Providence Bruins Week 7 Preview

40142141074_bd7f68ff42_z(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins)

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

Providence Bruins enter this weekend with a significant challenge on their plate.  Friday night they will face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, who not only sit third in the division at the moment but were the force that ended the Bruins run for the Calder Cup in 2018.  Saturday night the Bruins will face the Rochester Americans who currently sit in first place in the North Division. The question that we face is whether the improvement the Bruins have shown in the past weeks is enough to overcome these challenges.

40429951595_5f7ac793fd_z(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins)

Friday, November 16th Providence Bruins vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms (HOME)

The Dunkin Donuts Center will be haunted by the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for the first time since April when they beat the Bruins 4-3 to win the first round of the Calder Cup Play-Offs and put an end to the season for Providence.

With that being the last meeting between the two teams and many of the same players being on the ice, I would expect tensions to be running a little higher than normal.  This year’s batch of players has been more penalty prone on a good day, so this will no doubt be the situation on Friday as well.

Last season these two teams had a regular season head to head record of Providence 2 – Lehigh Valley 4, the same as the previous season.  Post-season the record was Providence 1 – Lehigh Valley 3. Statistically and historically the deck is stacked against the Bruins this Friday, their best bet is to believe in themselves, keep a level head, and bring the team effort that we saw this last weekend.

40142145694_7ea2c2b821_z(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins)

Saturday, November 17th Providence Bruins vs. Rochester Americans (HOME)

Saturday night brings the Rochester Americans to Providence to face the Bruins for the first of their two meetings this season. The two teams lie in different divisions, the Bruins in the Atlantic and the Amerks in the North, so they only meet twice.

The past two years, this arrangement has worked well for the Bruins as they have walked away winning both games in each of the seasons.  With a perfect record against this team in the past it would be easy to get overconfident.  Give me one second to slow your roll. Providence currently sits in 7th place in the Atlantic division with 12 points. The Amerks, on the other hand, are standing atop the North Division with 21 points.  That is more than enough to give me pause and remind me that nothing is ever as easy as it appears at first glance.  So, just as with Friday’s uphill battle the boys in Black and Yellow will have to bring their A-game and keep their wits about them if they are to keep their record against the Amerks a perfect one.

40612138414_9ebd6706a0_z(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins)

My picks to watch this weekend:

Up Front:

Colby Cave and Anton Blidh– Both of these players have provided the consistency and leadership the team has needed through the beginning of the season.  Coach Leach even described the pair as the heartbeat of the team.  This weekend will definitely put a strain on the heartbeat, let’s see how they do.

On The Blue Line:

Cody Goloubef – This man’s name came up several times last weekend for me, I will be keeping a close eye on him this weekend to see if I am in fact seeing the positives I thought I saw.

In Net:

Dan Vladar – Having played only one game last weekend and being called up to Boston on an emergency basis, I want to see how he feels coming back home to the Dunk.

39040905000_a6b7990802_z(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins)

Cheers to week seven and best of luck to our Baby B’s. The Providence Bruins Fan Club is holding a winter clothing drive.  If you have any gently used winter clothing feel free to bring it along and drop it in the donation box near their booth behind section 104.  I will catch up with you next week and until then, feel free to message me on twitter with any questions or comments and as always, take some time to check out the other great articles by the incredible team here at Blackngoldhockey.com. Now Go Get Hockey With It!

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Providence Bruins Weekend Recap – Week 6

31962550678_6e65d04b49_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

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

Week six is in the books, and the team is starting to show glimmers of the group we have been waiting for.  Consistent with previous years, the Providence Bruins have started out a bit of wreck, but as the weeks pass by, the boys tend to mesh together and start bringing the game we all know they have within.  This weekends two out of three game wins, with the loss being a very, very close overtime loss is evidence of just how far they have come.

Colby Cave and Anton Blidh have been standouts for this team providing what coach Jay Leach calls, “the heartbeat” of the team.   This may be just what they need as the team faces a merry-go-round of players back and forth to Boston to cover injuries, leaves of absence, and even some players coming back for more spit and polish.  The close relationship between these two teams is truly a blessing, but along with that comes the challenge of juggling that interdependency.  The stability, consistency, and leadership shown by Cave and Blidh all season has without a doubt contributed to the ability for the entire team to mesh and build to where they are now.

44890450565_64a36fe0e8_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

Goaltender Performance:

Dan Vladar manned the net on Friday at home against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.  Saving 27-28 shots on goal bringing his save percentage to .909.  Vladar was called up to Boston on an emergency basis Saturday and was released back to Providence on Monday.

Zane McIntyre manning the net on Saturday in Bridgeport. Saving 20-25 shots on goal in the highly contested match-up.  Taking the net on back to back days, this time back in Providence on Sunday. Zane Saved 20-22 shots on goal ending the weekend with a save percentage of .833.

This Weekends Scores:

FRI Nov. 9 HOME              Providence 2-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 1 WIN!!! 

SAT Nov.10 AWAY            Providence 4-Bridgeport 5 OTL!!!

SUN Nov.11 HOME            Providence 5-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 2 WIN!!! 

31932363958_0b4c2b79f8_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

Detailed Daily Game Re-caps:

Friday, November 9, 2018, Providence Bruins Vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (HOME)

The Providence Bruins host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the Dunkin Donuts Center for their first match-up of the year.  This low scoring game was packed with twelve penalties evenly split between the two teams.

