Providence Bruins Post-Game Recap Vs. Utica 12/7/19

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By Carrie Young | Follow me on Twitter @carrieyoung512

The Providence Bruins faced off against the Utica Comets on Saturday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The Bruins were looking to extend their five-game winning streak, while Utica aimed to bounce back from a shootout loss to Bridgeport on Friday. Providence entered the game ranked first in the Atlantic Division with a 15-7-1-2 record.

Starting Lineups

Providence Bruins:

Cehlarik – Studnicka – Fitzgerald

Vaakanainen – Didier

Vladar

Utica Comets:

Bailey – Camper – Lind

Brisebois – Rafferty

Bachman

Game Recap

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First Period

The game started slow, with neither team able to capitalize on any scoring chances. Providence out-shot Utica 13-3 through the first 14 minutes, but both goalies looked sharp and the game remained scoreless. Bruins defenseman Cooper Zech looked strong coming off of a 4-point night against Binghamton on Friday.

With around 5:50 left in the first period, Providence’s Jakub Lauko collapsed to the ice after skating in to hit a Utica player in front of the benches. The medical staff was quick to attend to him, but it was a scary moment as Lauko remained down on the ice for several minutes. He was eventually taken off on a stretcher. The 19-year-old gave a thumbs-up to the crowd before he left the ice.

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Utica was given a power play with 3:46 remaining in the period but was unable to convert. The game remained tied at zero heading into the first intermission.

Second Period

Just over a minute into the second period, Paul Carey scored his 12th goal of the season. Robert Lantosi surprised Utica’s goalie Richard Bachman with a strong shot, and Carey was able to convert on the rebound.

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The Bruins were given a power play 8:59 into the period when Olli Juolevi was called for interference. Providence was unable to score, but Zech drew another penalty after a nice play in the offensive zone. The Bruins went scoreless on their second man-advantage of the night.

Robert Lantosi was whistled for tripping with 3:48 remaining. Just seconds into the power play, Utica’s Justin Bailey tipped the puck past Vladar and tied the game.

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At the end of the second period, Providence was out-shooting Utica 35-13.

Third Period

Providence got its third power play of the night as Zech was tripped up at Utica’s blue line. The Bruins couldn’t convert, going 0-for-3 with the man-advantage.

With 12:42 left, Brendan Gaunce beat Bachman with a terrific shot to put Providence up 2-1. Carey forced a turnover in the neutral zone, and Lantosi was able to send the puck to Gaunce on the rush. It was Gaunce’s seventh goal in 16 games.

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Though the Bruins played a strong defensive game throughout the night, a turnover in their own zone led to Utica tying the game at 2 with 2:49 left in the period. Then, at 18:55, Oskar Steen was sent to the box for goaltender interference.

Providence’s penalty kill kept the game tied. With just 7 seconds to go, Utica committed a hooking penalty. The game headed to overtime.

Overtime

Despite multiple scoring chances and a short power play for Providence, overtime was scoreless. The game went to a shootout with the Bruins having out-shot the Comets 43-21.

Shootout

Lantosi scored to open the shootout. Francis Perron was unable to beat Vladar.

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In the second round, Carey and Sven Baertschi both failed to convert.

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The Bruins needed a goal or a save to get the win. Brendan Gaunce came close to ending it, but his shot hit the post. Vladar made a flashy glove save on Reid Boucher to secure a Bruins victory.

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Vladar got his second win in two games since he returned from injury.

“It was a long six weeks for me,” Vladar said after the game. “I feel relieved that I can play right now and that I can do my best. I appreciate it more because as I said, those six weeks were so long. I’m so happy that I got four out of four [points] so far.”

The Bruins have six straight wins and have lost just two games in regulation in their last 11. They host the Hartford Wolf Pack on Sunday afternoon.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 157 that we recorded on 12-8-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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After A Switch To Left Wing, Frederic Is Ready To Step Up His Offensive Game

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By Carrie Young | Follow Me On Twitter @carrieyoung512

“A real solid two-way center with size” are the words that John Ferguson Jr., executive director of player personnel for the Boston Bruins, used to describe Trent Frederic after he was drafted in 2016. The Bruins had just missed the playoffs for the second year in a row and were looking for players who could make an impact at the NHL level in the near future. They certainly found that in Charlie McAvoy, who was chosen with the first of the Bruins’ two first-round picks that year.

