill. The game remained tied through the third, as Providence regained the momentum and took it to the Amerks, but Linus Ullmark held steady. Finally, in overtime, Providence registered all 7 shots taken in the extra frame, taking it to a gassed Amerks team. As was the case in the second, Postma made the initial shot that was finished off by a Ryan Fitzgerald backhander up over the pads of Ullmark. Ironically, Fitzgerald would be the Providence goal scorer on the Americans’ Irish Heritage night.

Providence Bruins @ Toronto Marlies (3/10/18)

In the only visit to the capital of Ontario, the Providence Bruins ended this weekend on a sour note, falling 4-3 to the AHL’s leader in the standings. Despite an early 2 man advantage for the Providence club, they failed to capitalize on the 5v4 and 5v3against the best PK in the AHL by percentage. Toronto did an excellent job of holding the puck outside the box created by the four faceoff dots in the attacking zone and held Providence to low-danger shots for the duration of the shorthanded bid. The Marlies struck first, on a controversial goal where McIntyre emphatically believed there was goaltender interference.

A point shot came in, and one of two Marlies skaters finished off the rebound while another crashed into Chris Breen in front of the net, knocking into McIntyre. Between Zane and Providence captain Tommy Cross, the Bruins were able to wipe the goal off the board, despite no “challenge” existing in the AHL for goaltender interference. A minute later, however, McIntyre was beaten cleanly, as a sharp angle shot leaked through the five-hole off the stick of Colin Greening and the Marlies took an early lead.

Early in the second, Toronto opened a worrisome 2 goal lead. Timothy Liljegren took a sharp angle shot from the goal stripe reminiscent of his teammates, but McIntyre redirected this shot so well, it almost rebounded out of the zone. Calle Rosen barely held the puck in at the line and skittered a pass out to Mason Marchment in the slot who managed to snap the puck in past McIntyre despite Providence skaters harassing Marchment. Toward the end of the middle frame, Colby Cave took it on himself to storm back and tie the game headed into the third. After Colby Cave crossed the blue line, he left the puck stationary for teammate Anton Blidh a step or so behind him. Blidh threaded the needle with a pass through two Marlies, finding Cave curling into the slot. Evading a defender, Cave went down to a knee to find more leverage as he whipped a short shot side high on Calvin Pickard’s blocker.

Not even a full minute later, Colby Cave and Anton Blidh worked their magic again. Blidh carried the puck into the zone this time, dropping for Cave who fired a changeup shot that slid underneath Pickard. The final period began tied at 2 apiece, but Toronto broke in for a third goal while Providence was killing off a penalty. Kenny Agostino tied the score on his 15th goal of the season while Providence had a man-advantage of its own to retie the score. Paul Postma was guilty of a slashing minor in the waning minutes of the game.

Toronto passed the puck around the powerplay formation, with Ben Smith taking a shot hoping for a rebound. Instead, as McIntyre went down to take away the bottom of the net, he didn’t seal the far (glove-side) post entirely. The puck rolled along his pads as it slowed, but had enough energy to leak over the goal line by the far unsealed post. Providence tried, but failed to mount a comeback with the remaining minute left in regulation but came up short.

Plus / Minus

Plus: + Austin Czarnik went 2G 1A, Jordan Szwarz went 1G, 2A, and Anton Blidh went 2G 0A, during Wednesday night’s thumping of Laval; Friday night, Ryan Fitzgerald earned 2G, while Paul Postma packed on another 5A total to add to last weekend’s outing. Colby Cave earned 3G in 3 nights, while Zach Senyshyn has been snapping out of his cold streak to the tune of 2A.

+ Speaking of Austin Czarnik, his five points this week at one point elevated him to 2nd in league-wide total points. Laval’s Chris Terry edged him out before the week ended, however.

+ Providence opened this week’s games with 2 PPGs against Laval and added another Saturday against Toronto.

+ Providence swept the season series with MTL affiliate Laval Rocket beating them in both matchups this season.

+ Providence fought the AHL’s best club to a draw for 59 minutes, almost forcing overtime. The game had a playoff feel to it, and while they came up short, Providence looked like they could hang with the best.

+ Jakub Zboril made his return to the lineup after a UBI sidelined him the previous week.

+ Dan Vladar, called up from Atlanta, made 23 of 26 saves against Laval for his 2nd win of the season. His only loss this season came during a 1-0 loss where the Providence offense dried up. His career totals in the AHL are a healthy 6-1-3 with a 2.41 GAA, and 0.923 SV%.

Minus: – Providence surrendered a goal against while killing off a Tommy Cross penalty in Laval, and two more while playing against the Marlies in Toronto Saturday night.

– Providence dug an early hole for itself falling behind 2-0 to the Toronto Marlies Saturday afternoon.

– The final goal against McIntyre was ugly, leaking past him when he wasn’t sealed against the post. Had he stopped the shot, the Bruins would have forced OT with a shot to steal a game from the Toronto powerhouse.

– Providence was swept in its season series with Toronto, getting no points out of neither the home nor away game.

– Going into Saturday’s matchup, the Marlies were on a skid, going 4-5-1 in their last 10 games. Providence could have capitalized on that, however, the Marlies were well-rested coming into the contest.