The first period saw the penalties begin around the five-and-a-half-minute mark when penguins Czuczman was sent to the box for high-sticking.  Five minutes later the same teams Haggerty was called for tripping and thirty seconds into the power-play Providences Martin Bakos scored the first goal of the night with help from Kovar and Fitzgerald. Not satisfied with just contributing to a goal, Kovar went to the box for hooking to round out the period.

The second period was even lighter on the goal scoring, but they did take it up one notch on the penalty meter.  Penguins Hovart and Bruins Frederic started the penalties off at 6:49 seconds with a litany of charges.  Hovart went to the penalty box for a 2-minute minor (boarding), and a 5-minute major (fighting), but Frederic one-upped those with 2-minute minor (instigating), 5-minute major (fighting) and 10-minute misconduct (instigating).  The rest of the period was quiet save two more minors, one for the Penguins Summers (slashing) and the other for our very own Colby Cave (interference).

The third period was started off with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton player Summers being sent to the box for slashing two-and-a-half minutes in. Following this stint Providence skaters, Blidh and Johansson visited the penalty box for holding and cross-checking, respectively. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was not content with letting this game slip through their grasp without at least scoring one goal.  So, at 15:08 Lafferty with help from Haggerty found the back of the net to even the score in Providence. One final penalty from Providence from Fitzgerald for slashing and the lads were off to over-time.

Over-time came in like the other periods with an initial penalty from WBS near the two-minute mark putting Providence on the power-play.  This was to be the break the Bruins were looking for as Fitzgerald scored the second power-play goal of the night with the help of Goloubef and Kovar.  This game-winning goal saw Providence take the two points and the W in the first match against WBS this season.

31932364298_6da40ec2c1_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

Saturday, November 10, 2018, Providence Bruins Vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AWAY)

Traveling to Bridgeport to meet up with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this weekend saw a much different game than Friday with a similar, but not as gratifying result.

The first period kicked off with Bruins Forward Fitzgerald being booked for interference at 1:18, putting Bridgeport on the quick power-play.  Not letting this opportunity slip away Toews assisted by Fritz and C. Bourque scored the first goal of the game.  A reversal of roles was coming soon as R. Bourque was booked for cross-checking and while on the power-play Bruins Forward Kovar scored the tying power-play goal assisted by Fitzgerald and Cave.  Bridgeport would not be kept down for long however as only a minute later Bellows scored for the Sound Tigers with help from Bernier and Fritz, putting them up by 1 with a score of 2-1. Three more penalties were handed out in the remainder of the period, one to Bridgeport’s St. Denis (holding) and two to Providence skaters Goloubef (tripping) and Fitzgerald (holding).

Beginning the second period down by one the Bruins were not thrilled when Bridgeport was the first to find the back of the net at 4:28 on a goal by C. Bourque assisted by St. Denis and Koivula.  This blow may have contributed to the roughing penalties handed out to Bruins Kovar and WBS Jones.  Not all who are down use their fists, in this instance Anton Blidh used his stick to score an unassisted goal at 5:39 to bring them back within one goal.  The next fifteen minutes were not so kind to the Bruins.  First, two penalties were handed out to him one to Zboril for Slashing and the second to Hughes for hooking.  Then to top off this rough period the Bourques strike again and put the Sound Tigers up by two for the second time this night.

A pep talk during the intermission, a snack, or a few swear words as Halak would suggest, whatever it was it appeared to work.  The third period saw the Bruins come out with a renewed fight. The first to score this period was Zboril with assistance from Senyshyn and Cave at 3:49 and the lead is again shrunk to one, Providence 3- WBS 4.  Trent Frederic took the penalty game seriously being called at 4:15 and 7:14 for hooking and then elbowing. Bridgeport may have been concerned that their penalty box was getting cold so Ho-Sang and Toews each took a turn warming it up at 8:48 and 9:12. This power play gave Donato space and time he needed to level the score with help from Fitzgerald and Goloubef he found the back of the net at 10:26.  The score now was a brilliant four all.  The period ended on a charging penalty for Bridgeport’s Bernier that resulted in a 5-minute major, 10-minute game misconduct, and a two-game suspension that was handed out on Tuesday.

Overtime was short and not so sweet for Providence as Bridgeport came up with a goal at 1:22, clinching the W and the 2-points for the night.

31962556378_f2025b11d8_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

Sunday, November 11, 2018, Providence Bruins Vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (HOME)

It’s Saturday, and the Bruins are back at the Dunk for a matinee game with the WBS Penguins.  Meeting up with this team for the second time this weekend and fired up from a very close loss the night before means the emotions would be running high for our hometown boys in Black and Gold.  This game would prove to be unlike any other we had seen this weekend.

The first period was the tale of two teams.  One who scored goals and one who sat in the penalty box.  Fortunately for the Bruins fans, ours was the team who scored goals.  The Penguins, however, were matching our goals with penalties.  The first penalty came at 2:00 when Grant was booked on roughing.  The second came at 10:34 when DiPauli was caught elbowing and the last of the period was at 13:42 to Grant for a delay of game.  This was when the scoring began.  At 14:17 Donato scored on the power-play with the help of Goloubef and Cave to give Providence a one-goal lead.  Three minutes later Cave and Blidh stepped up to feed one to Bakos scoring the second goal of the night.  The end of the first period came with a score of Providence 2- WBS 0

The second period began on a high for Providence.  At 3:32 Senyshyn took the feeder from Clifton and scored the third goal of the day.  The third goal apparently did not sit well with Penguin Haggerty as he and Cave got in a tussle at 5:35. Both were sent to the box with five minutes for fighting and Haggerty was granted an additional two minutes for roughing.  Once again on the power-play Providence was able to score.  This time it was Messner taking the assists from Cehlarik and Senyshyn to make the score a solid Providence 4-WBS 0.  Another ten minutes of the game passed by without any significant progress on either side.  Then at 18:25 Kovar was called for tripping, and the Bruins were now on the PK for the remainder of the period.  With twenty seconds left to go, the strangest call I have ever seen was issued, McIntyre was called for Holding.  You read that correctly, the goalie was called for holding.  Interesting.