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Fifteen picks later, at twenty-ninth overall, fellow USA Hockey National Team Development Program alum Trent Frederic heard his name called and donned the spoked B for the first time. The pick used to draft Frederic was acquired a year earlier when Boston traded goalie Martin Jones to San Jose in exchange for a 2016 first-rounder and prospect Sean Kuraly. Jones had just carried the Sharks to the Stanley Cup Final a few weeks before the draft, so all eyes were on the Bruins to see if the trade could work out in their favor.

Though Frederic was labeled by Bruins scouts as “[not] a top two-line guy,” the first-round label placed high expectations on the young prospect’s shoulders. He played for two years at the University of Wisconsin before making the jump to the AHL’s Providence Bruins. He also made the USA World Junior Championship team in 2018. At every level throughout the years, he played center. He was drafted as a center and even had an opportunity to center Boston’s third line in the 2018-19 season.

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This season, though, the Bruins coaching staff decided to switch it up. When Frederic was called up to Boston due to injuries, he was put on the fourth line’s left-wing alongside Par Lindholm and Paul Carey. Though he didn’t register a point in two games, he was put back on the left-wing after he returned to Providence. The Bruins’ game against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on November 22nd saw Frederic in the starting lineup on the left side of Cameron Hughes.

“It was my first time playing left-wing [in Providence], so it was my third game in a long time, but I felt really comfortable,” Frederic said after the game. “[Cameron Hughes] and [Jakub Lauko] helped me, so sometimes I was playing on the right, or sometimes I was playing middle or center down low, so it was good. I had some more chances to make plays on the left-wing tonight, more [plays] came to me. So, I don’t have much experience, but I liked it.”

The switch seems to have sparked Frederic’s offensive abilities. He scored his first goal of the year in the win against Bridgeport, then went on to score another goal two days later against the Hershey Bears. He also added two assists in that span.

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The Providence coaching staff recognized that Frederic was looking comfortable on the wing, so he has mainly been playing that role ever since. Saturday night’s game against Charlotte marks the fourth time in the past five games that Frederic has started on the left side. This doesn’t mean that the Bruins no longer see him as a candidate to fill in at center in Boston, but it does prove that he could be more versatile than previously thought. With centers Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and Charlie Coyle now locked up for multiple years, Frederic might have a better opportunity to make an impact in the NHL on the wing. His two-way ability and physical presence have been proven. A little more offense will go a long way, no matter what position he plays.

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Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 155 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!! 

Providence Bruins’ Vaakanainen Named AHL Player Of The Week

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By Carrie Young | Follow me on Twitter @carrieyoung512

 

It was announced on Monday morning that Urho Vaakanainen was named as the AHL’s Player of the Week. In two games over the weekend, the defenseman had two goals and three assists and registered a plus-six rating. This was an offensive breakout for Vaakanainen, who had just two points in his first fifteen games with Providence. He recorded two assists in an overtime loss in Springfield on Saturday, then scored his first two goals of the season and added an assist on Sunday in a 6-3 win over the Hershey Bears.

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Vaakanainen was assigned to Providence on Saturday after playing five straight games with Boston, in which he registered zero points and a plus-two rating and averaged just under seventeen minutes per game. He showed no signs of fatigue after over a week of playing and practicing with the NHL squad and finished out the weekend strong, with Sunday’s game being his third in four days. His call-up to Boston seemed to give him a boost in confidence which translated nicely into an all-around effort on both Saturday and Sunday.

 

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Vaakanainen has been lauded as a prized prospect since he was chosen 18th overall by Boston in the 2017 NHL Draft. There has been tight competition within the organization to fill spots on the blue line, with the Bruins prioritizing the acquisition and development of defensemen in recent history. Vaakanainen was picked in the third of four straight years that the Bruins used their first draft selection on a defenseman (the others being Jakub Zboril, Charlie McAvoy, and Axel Andersson).

