(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins)
By: Jen Stasio Coombe | Follow Me On Twitter @hockeygirl2976
In the first 3-in-3 weekend of the season, the Providence Bruins took away 2 points for their lone win. These blessed two points keep them from being relegated to last place in the division, the conference and the league. That honor, or lack thereof, is currently being held by the Hershey Bears. One of the areas we are not close to last place is PIMS. We are smack in the middle with 57, made up of 16 minor, 3 major, and 1 10-minute misconduct penalties. We can thank Anton Blidh’s improving English skills for that last one as he garnered an abuse of officials penalty in the game against Springfield this past Sunday.
Breaking down the numbers from this season there are a few areas that we can see need improvement. Of the 13 goals Providence has scored, 9 of them came in the third period and always after trailing. If the object is to win, we need to score earlier, bring our A game to all three periods and not wait until crunch time. That is and has been a recipe for disaster. The other and less tangible item is that we are outshooting our opponents at an average rate of 28 to 24 yet they are scoring an average of 4 goals to our 2.9. This is a clear sign that our defense needs to do a better job of reading what their offense is setting up and putting a stop to it. Yes, the goalie is the ultimate keeper of the gate, but the defense needs to be there to support him, and right now, they are not.
(Photo Courtesy of Jen Stasio Coombe)
Zane McIntyre has stopped 36 of the 48 shots taken on him in the 3 games he has played. Including the first game where he was pulled midway through the first period. His current Save% is .750 and fingers crossed has nowhere to go but up.
Dan Vladar has stopped 65 of the 72 shots taken on him in the 3 games he has played, including the one in which he took over for Zane in the first period. His Save% is a bit better at .903.
This Weekends Scores:
FRI Oct.12 AWAY Providence 4-Hartford 3 WIN!!!
SAT Oct.13 HOME Providence 3-Hartford 4
SUN Oct.14 AWAY Providence 3-Springfield 6
(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins)
Detailed Daily Game Re-caps:
Friday, October 12, 2018, Providence Bruins Vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (AWAY)
Friday Night at the XL Center had an overall better ending for the Bruins than last week but in all honesty not much better play from our B’s. The first period saw Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson score 6 minutes in, but the haphazard defensive effort being put up by our blueline saw Hartford’s Andersson answer back only 5 minutes later sneaking one past goaltender Zane McIntyre to bring the score level. The first period only saw one penalty issued and that was a minor for interference to the home team’s Bigras at 11:16. The Wolf Pack successfully killed off what they could of the penalty in the 1st and the remainder of it at the beginning of the second period.
While the first period saw more goals than penalties, there was a different storyline for the second. Here we saw 6 penalties and only 1 goal. That lone goal of the period came at 5:41 when Hartford took the lead on a swift one by Butler assisted by Holland. This did nothing to steady the already worn nerves of the Baby B’s or their jacked-up opponents as the penalties began flying on the regular; 5:59 Providence Penalty for hooking Clifton, 11:23 Hartford Penalty for holding Hajek, 12:46 Providence Penalty for hooking Szwarz, 13:24 Providence Penalty for slashing, and the 5th and 6th penalties of the 2nd period at 17:08 for roughing go to Providence’s Fitzgerald and Hartford’s Andersson.
The third period appeared to be that leveling force that the Providence fans were looking for. The B’s stepped up their offensive game taking 12 shots on goal during the period, a 50% increase from the second period, and the defense, while still a bit squirrely, seemed to be getting things together for a bit. Hartford took the first goal of the period at 7:01 bringing them to a 2-goal lead and it wasn’t long after that their Mr. Andersson was called once again for a penalty (8:29 holding). If there was to be a comeback, it was time Providence made their move. At 12:16 Anton Blidh had help from Cave and Fyten to bring the B’s to within one goal and only a minute and a half later Kulhman and Cehlarik gave Frederic what he needs to find the back of the net and even the score. Hartford was called for one last penalty at 19:32. This time a bench penalty for too many men on the ice.
Into overtime and it did not take long. With 1:03 having ticked down on the clock Goloubef took a shot and was awarded mightily with not just a goal, but the game-winning goal assisted by Fitzgerald and Lauzon. The Providence Bruins eked it out in Hartford this time, finishing it up in OT with a score of 4-3 and taking home the 2 points necessary to keep them from the bottom of the stack.