The third period began, and the Bruins were able to kill what was left of the penalty.  Back to full strength but the Bruins appeared to not be as polished as they had been in the first two periods. They seemed somewhat scattered, and the Penguins did not hesitate to capitalize upon this.  Before they got going though, a few penalties had to come along. Bruins Goloubef was called for interference at 5:59 and Penguins Angello for slashing at 6:31. With the initial penalties on both sides out of the way, the Penguin’s Grant took assistance from Lindberg and O’Neill to score their first goal of the night and bring the score to Providence 4 – WBS 1.  Only a minute later the away team did it again.  This time Angello with the help of Blueger and DiPauli scored the Penguins second goal. Not to be shut-out of the goal scoring for the period Bruins forward Donato with an assist from Kovar scored the final goal of the night.  Ending a high-scoring runaway win for the Bruins with a final score of 5-2 and the only game of the weekend without an OT.

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45108775584_0a14212eb0_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

Providence Bruins Week 4 Preview

Coach Leach(Photo Courtesy of Joshua Bemis )

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

Providence Bruins enter week four with seven games behind them.  They have 69 games left to erase the 7-point spread that separates them from first place in the Atlantic Division.  Those numbers are completely obtainable for Providence, especially if we see a continuation of the improvement from last weekend.  This is the first regular season weekend without a Friday game for the Bruins. Saturday will see them facing the Thunderbirds just down the road in Springfield and Sunday will be back at home against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Header Imager(Photo Courtesy of Jen Staio Coombe)

Saturday, October 27th Providence Bruins vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (AWAY)

The MassMutual Center will once again host our Providence Bruins as they take on the Springfield Thunderbirds this Saturday.  Pre-season saw these two teams go head to head twice, once in Providence and the second time in Springfield.  These two games were won by the Bruins with a score of 3-2 both times.

The regular season has not been so kind.  The Bruins and T-Birds have met only once, but that match-up saw the Bruins lose with a final score of 3-6.  More numerous than goals in that game were the penalties that plagued both sides, as the Bruins racked up eight and the Thunderbirds seven.  Each team had six power-play opportunities, and both only scored on one of them.

I would put the possibility of the Bruins walking away with the win this weekend slightly in their favor.  This season they have won two of the three matches against the T-Birds, but only fifty percent of them when at the MassMutual Center. Previous seasons saw a very similar pattern in the statistics, with the winner in most matches being anyone’s best guess.  The fan in me says the Bruins will win. The realist in me tempers that with the statistics and we land on my initial verdict of slightly better than 50% odds of the Bruins taking the two points on Saturday night. Helpful, right?

43643067160_c61e7efca6_z(Photo Courtesy of Bridgeport Sound Tigers)

Sunday, October 28th Providence Bruins vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (HOME)

Sunday’s Matinee sees Providence host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers once again.  Expect something a little different this time around though as ‘Pink In The Rink’ returns.  The annual ‘Pink In The Rink’ event supports Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation and will include the players donning special pink sweaters that will be auctioned off after the game.

While adding a touch of pink to our Bruins may not be everyone’s favorite part of Sunday, the game will most definitely satisfy all.  Meeting the Sound Tigers twice last weekend gave us a good look at what we may see on Sunday.

Both games were physical, hard-fought and not short on action.  We saw a battle for the win on Friday only to have Providence lose a few seconds into overtime.  While Saturday was a scoring frenzy for the Bruins allowing them to skate away with a solid 5-2 victory.  The common theme in both nights was penalties, which did not thrill the Providence coaching staff.

This weekend I would expect both teams to come in charged up and ready to break the tie.  The Sound Tigers will be eager to capture a win, while the Bruins will be looking to extend their ‘at-home win-streak’ against said Tigers to five.  This high level of anticipation will no doubt lead to higher shots on goal and set the fate of these games solidly in the hands of the goaltenders.  With a combined save percentage of .854, McIntyre and Vladar will both be looking to improve upon that.  My best guess is a lot of shots on goal, probably not a very high scoring game, but very active and physical.  Penalties have been an issue of late, and Jay Leach mentioned he was planning on addressing that this week during practice.  That being said, with heightened emotions involved it will be interesting to see how the Baby B’s react on Sunday.

colby cave (Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins)

My picks to watch this weekend:

Up Front:

Colby Cave – Yes, I will be watching others, but with his current scoring streak (3 goals against the Sound Tigers last weekend alone), my eyes will be focused to see what he can pull off this weekend.

On The Blue Line:

Frederic/Hughes – Both seemed much more on their game last weekend.  They were attentive and engaged throughout, and each of them made a case that they may be offensive defensemen after all.  Time will tell.

In Net:

Dan Vladar – Having met the Sound Tigers last weekend with an admittedly lacking performance, I want to see how he bounces back.