This is the 20-year-old’s second season in North America, though his first was significantly shortened by a concussion sustained in his second NHL game when the Ottawa Senators’ Mark Borowiecki caught him in the head with an elbow. The injury kept Vaakanainen out of game action for months. He returned in time to help Team Finland to a gold medal victory at the 2019 World Junior Championship in January, then headed back to Providence to finish out the season.

The Bruins are hoping that Vaakanainen continues to find his game in the AHL. After a slow start, he has been steadily improving on both ends of the ice. Sunday’s contest was a perfect example of his two-way potential, as he put in a solid defensive effort as well as registering the second two-goal game of his professional career. He is on pace to beat last year’s point total of 14 (4 goals, 10 assists) in 30 games. His play in Boston has also proved that he can be relied upon as a call-up when injuries arise.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 155 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Providence Bruins Post-Game Recap Vs. Bridgeport 11/22/19

(Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr)

By Carrie Young | Follow me on Twitter @carrieyoung512

The Providence Bruins were back in action at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Friday night for a match-up with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Bruins had just one regulation win in their last six games and were ranked fourth in the Atlantic Division with a 9-7-0-2 record. This was the fourth game between Providence and Bridgeport this season, with the Bruins leading the season series 2-1.

Starting Lineups

Providence:

Frederic – Hughes – Lauko

Sherman – Petrovic

Lagace

Bridgeport:

Bourque – Bardreau – McDonald

Hutton – Wotherspoon

Gibson

Game Recap

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First Period

Providence started strong, looking motivated to get a win in front of the home crowd. Bridgeport struggled to possess the puck and didn’t register a shot on goal through the opening six minutes.

Bridgeport’s Kyle Burroughs was called for slashing at 2:08 of the first, and the Bruins headed to the power play.

After an offensive-zone face-off win, Alex Petrovic sent a shot in on Gibson that bounced around in the crease until it found the stick of Brendan Gaunce, who was playing the net-front role on the power play. Gaunce buried his fifth goal of the season, putting Providence up 1-0.

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With 6:41 remaining in the period, Wiley Sherman sent a long, cross-ice pass to Ryan Fitzgerald at the offensive blue line. Fitzgerald was able to control the bouncing puck and sped down the right side, beating Gibson and scoring his sixth goal of the season.

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Though the Sound Tigers didn’t record many shots in the first, Lagace made a few important saves to maintain the Bruins’ lead.

With just under a minute left in the period, Gaunce scored his second goal of the game after a great passing sequence between Peter Cehlarik, Jakub Zboril, and Robert Lantosi.

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Providence headed into the first intermission up 3-0 and leading in shots 13-6.

Second Period

Jared Coreau replaced Christopher Gibson in goal for Bridgeport to start the second.

Around four minutes in, Trent Frederic collided with Bridgeport rookie Oliver Wahlstrom at center ice and was challenged to a fight by Seth Helgeson. Frederic obliged, dropping the gloves for a good bout in front of the Bridgeport bench. Both players got five minutes for fighting, and Helgeson was also assessed a minor penalty for instigating and a ten-minute misconduct. Frederic was sent to the locker room after the fight as it appeared he had a cut on his forehead that needed to be stitched up. He returned later in the period.

A good forecheck by Providence led to a slashing penalty on Andrew Ladd at 8:56, and the Bruins were awarded their third power play of the night. Despite some good chances, they were unable to convert. A misplay in the offensive zone led to a shorthanded rush by the Sound Tigers, and Cehlarik was sent off for slashing.

Late in the penalty kill, Sherman was able to clear the zone after a good save by Lagace. Jakub Lauko used his speed to beat Bridgeport’s Sebastian Aho to the puck, then passed to Frederic, who was all alone in front of the net. Frederic scored his first goal of the season to put Providence up 4-0.

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The Bruins were assessed their second penalty of the game when Sherman was whistled for tripping at 18:13.

With just under 30 seconds left in the period, Bridgeport turned the puck over in the neutral zone. Alex Petrovic sent a pass into open ice, and Lauko yet again beat a Sound Tigers defender and got a great pass right in front of the net. Jack Studnicka tapped one past Coreau, giving him three straight games with a goal. Studnicka is now tied for second in points among AHL rookies with 7 goals and 7 assists in 19 games.