Saturday, October 13, 2018, Providence Bruins Vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (HOME)
ProvidenceBruins and Hartford Wolf Pack played follow the leader back to Rhode Island and settled in, ready for Saturday’s rematch. The pack came out of the gates on fire, unlike the Providence Bruins who looked like they had never really woken up from their pre-game nap. The first saw the Wolf Pack pepper rookie goalie Vladar with shots that none of the defense seemed inclined to read ahead and intercept. Of the 9 shots, they landed on net 2 of them found the back putting them up solidly in the first without any significant difficulty. Providence appeared plagued by open ice passes, uncontrolled passing and just all around poor puck handling. They did not seem to be able to hold onto the puck once they got it and were easily moved off it in a skirmish. They did manage to get 10 shots on goal, but none of them made it through the Wolf Pack keeper to provide a Providence point on the board. The only penalty in the first was issued to Hartford’s Bigras late in the period at 17:35 for cross-checking.
The second period did not look any better for Providence and only 5:22 into the period Blidh took exception to Hartford’s Andersson and both were sent to the box with 5 minutes for fighting. If it was an attempt to fire up the team, Blidh did not succeed where he had intended. The only team that scored for the rest of the second was the Pack at 14:47 bringing their lead to 3. The period ended without another score or scuffle.
The third period started the same as the first two. A disheveled and ragtag Bruins team fought harder against themselves than they did to win. At 4:52 when Hartford scored yet another goal, it appeared they had all but sealed the deal. Three penalties followed, two to Providence minors to Lauzon and Pond, and a third was a bench penalty handed out to the Pack for, once again, having too many men on the ice. The B’s were not able to capitalize on this powerplay. However, I don’t know what was said in the 16th minute, but Providence decided to no longer hit snooze, finish their coffee, and kick it in gear. Two goals were scored in the 17th minute, one by Zach Senyshyn and the other 15 seconds later by Colby Cave. This giant burst of scoring must have thrown them for a bit of a loop as it took a whole 2 minutes for them to score their 3rd. This time finding a way past the goalie was Anton Blidh. It was a solid rally, but just too late to claim a victory as the Wolf Pack Came out on top this time with a 4-3 win at the Dunk.
Sunday, October 14, 2018, Providence Bruins vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (AWAY)
The first matinee of the year was hosted by the Springfield Thunderbirds and was the final game of the 3-in-3 for the Providence Bruins. Unfortunately, while more consistent throughout the game, the Bruins have just not meshed as a team yet. The first period saw the Bruins on the board first with a goal by Zach Senyshyn at 7:11 with assists by Cehlarik and Vaakanainen. While the T-Birds failed to fly past Zane McIntyre even once in the first. There was no shortage of penalties though. They came rolling in, hot and heavy, as they often do when these teams meet. The T-Birds had two penalties on the board within the first five minutes, and the Bruins took the rest of the period but managed to rack up three more. A 5-penalty period to start the day off right.
The second period was livelier at the net with Springfield starting the period literally 1,2,3 as they scored goals at 1 minute, 2 minutes and a 3rd at 3 minutes, causing Zane to bow his head in dejection following the last of these. Apparently, this goal at three minutes broke something in Anton Blidh’s filter as he was sent to the box with a 10-minute misconduct penalty for abuse of officials. Seeing him sitting there must have inspired Colby Cave as he came out with a Providence goal at 6:22 assisted by McNeill and Clifton. Not to let the Box get cold, Breen and Turgeon took up arms and were each sent to the box for fighting at 13:09. Still feeling feisty Providence took two more penalties, Goloubef at 14:31 for Cross-checking and Senyshyn at 17:17 for high-sticking and to finish off the period T-Bird Still was sent to the pokey for Interference. A 6-penalty period in the books.
The third was nearly a repeat of the second with Springfield coming out sending three goals past McIntyre, though they did spread them out this time taking almost 11 minutes to score all three. The only non-bench penalties called were against the T-Birds, three in total and one bench penalty to Providence for too many men on the ice. (As the Pack wasn’t here the B’s took care of it for them.) In the last-ditch effort, Fitzgerald sent a zinger by the T-bird goaltender to bring them within 3-points, but it was too little too late again, and the Bruins walked away with a second loss for the weekend.