Vladar(Photo Courtesy of Jen Stasio Coombe)

Cheers to week four, pink sweaters in Providence, and best of luck to our Baby B’s. I will catch up with you next week and until then, feel free to message me on twitter with any questions or comments and as always, take some time to check out the other great articles by the incredible team here at Blackngoldhockey.com. Now Go Get Hockey With It!

Providence Bruins Weekend Recap – Week 3

43643067160_c61e7efca6_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

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

It is still early, but there was something to smile about this weekend for Providence Bruins fans.  Colby Cave extended his scoring streak to 5 goals in 4 games and the team saw some marked improvements all around. The back-to-back games against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers finished with an overtime loss on Friday and a runaway win on Saturday.  This gave our team 3 points for the weekend bringing the total for the season up to 5, still just ahead of the Hershey Bears in the division.

As a team, they did a better job of keeping on the puck and making a more consistent effort throughout the game and not just in the third period.  Our power play effort was once again an area for concern as we went 0 for 6 this weekend, but the penalty kills were a success, preventing the Sound Tigers from sinking even a single shot in their 9 power play opportunities.  One area Jay Leach will undoubtedly be reviewing with the lads this week is the excess of penalties we are handing over.

30519924417_f2a8026a9c_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

Goaltender Performance:

Dan Vladar manned the net on Friday in Bridgeport and stopped 30 of the 34 shots on goal bringing his save percentage down to .896.

Zane McIntyre stood guard on Saturday in Providence and stopped 25 of the 27 shots on goal bringing his save percentage up to .813.

This Weekends Scores:

FRI Oct.19 AWAY              Providence 3-Bridgeport 4 OTL 

SAT Oct.20 HOME            Providence 5-Bridgeport 2 WIN!!!

45406719092_63832a5347_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

Detailed Daily Game Re-caps:

Friday, October 19, 2018, Providence Bruins Vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AWAY)

Webster Bank Arena came alive Friday for the first meeting of the Sound Tigers and the Providence Bruins.  The crowd of 3,065 who attended to see the grudge match would not be disappointed as it was a tight one throughout with multiple lead changes and an overtime to boot.

The first period saw Bridgeport come out in a whirlwind, as Toews and Rathgeb set up Dal Colle to score only 3:15 into the period.  Not impressed, Colby Cave answered back with an unassisted goal at 7:20 for Providence bringing the score level. Three penalties, 2 to Providence and 1 to Bridgeport, were handed out before the horn sounded to mark the end of the period. Not a six-penalty period as we saw last weekend, but we could be nearing the 24-penalty minute average per game if they keep it up.

45406719612_cf78f2662f_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

The first half of the second period was one that you could watch while standing in line at the concessions.  There was a lot of back and forth, a few scrambles for the puck and several shots on goal, but nothing to write home about.  Until the 18th minute when Jakub Zboril took the help from Martin Bakos and Cameron Hughes and sent one home to put the Baby-B’s in the lead by a score of 2-1.  Three more penalties issued this period.  This time 2 to Bridgeport and 1 for Providence and we are only at 12 PIMS for this game…looks like that average could be in danger of coming down a notch or two.

Not satisfied with ending the period behind by a goal, the Sound Tigers came out to open the third period with a goal at 0:42 to bring them level again.  This time Rathgeb got the point, and Aho and Dal Colle were there with the apples. That goal was followed by 3 Providence penalties and finally a Providence goal at 17:49 from Colby Cave assisted by Jacob Forsbacka Karlsson to once again put Providence back on top (3-2).  The lead would not stand though as with 41 seconds left in regulation Wotherspoon, assisted by Chris Bourque and Seb Aho, was able to tie it up for the Sound Tigers and force the game into overtime.

Overtime was but a blink of an eye when at 0:32 Sislo placed the final nail in the coffin for the night and sent the Providence Bruins home with their first OTL of the year.  The loss was even more heartbreaking after having led twice in regular time and having not trailed since the third minute of the first period. Perhaps, the greatest loss of all for the team this night was that of their Captain, Jordan Szwarz, who was later diagnosed with a concussion after hitting his head on the ice when his skates were kicked out by Bridgeport’s Wotherspoon.

Saturday, October 20, 2018, Providence Bruins Vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (HOME)

Still feeling the sting of the overtime loss the previous night in Bridgeport, the Providence Bruins came out with a renewed vigor that we have not seen in our Baby-B’s this year.  Judging by the ferocity of the game the Sound Tigers were also a little charged up due to their win.  Whatever numbers were lacking in penalty minutes last night were surely made up for tonight, with a whopping 38!

The first period saw Providence get on the board first with a goal by Cameron Hughes assisted by Jakub Zboril at 1:51. Ensuring his scoring streak would not end, Colby Cave nailed one home less than 2 minutes later with the help of Jeremy Lauzon and Anton Blidh at 3:13.  Apparently, this back to back goal pair did not sit well with Bridgeport’s Jones as he threw down with Trent Frederic at 3:26 and both received 5 minutes for fighting. Other than three more minor penalties that period, no other action was had, and the horn sounded the end of the first with Providence in the lead 2-0.