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Providence went to the second intermission with a 5-0 lead.

Third Period

With two more games coming up this weekend, the Bruins were wise to reduce the tempo in the third period considering their lead. Lagace continued his strong play with some big saves to keep Bridgeport off of the scoreboard. The third period was scoreless for both teams, and Providence earned a big win against a divisional opponent. Lagace got his league-leading fourth shutout of the season. He also leads the league in GAA and is ranked third in save percentage.

The Bruins are now 10-7-0-2. They play in Springfield on Saturday night and are back home on Sunday against the Hershey Bears.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 154 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Providence Bruins Post-Game Recap Vs. Bridgeport 11/11/19

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By Carrie Young | Follow me on Twitter @carrieyoung512

The Providence Bruins faced off against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the third time this season on Monday afternoon, with Providence leading the season series two games to none. The Bruins came into the game ranked second in the Atlantic Division with a record of 8-5-0-2. Providence was looking to bounce back from a 2-1 loss to Hartford on Sunday but would have to play without defenseman Urho Vaakanainen, as he was called up to Boston this morning due to an injury to Torey Krug. Bridgeport entered Monday’s game on a two-game losing streak and ranked last in the division.

Starting Lineups

Providence:

Hughes – Frederic – Steen

Zboril – Didier

Lagace

Bridgeport:

Bourque – McDonald – Kubiak

Burroughs – Wotherspoon

Gibson

Game Recap

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First Period

The Bruins started slowly, unable to establish an attacking rhythm or challenge Sound Tigers goalie Christopher Gibson.

Bridgeport’s Arnaud Durandeau scored the first goal of the game at 6:31, assisted by Mason Jobst and Sebastien Aho. There wasn’t much that Max Lagace could do about the well-played rush, letting in just his second goal in three games.

Despite one power play for each team, the rest of the period was scoreless. Bridgeport outshot Providence 11-8.

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Second Period

The Bruins began the second period with a few seconds of carryover power play time. They were given their second man-advantage of the game 2:05 in as Sound Tigers Hickey was called for elbowing but were unable to convert. Bridgeport was whistled for yet another penalty just one second after they killed off the previous one. This time, the power play was cut short, with Robert Lantosi heading off for a trip 46 seconds in. Yet another penalty was called seconds before Kieffer Bellows exited the box, and Bridgeport headed to a 5-on-3 advantage. Providence did a good job killing the penalties off and had a shorthanded scoring chance that they weren’t quite able to convert.

Providence was nabbed for their third offensive-zone penalty of the game at 10:19 of the second. The penalty kill stayed perfect, with Lagace looking solid in net.

Simon Holmstrom scored with 4:57 remaining to put Bridgeport up 2-0. Rookie Oliver Wahlstrom provided the primary assist, his second point in two games against Providence.

Frederic was sent to the box for slashing five seconds after the center-ice face-off following Holmstrom’s goal. The Providence penalty kill remained strong, and after failing to convert on a late power play, the Bruins went to the second intermission down by two.

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Third Period

The Bruins seemed to have a jump in their step at the beginning of the third period. After largely failing to generate offense in the first 40 minutes, Providence was able to spend more time in the Sound Tigers’ zone, leading to their fifth power play of the game when Trent Frederic was tripped up on a rush to the net. They were unable to get one past Gibson.

Both goalies were excellent in the third. Lagace made some challenging saves from in close, and Gibson robbed Frederic twice on a breakaway. After mustering just 15 shots through the first two periods, Providence peppered Gibson with 17 shots in the third.

Providence had one more chance on the power play with just under 8 minutes remaining in the game as Steen was hauled down while trying to exit the Bruins zone. It proved to be short-lived, with Oskar Steen committing a penalty of his own 44 seconds later. Despite pulling Lagace for an extra attacker with over 4 minutes left, the Bruins couldn’t convert and were shut out. It was the first time they were unable to score so far this season.

The Bruins are now 8-6-0-2. Their next game is this Friday at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center against the Hartford Wolf Pack

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 153 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!