45108775584_0a14212eb0_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

By: Jen Stasio Coombe | Follow Me On Twitter @hockeygirl2976

Week eight was a three-game holiday week with all road games and the Providence Bruins came together like we knew they could.  The challenges of call-ups and injuries seemed to do little to damage their spirit and resolve as they came away with five of the possible six points for the week.  These five points put them even with the Hershey Bears for seventh place in the division and the communication, chemistry, and composure that are taking hold in a big can only add up to better rankings.  As we have seen in previous seasons the challenges of the early season have begun to fade and we are starting to see the real Providence Bruins shine through.

Two goalies(Photo Courtesy of Jen Stasio Coombe)

Goaltender Performance:

Dan Vladar started in net on Saturday at the PPL Center against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.  Saving 18-21 shots on goal bringing his save percentage to .893.

Zane McIntyre started in net twice this week.  Wednesday in Hartford saving 18-22 shots on goal and Sunday in Wilkes-Barre making an impressive 32-34 saves.  His save percentage is now .858.

This Weekends Scores:

WED Nov. 21 AWAY              Providence 3 – Hartford 4 OTL 

SAT Nov. 24 AWAY             Providence 6 – Lehigh Valley 3 WIN!!!

SUN Nov. 25 AWAY             Providence 4 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 2 WIN!!!

Detailed Daily Game Re-caps:

Wednesday, November 21, 2018, Providence Bruins vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (AWAY)

hfd(Photo Courtesy of the Hartford Wolf Pack)

In the first of several Wednesday night games the Bruins have coming up they traveled to Hartford Connecticut to battle their familiar foe the Wolf Pack.  When these two pair off it is always even odds for who will be the victor of the night and just how many penalties are going to be awarded. This night was to be no different.

The first period did see its fair share of penalties, but not near as many as we have seen in the past.  The 6:38 roughing penalty called against Providences Tanner Pond put the Wolf Pack on the power-play, but Karson Kuhlman had other plans.  Taking a quick pass from Messner, Kuhlman drove the puck past the Pack’s goaltender at 7:50 and landed a shorthanded goal in the back of the net.  The Bruins were not as successful on the 12:07 hooking penalty called on Austin Fyten.  This time on the power-play Hartford’s Belesky was able to sneak by McIntyre at 13:49 and even the score at 1-1.  A level score meant everyone kicked it into high gear trying to get the lead before the end of the period.  A hooking call against Hartford gave the Bruins the power-play they needed for the extra push and at 18:28 Ryan Fitzgerald scored the power-play goal with the help of Szwarz and Cuminsky.  The score as the horn sounded was Providence 2- Hartford 1.

The second period started out with a bang, literally.  Providences Pond and Hartford’s O’Donnell came to blows at only two minutes in.  Once those two were safely in their respective penalty boxes, there was not much going for the rest of the period.  There were a couple minor penalties called, maybe just to break the boredom, and then with only two seconds left on the clock, Hartford’s Belesky was aided by Meskanen and former Bruin O’Gara to bring the score back even.  This time the horn blew with a score of Providence 2 – Hartford 2.

The third was not a repeat of the second.  Two penalties in the first five minutes one for each side.  Then at 9:36 the break the Wolf Pack were looking for, O’Donnell was able to slide a goal in behind McIntyre who had slid a little too far out of position giving them the lead for the first time all night.  Not impressed with being down by one and eager to prove his worthiness of the recent PTO signing Cuminsky worked hard and with the help of Fitzgerald and Donato was able to find the back of the net at 13:23 making it an even game once again.  The horn sounded seven minutes later signaling the end of regular time and the need for the OT.

Overtime was not a shot fest or a quick one and done as it has been in the past with these two teams.  Instead there were only two shots on goal from Providence and one from Hartford.  That one from Hartford was a good one and at 3:30 Lettieri was able to score the game-winning goal and shut the door on the Bruins hopes of an overtime victory.

Saturday, November 24th, 2018, Providence Bruins vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AWAY)

LHV(Photo Courtesy of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms)

Thanksgiving was over and the tryptophan coma had hopefully passed when the Bruins headed down to Lehigh Valley to face the Phantoms for the first time away from home this season.  The two teams battled it out last weekend here in Providence with a less than desirable result for our Bruins.  This time being away from home and fired up from a disappointing loss, the baby-b’s were there to win it.  The question was could they keep the penalty bug at bay by maintaining the level heads they needed to capture the two points.