43641803920_a1c80bf720_z(Photo Courtesy of the Providence Bruins)

The second period began with a minor penalty to Bridgeport followed at 9:11 by another round of fisticuffs.  This time Bridgeport’s Helgeson took on Wiley Sherman.  Once these two hooligans were locked away for their respective 5 minutes, Frederic took the opportunity to raise the Bruins’ lead by one with the help of Karson Kuhlman and Atlanta Gladiator call-up, Joel Messner. Bridgeport was down, but not out and scrambled to make the plays they needed to get a point on the board. Finally, at 13:22 Dal Colle assisted by Hitchcock ended McIntyre’s bid for a shut-out and got their first point on the board.  Unfortunately, being charged with a penalty for roughing was the only other call the Sound Tigers would get before the second period ended with the Bruins up 3-1.

As the third period began, it seemed like the Bruins were making up for lost time, with two goals again being scored nearly back to back.  Lauzon assisted Kovar at 0:41 with the first goal and 30 seconds later Frederic made it 5-1 Providence with assists from Cehlarik and Clifton.  However, the Sound Tigers were not done yet, like a cat being cornered they clawed and fought and were able to capture one more goal at 8:59 from Sislo assisted by Wotherspoon and Casto.  As hard as they fought and as much as they tried, they could not overcome the determination that lay behind our Providence Bruins on Saturday Night.  The Bruins walked away with a 5-2 victory their first regular season win at home this year, extending their “at-home win-streak” against the Sound Tigers to four!!!  Keep it up Baby-B’s, We are behind you all the way!

 

Providence Bruins Week 3 Preview

Sound TigersBruins(Photo Courtesy of Christian Abraham)

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

The number three in some circles is a magical number. Let’s hope that inspires confidence in the Providence Bruins in this, the third week of the season. The B’s enter this weekend with a record of 1-4-0-0, a total of 2 points, and sit second to last in the division, conference, and league standings. All is not lost however, it is still way too early to relegate our team to the bottom of the pack. In fact, this has been a trend with our baby-B’s over the past several years. They start out pretty shabby for the first few weeks, dare I even say months. Then as the team settles in, the chemistry solidifies, the communication strengthens, and the confidence builds to a point where they break out and show what they are truly made of. So, let’s all take a deep breath, support our team, as we always do, and take the games as they come, one week at a time. This week sees back to back games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Friday night the Sound Tigers will host the Providence club at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport Connecticut and Saturday the teams will face off back in Providence at the Dunkin’ Donut’s Center.

Bridgeport(Photo Courtesy of Bridgeport Sound Tigers)

Friday, October 19th Providence Bruins vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AWAY)

The Webster Bank Arena will come alive on Friday with Tigers and Bruins fighting it out for the title of ‘First Victor’ in this yearly grudge match. Last seasons’ first match-up for this pair was in November and took place on home ice for Providence. They met twice that weekend, once on Friday the 3rd and a second time on Sunday the 5th. Both of those games saw Bridgeport roaring to life, scoring 7 goals in total and preventing Providence from putting a single point on the board.

That weekend saw Providence put two different goaltenders in the Sound Tigers path, attempting to put a halt to their charge. Friday night saw the rookie Dan Vladar take his post, as Zane McIntyre had been called up to Boston on an emergency basis. Vladar put in a very strong showing that night, saving 31 of 32 shots on goal. Unfortunately for the rookie netminder, that one he let slip by was the game-winner. Sunday’s game had Zane McIntyre back between the pipes. The number of saves was the same 31, but the number of shots that found their way through was much higher. Six biscuits sped past Zane in that matinee match-up, not the veteran performance the team was hoping for.

The historical note of hope for this weekends first 2018-2019 match-up is the fortune of being on the road. The first road game played against the Sound Tigers on December 3 last year was a 4-1 win for the B’s. Zane McIntyre was in the crease for the match-up and was able to stop 26 of 27 shots on goal, a much-improved showing from the previous month. Fingers crossed we get that version of ‘Mickey’ this weekend.

RBorque(Photo Courtesy of Bridgeport Sound Tigers)

Saturday, October 20th Providence Bruins vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (HOME)

Getting used to having a tag-along on their return trips to Providence, the Bruins meet up with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on home ice Saturday. The record last year for home games against the Tigers was an even split. The first three home games went to the visitors, but Providence had enough and decided to take the last three at the Dunk for themselves. So, If we purely look at the meeting of these two teams in Providence, our Bruins are on a 3-game winning streak, no need to end that now. Zane McIntyre was the goal tender for all three of those games, with save numbers of 29 of 29, 35 of 38, and 44 of 45. You can’t ask much better than that.

The same games saw our skaters do their part as well, both forwards and defenders took turns putting the biscuit in the basket. Scoring 1 goal in the first game, 5 in the second and 4 in the third. Clifton, Johanssen, Szwarz, and Zboril all put up points during those three games. With some of the new additions, Fyten, and McNeill spring to mind, I would hope to continue the home ice scoring frenzy when we meet the Tigers this Saturday and extend this run to four.

An interesting pair to check out on Saturday are the Bourgue brothers. Chris and Ryan Bourque, both sons of Ray Bourgue, were reunited on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this year. Last year they played for separate teams, Chris for the Hershey Bears and John with the Sound Tigers. Back on the same side, it will be fun to see them here in Providence.

bourques(Photo Courtesy of Getty Images)

My picks to watch this weekend:

Up Front:

Blidh/—/Fyten – I don’t care who center these two. They are both on the top of my watch list, with their solid play and aggressive style. What’s not to like?

On The Blue Line:

Johanssen/Clifton – Not necessarily on the same line, but both have scored against this team in the past, and it will be interesting to see if they can pull off the offensive defenseman act repeatedly.

In Net:

Dan Vladar – Having met the Sound Tigers twice last year and held a very solid line against them, I am encouraged and am looking to see what level the past year’s development has brought him to now.

