AHL Bruins Suffer Overtime Loss in First Game of This Thanksgiving Road Trip

( Photo Credit: Jon Sorensen / novacapsfans.com )

By: Mark Allred | Follow me on Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Last night the Providence Bruins, who were playing in game one of a three-game road trip over this United States Thanksgiving holiday, lost to the Hershey Bears in overtime by the score of 4-3. The Providence club sits in the fourth position in the Atlantic Division currently with a 6-5-3-1 with 16 points. The top minor-pro affiliate of the NHL Boston Bruins still has time to work on their 2-1-2-1 road record when they travel to Bridgeport, Connecticut to play the Islanders Friday night and return to Pennsylvania for the final game of this roadie against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

At the Giants Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday evening, the Bruins seemed to have control for the first half of the game when they jumped to a 1-0 lead late in the first period. Cameron Hughes got the goal scoring started for Providence late in the first period when he notched his first goal of the season, assisted by forward Samuel Asselin and defenseman Urho Vaakanainen at the 18:07 mark.

Jumping to the second period, the Providence club would take a 2-0 lead on a goal from veteran forward Steven Fogarty, who scored his fifth goal of the season. Fogarty’s fifth of the season and third power-play goal of the year was assisted by forward Jesper Froden and defenseman Jack Ahcan. As seen in the video provided below, there was an incredible display of passing on the man advantage to create the 2-0 lead, but as we all know, all good things come to an end.

At the 11:59 mark of the second period, the wheels started to fall off from the visiting Providence team’s effort, and lead as a turnover in the neutral zone on the power play resulted in a shorthanded goal for Hershey’s Joe Snively. The Snively shorthanded goal mid-second period would turn into a huge confidence boost for the host Hershey team to start the third period as they ripped off two quick goals in just 1:22 into the final frame. Down 3-2 with almost two minutes remaining in the game, B’s defenseman Jack Ahcan absolutely snipes the tying goal at three to force overtime and one point in the standings. This was Ahcan’s second goal of the season and his second goal on the man advantage.

During the overtime period, the host Hershey Bears would only need a little over two minutes to seal the two-point victory after a lengthy goal review. The Bears improve to 8-5-2-1 with 19 points, good for third in the Atlantic Division and 6-3-1-1 at the Giants Center. This was the third overtime loss of the season for the Providence club, who have seen extra time or gone to a shootout in six of 15 games this season.

32-year-old Providence netminder Troy Grosenick got the start in goal for the B’s and played in his second game since returning to the Bruins lineup after a month on the shelf with a lower-body injury. Troy played well and did the best he could to try and keep the Providence club in the game against the host Bears, but they needed a team effort and not an individual to come out of it. Grosenick stopped 28 of 32 shots and is 1-0-1 on the year with a 2.53 goals-against-average and a .917 save percentage.

Below are quotes from Providence Bruins Head Coach Ryan Mougenel’s Press Conference from the Giants Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

“We just have to be better as a group. We’ve got a lot of different parts right now. We’ve got a lot of bodies, and we’re trying to find our identity. There’s a lot of things I like about us, but there’s also a lot of things we need to get better at. That’s on us as a staff to get us better.”

“It’s a long season. We’re still fairly young in it. We managed to get a point. I guess that’s the positive, and we’ll take that.”

“I don’t think we’re that far away. We just did that
to ourselves tonight. It’s unacceptable, and our best players have to be our best players. We’ve got to find a way to win. It was just unacceptable. We managed to get a point, but did we deserve that? I really didn’t think so.”

“I thought Grosenick kept us in it when we weren’t good, and special teams were obviously the difference.”

“Having Troy back from injury is huge. I’m obviously very familiar with Troy. He’s an outstanding goalie.”

“I’m just a little bit disappointed that we didn’t get it done for him because he is such a good goalie. We’ve got to get him going and play some more games. He’s better the more he plays. I was really happy with Troy. I think he played great.”

“I think the biggest thing with him is his maturity. He’s had two kids since I coached him. He’s a father now, and I think that’s been really good for him.”

Next Game for AHL Providence

The Providence Bruins travel to the Webster Bank Arena tomorrow night to play the seventh place Bridgeport Islanders, who have a regular-season record of 5-10-1-2 with 13 points. The rebranded Bridgeport club is 4-3-0-0 at home this season and would be a game the Providence club recovers from in an effort to create a better road record and confidence playing away from the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Rhode Island.

If you would like to watch the remainder of this three-game road trip, check out AHLTV and get either a single game or season subscription at an affordable streaming price. Go to watchtheahl.com for a list of streaming packages.

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