The first period of the game would test their resolve right off the puck drop.  In under a minute and a half the Phantoms had been able to score two goals on Vladar and were looking smug already.  The Bruins players kept their cool and showed remarkable restraint even waving off a taunt or two that was directed at them from their opponents.  Those level heads paid off when at 17:14 Austin Fyten was able to slide one past the Phantoms goaltender and get the Bruins back in the game.  Both teams were full steam ahead and charging the net at every opportunity.  Providence had racked up thirteen shots on goal and the Phantoms six, but when the horn sounded in the valley it was Providence 1 – Lehigh Valley 2.

Fired up from the late goal from Fyten in the first the Bruins started the second period with a goal at 2:42 by team captain Jordan Szwarz assisted by Fitgerald.  This brought the scores even, but the Phantoms were not ready to concede.  Just two minutes later they took the lead again on a goal by Bardrau assisted by Twarynski.  Perhaps this lead change just caused something to snap in the Bruins, because from here on in, they were lights out.  Scoring twice more this period, once at 9:41 when Sherman and Zboril handed one-off to Fitzy and the second was an unassisted goal by Cameron Hughes at 14:22.  The horn sounded for period two on a very different game, Providence 4 – Lehigh Valley 3.

The drive to the end continued into the third period for the Bruins as the shots on goal can attest.  The third period saw Providence with twelve shots on goal, while the Phantoms were only able to squeeze in four.  Those shots on goal did not materialize into any actual goals for Lehigh Valley, but two Providence pucks found their way to the back of the net.  At 2:59 Austin Fyten doubled his tally with the help of Emil Johannsen widening the providence lead to two goals and then at 7:14 Cameron Hughes followed suit taking help from Kuhlman to provide the final goal of the night.  When the horn finally sounded at the end of the third the score was a lopsided Providence 6 – Lehigh Valley 3.

Sunday, November 25th, 2018, Providence Bruins vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AWAY)

WBS(Photo Courtesy of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins)

With level heads prevailing the previous night and allowing the solid victory, the Bruins may have gotten the boost they needed to take on one of their hardest competitors of the weekend, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.  Having faced the Penguins the weekend before on home ice and won, they had gained a bit of confidence, but facing the top ranked team in the division is nerve-wracking at any time.  The matinée result this day was far from predetermined.

This first period began like a game of Rockem’ Sockem’ Robots.  David Broll, on his first shift back after injuring his hand in a pre-season fight, dropped his gloves and his helmet to take on the Penguins McGrath only two minutes in.  Broll and McGrath were both slapped with five minutes for fighting and another two for unsportsmanlike conduct due to the removal of their helmets.  As if that wasn’t bad enough for the Penguins Burton was called for Interference at 2:08, putting the Bruins on their first power-play of the night.  Only a minute later Kovar and Donato combined to provide the perfect ingredients for Fitzgerald to score the first goal of the night putting Providence up 1-0.  It took until the last-minute of the period for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to make a successful bid for a goal.  At 19:16 Johnson slid one in past McIntyre and was able to level the score to end the period.

The second period began with a Providence 1 – WBS 1 score and both teams wanted that to change as quickly as possible.  They challenged each other through the neutral zone and fought hard to keep the competitors away from the net.  This back and forth continued until nearly twelve minutes into the period when Cehlarik broke through the Penguins defense and scored with the help of McNeill.  The hole in the defense did not have time to mend before Fitzgerald and Szwarz passed the puck over to Donato who lit the lamp once again for the Bruins.  When the horn sounded at the end of 20 the score was Providence 3 – WBS 1.

The third period was much like the second, but this time the Penguins were scrambling to get back in the game.  Providence was also looking to score but was more intent on keeping Wilkes-Barre/Scranton away from their net.  15:56 into the period the Penguins pulled within one with a goal from Burton.  This goal amped up both sides as they desperately fought to secure the win.  Several times in the last two minutes Wilkes-Barre wanted to pull their goalie, but they just could not clear the puck far enough out to do so.  Finally, at 19:24 their chance came, the goalie scrambled to the bench and the additional man joined the play.  Unfortunately, it was just in time for Jakub Zboril to score the empty net goal and seal the end for the Penguins. Final Score at the horn, Providence 4 – WBS 2.

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