Johanssen(Photo Courtesy of Bridgeport Sound Tigers)

Similar to last weekends penalty extravaganza, we could be seeing the penalty box staying warm throughout the weekend with penalty minutes averaging about 27 per game when these two teams go head to head.

Cheers to week three, some solid hockey, and best of luck to our Baby B’s. I will catch up with you next week and until then, feel free to message me on twitter with any questions or comments and as always take some time to check out the other great articles by the incredible team here at Blackngoldhockey.com. Now Go Get Hockey With It!

Providence Bruins Weekend Recap

Team(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.

Two goalies(Photo Courtesy of Jen Stasio Coombe)

Goaltender Performance:

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

3-in-3(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.

Providence Bruins Week 2 Preview

(Photo Credit: Heather Rose/Smoke & Honey Photography)

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

We stand at the precipice of week 2 with Providence holding a less than desirable record of 0-2-0-0, but this weekend has 3 games on tap and if the stars align, our mighty P-Bruins could skate into Week 3 with a 60%-win average. Not too shabby considering today we wallow at a big fat goose egg. To make this feat a reality the baby B’s have a steep hill to climb starting Friday; back-to-back nights against the Hartford Wolf Pack, followed by a Sunday afternoon matchup against the Springfield Thunderbirds. Let’s take a look…

groundhog(Image Courtesy of IMDB.COM)

Friday, Oct. 12: Providence Bruins vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (AWAY)

and

Saturday, Oct: 13: Providence vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (HOME)

As if it were Groundhog Day and we were all waking up to Sonny and Cher on our alarm clocks, this Friday’s match-up is once again against Hartford in Hartford. The main difference this week is coming off a two-game loss the Baby B’s are going to be fired up and ready to take on the shaggy puppies on their home turf. As we covered prior to last week’s game, these two teams are fairly evenly matched when looking at their stats from last year. Each team a little more likely to win when they have the home-ice advantage.  The second difference between this week and last is that the Pack are following the P-Bruins home. The second match-up of the weekend will see the same two teams take the ice, but this time at the Dunk.

For the P-Bruins, the key to winning each of these games is going to be their defense.  Last week saw an abysmal display in the net by the veteran tender and a confused and disorganized effort being put forth by the rest of the team. Perhaps the most suitable phrase here is, “Patience Grasshopper.” Cliché, I know, but very appropriate, in most of these cases. With the possible exception of Zane McIntyre, the rest of the team has at least one new player they are getting used to having to rely on at every turn. With the amount of time it took to trickle the players back to the AHL from NHL training camp, no one had a chance to really mesh. I am hoping after a solid week of training the team has a little bit stronger bond and a better understanding of each other going into Friday’s “Groundhog-esque” match-up.

springfield(Image Courtesy of Springfield Thunderbirds)

Sunday, Oct. 14: Providence Bruins vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (Away)

Sunday welcomes the first matinee game of the season and what would a matinee be without some chirping birdies. I guess the answer is, a matinee without chirping birdies, but I digress. The Springfield Thunderbirds welcome us back to their home ice after we casually swept them aside two games to none in preseason this year. Now that we meet in the matches that really matter, I have no doubt the Springfield T-Birds will be looking to even the score.

Meeting up around a dozen times each year, these two teams have developed a rivalry that Providence likes to take the winning side of.  In the ‘17-18 season, meeting up 14 times the Bruins marked up 9 wins; the previous season was about the same with 12 games played and 8 W’s for Providence. Three of the games last season ended regulation in a tie, while two of those ended in OT (1 OT Win for PRO:1 OT Win for SPR), and the last ended in a shootout that saw Providence come out on top.

In terms of Penalties, historically, Springfield tends to rack up more penalty minutes than the Bruins when head to head. Which is not quite what we saw in the preseason games, which are always a little more raucous than the typical regular season game. Of the currently active players, Jordan Szwarz leads in Points against Springfield with a career record of 21-27-48.  Little doubt he tries to topple 50 this Sunday.

Still, out of the lineup this weekend is David Broll and we haven’t heard any update on Jesse Gabrielle. Cody Goloubef is expected to be back on the ice this weekend according to Mark Divver from the Providence Journal. The other addition to the lineup will be Urho Vaakanainen, who was released from Boston last weekend. While we have no official word on starting lineups for this weekend, I wouldn’t expect the front lines to differ too much from last week, and the additions that I see coming into the defensive lines are the pairing of Vaakanainen and Goloubef.

Lineup(Image Courtesy of Providence Bruins)

My picks to watch this weekend would be:

Up Front:

Blidh/Pond/Fyten – This trio seemed to have good chemistry last week and were arguably the best line out there.  I would love to see this trend continue.

On The Blue Line:

Goloubef/Vaakanainen  – I am hoping to see Goloubef lend some mentorship to Vaakanainen that will round out the youngster’s game.

In Net:

Zane McIntyre – Having an arguably rough and rocky start, the proof will be in the pudding.  Can Zane pull a Taylor Swift and “Shake It Off” or will he be filled with “Bad Blood.”

Cheers to the challenge of a comeback weekend and best of luck to our Baby B’s.  I will catch up with you next week and until then, feel free to message me on twitter with any questions or comments and as always take some time to check out the other great articles by the incredible team here at Blackngoldhockey.com. Now Go Get Hockey With It!

Providence Bruins Opening Weekend Preview

Leachy(Photo Courtesy Of Providence Bruins)

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

“I’m Back!!!!!”

Yes, that’s right, its finally here, the time we have all been waiting for, Providence Bruins Opening Weekend. Tonight, the Baby B’s first regular season game will be on the road hosted by the Hartford Wolf Pack, but never fear — AHLtv is here! Thanks to the AHLtv free weekend offer everyone can watch the very first regular season game of the year even though it’s away.  If you crave more than televised hockey and need to be live and in person, Saturday night is for you. The Providence Bruins host the home opener against the Laval Rocket, and there are seats still available. So, come and join me as we cheer on the Baby B’s in their fight against the Baby Habs. That is going to be fun.

Wolfpack(Image Courtesy Of Hartford Wolf Pack)

Friday, October 5: Providence Bruins vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (AWAY)

Tonight’s matchup against Hartford should be interesting as the stats for the past season show a fairly even split. Last season the Wolf Pack finished 6th in the Eastern Division two behind our fourth-ranked Bruins. Hartford had 11 fewer marks in the win column than the Bruins overall, but they draw level when you consider they have the home field advantage here. Providence has a 50% away win percentage and Hartford matches that with their home ice win percentage. Last season the Bruins took away 6 W’s in the 10 meetings, one of which came in overtime and a second in a shootout. With a record as tight as this, I am sure both teams will be giving it their all this evening. An additional point of interest to tonight’s matchup is former P-Bruin Rob O’Gara, now a member of the Wolf Pack, who will be skating against his old teammates for the first time.

Laval Rocket(Image Courtesy of Laval Rocket)

Saturday, October 6: Providence Bruins vs. Laval Rocket (HOME)

Saturday’s game against the Laval Rocket looks to be a bird of a different feather. Laval came in last in their division, their conference, and the league this previous season.  While we do not share a division (they are North, and we are Atlantic), we do share a conference so the comparison there is Providence Bruins coming in at 6th and 7th with 45 Wins and Laval coming in at 15th and 30th with 24 Wins (conference and league respectively).  We have beaten Laval both times we played them last season and this week does not look to be any different. However, this does NOT mean we sit back and take it easy. If we get lazy and get sloppy, that is when we lose … just ask the Patriots after their loss to the Lions. (I mean the Lions, really?!? This coming from a girl born and raised in Michigan.) Seriously though, even with overwhelmingly positive odds, the boys will need to keep their heads up,  their sticks down and remember to use their hockey sense. Former Bruin of the night for Saturday is Kenny Agostino. Now a Rocket, it will be Kenny’s first time skating in Providence without the Spoked-P.

Providence Bruins(Image Courtesy Of Providence Bruins)

Sure to be absent on the ice this weekend are David Broll and possibly Colby Cave. Broll is out for at least four weeks due to hand and wrist injuries sustained in his brawl last weekend against Springfield. Cave is out for a personal matter and is questionable for a Saturday return. Other question marks lie with Cody Goloubef and Jesse Gabrielle who have both been nursing upper-body injuries but have been seen skating before practices this week.

No official word on starting line-ups for tonight or tomorrow, but best guesses are we will see lines similar to what Mark Divver has tweeted out for practice lines this week.  Mark, a journalist at the Providence Journal, has been keeping an eye on practice all week and reported the practice lines this week as of yesterday like this:

Fitzgerald-Swartz-Cehlarik

Hughes-JFK-McNeill

Kuhlman-Frederic-Senyshyn

Blidh-Koppanen/Pond-Fyten

On the blue line, I would look for Wiley Sherman, Jakub Zboril, and Connor Clifton to make a solid showing this weekend. The defensive pairings Mark suggested we might see tonight are: Breen-Zboril / Lauzon-Clifton / Johansson-Sherman. The netminder situation is a little more solid.  With two very strong goalies and the plan to rotate them throughout the season, Jay Leach suggested we will see McIntyre in net tonight, and I would imagine that means Vladar manning the pipes on Saturday.

Two goalies(Image Courtesy of Jen Stasio Coombe)

If you are concerned that this year is going to be lackluster, let me assure you it will be far from that. Last season, McIntyre served up 7 shutouts and is only 2 shutouts away from tying the Providence career record highs of Tim Thomas and Hannu Toivonen at 11. Let’s not stop there though, with only 7 more wins Zane will overtake the franchise record of victories in net, currently held by John Grahame at 67. Because naturally, we like things to come in threes, the third record set this season could be by Jordan Szwarz.  A 20-goal season will make Jordan one of only 5 Bruins in Providence history to have three 20+ goal seasons. There is a lot to look forward to. It should be a fun and exciting season, and we are looking to kick the weekend off right. So, remember to tune in tonight and turn up tomorrow to see our Providence Bruins battle it out to make a deep run for the Calder Cup.

Providence Bruins 2018 Preseason Opening Weekend

Header Imager(Photo Courtesy of Jen Stasio Coombe)

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

On Saturday,  the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence was the scene of the first preseason game of the 2018 exhibition schedule for the Providence Bruins. The visiting team was the Springfield Thunderbirds — a team that’s been a thorn in the Bruins’ side for many years being a cross-border rival. The night was as action-packed as any fan could have hoped for and certainly an indication of what’s to come when the 2018-19 AHL campaign kicks off on Oct. 5 on the road in Hartford against the WolfPack.

Starting up front for the Bruins were Karson Kuhlman, Anton Blidh, and Colby Cave.  At their backs were Jeremy Lauzon and Mark McNeill with Dan Vladar in net.  The first period got off to a bang with a power-play goal from Cameron Hughes after Springfield was called for holding.  Shortly after that tempers flared and the gloves came off. The first fight of the night was a quick but good one between Springfield’s Tony Turgeon and Providence’s David Broll.  Broll appeared to have the upper hand in the clash, but apparently, that took a toll on his actual hand — there’s no word on the status of his hand at this point.

Shortly after this tete-a-tete, McNeill came back to double the score on the board for Providence with an assist from Jacob Forsbacka-Karlsson. Answering a goal with a fight was the story of the first period as Austin Fyten took on Springfield’s Juho Lammikko. It was a little more prolonged and involved in this one, without a doubt, saw Fyten living up to his name. The end of the first came with the Bruins still leading the T-Birds 2-0.

Perhaps a word or two was said in the locker room between the periods as the gloves did not come off the rest of the game. However, the roughhousing was far from over, including one hard takedown of Vladar well away from the net. The second period saw Zach Senyshyn find the back of the net for the Bruins, but it also saw the T-Birds come back with two goals. One of these goals was decidedly iffy as a T-Bird decided to carry on from the early sack of Vladar and perched himself upon the goalie’s shoulder. Vladar uncharacteristically displayed his frustration as he punched the glass on his way off to punctuate the end of the period.

Bonar(Photo Courtesy of Jen Stasio Coombe)

The third and final period of the night began with new goalies in each net. Providence’s net was manned by Sean Bonar, a PTO from the Atlanta Gladiators. Sean did his ginger brothers proud, keeping the net free from T-Bird pucks and giving the Bruins the win in their first preseason game of the year.

The two teams faced off again on Sunday, Sept. 30, this time in Springfield. Providence jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with goals by Fyten and Riley in the first before extending their lead to 3-0 with a goal by Sherman to end the second.  The T-Birds came out motivated in the third and fought back to within a goal but still fell 3-2 to the Bruins.

All told it was a solid preseason for Providence, going 2-0-0 against their first foes of the year. We will be looking forward to seeing them again next weekend.  Oct. 5 opens the regular season as the Bruins will be in Hartford playing the Wolf Pack. The team’s home opener will be Oct. 6 versus the Laval Rocket.

Bruins Place Five On Waivers

colby-cave-providence(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins)

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

Only 8 more days until the regular season is here and the preseason squad has been trimmed down a few at a time, getting closer by the day to take its final form. Today’s biggest whack came by placing Jordan Szwarz, Mark McNeill, Cody Goloubef, Colby Cave, and Anton Blidh on waivers. For these five players, the next 24 hours will be telling.  They can either be picked up by another team or they can clear waivers, which would mean the Bruins could assign them to another league. In this situation, the only league available to assign them to would be the AHL, as only players on ELCs (entry-level contracts) can be loaned to an ECHL team. Szwarz, Cave, and Blidh have all spent time in Providence previously.  While Goloubef and McNeill came to the Bruins organization this year from Calgary and Dallas, respectively.

Jordan Szwarz(Photo Courtesy: Providence Bruins)

Jordan Szwarz, the 27-year-old RW/C, has been in Providence for two seasons, spending 12 games last season up with the big club but only showing them 3 assists in those 12 games. His numbers in Providence were much more promising, playing 65 games his first season posting numbers of 22-32-54 and 52 games last season walking away with 21-27-48 for numbers all while sporting an ‘A’ on his chest. Szwarz is a fan favorite at the Dunk and is a tough competitor whose presence would be missed should he be picked up by another NHL team.

colby cave(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins)

Colby Cave, the 23-year-old center, has graced Providence ice for three full seasons.  Playing nearly every game every season cave has worn an ‘A’ since his first full year here but has only spent 3 games up in Boston. He is consistently around 30 points per year but has never improved beyond that to show the extra drive and skill that Boston is looking for to move him up, especially in such a crowded field of players.

Anton Blidh(Photo Courtesy: Providence Bruins)

Anton Blidh, the 23-year-old winger, joined Providence the same year as Cave, but direct from Sweden. He has spent more time in the NHL than Cave, with 20 games in the past two years. Considering he came directly from a European league, where play and the actual rink size is different, it sometimes takes a bit for these players to mature to NHL readiness, so waivers are not a huge surprise here. However, Anton has a very gritty style of play that may or may not fit well in the future NHL and only time will tell for sure.

cody-goloubef-2017-2330(Photo Courtesy: HockeyDB.com)

Cody Goloubef is a 28-year-old right-handed D-man that has spent 8 seasons bouncing around the midwest and west with the AHL/NHL before joining us here in New England over the summer. Not known for his high scores or excessive penalties Cody appears to be one of those steady Eddy type players who is there primarily to fill the gaps when needed. Perhaps he could lend that veteran vibe that may be lacking now that Cross has gone.

Mark McNeill(Photo Courtesy: AHL.com)

Last for today’s waivers was Mark McNeill, a 25-year-old RW/C with history in the WHL, AHL, and NHL over the past 9 years. Having not had much opportunity to observe McNeill play I cannot comment much on what he has to offer, but it does appear that his stats have actually taken a downturn over the past couple seasons, not the upturn we would like to see in a growth candidate.

There you have it.  Five men on waivers and 24 hours to think about it. Assuming they all clear waivers, the Bruins have the option of assigning them to their AHL affiliate in Providence. If any of them don’t clear waivers, we will be waving them farewell by this time tomorrow.images