Bruins Recall Two From AHL Providence

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Per Boston Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy in a press conference earlier today, forward Patrice Bergeron will not make the trip to Montreal for tomorrow night’s contest due to a lingering lower-body injury. Cassidy also provided a few other injury-related updates that our very own Black N’ Gold Podcast team writer Patrick Donnelly wrote about earlier this afternoon. Check out Pat’s work in his article release tweet below.

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With Bergy not going to play the next two night’s in Canada with a stop tomorrow night in Montreal and the tail end of a back-to-back on Wednesday evening, some recalls needed to be made. A few hours ago the Boston Bruins officially released the news of Providence Bruins forward Brendan Gaunce and B’s prospect forward Jack Studnicka are heading to their respected Canadian country with the call for duty in relief of fallen comrades.

Brendan Gaunce

The 6′-2″ 216-pound Ontario, Canada native was signed as a free agent of the Bruins on a one-year, two-way contract in early July of 2019. Gaunce a 25-year-old versatile forward started the 2019-20 campaign on a positive note playing well with his big rangy frame and offensive capabilities. Brendan went 3-1-4 for Providence in his first 5 games in the NHL Bruins organization but was on the unfortunate end of a blindsided hit from Laval Rocket forward Michael McCarron. Rocket forward MacCarron did receive a suspension for his headshot actions but Gaunce would suffer a broken nose and concussion.

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After returning to the American Hockey League Bruins lineup getting back into a groove would prove to be slow coming back from an injury of that nature while wearing a protective cage. Brendan plays a gritty style game but also has the hands to be creative having 2-3-5 in the last five games for Providence and one of a few players for the top minor-pro affiliate of the NHL B’s that are producing regularly. Remains to be seen if he gets into a game but if he does look for him to play a bottom-nine role and throw his body around. Definitely, fun to watch along the boards and around the opposing net.

Jack Studnicka

Jack’s first full professional season with the Providence club has certainly been a pleasure to watch with the way he skates and sees the game unfold. The former 2017 second-round selection has always had a good two-way game and at every level of developmental hockey like everyone needs time to adjust. Not knocking his game “with” our “without” the puck to start his professional career but it’s relevant when going 1-5-6 in the first 10 games in his 2019-20 AHL rookie season.

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Studnicka’s game with Providence is exactly what you want to see from a highly regarded forward prospect and ultimately got the attention of higher-ups earning his first NHL recall. In Jack’s last 11 games in the AHL, the 20-year-old forward has goals in his last five games along with contributing 8-4-12 numbers in that 11 game timeframe. He’s a three zoned player with exceptional creativity and a professor of the game. Studnicka really took a huge step forward in his development at the faceoff dot from his days in the Ontario Hockey League with the Oshawa General and Niagara Ice Dogs a place he was traded halfway through the 2018-19 regular season.

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.

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Report: Providence Bruins Looking To Sign Goaltender To PTO

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Per RinksideRhodeIsland.com writer Mark Divver, The American Hockey Leagues Providence Bruins are in search of an available goaltender for the upcoming weekend’s action. With three straight games starting tomorrow night and two goaltenders down with injuries, Divver has some inside knowledge that the top minor-pro affiliate of the National Hockey Leagues Boston Bruins may be looking for help from outside the organization. Goaltender Dan Vladar continues to be out with a lower-body injury and is starting to skate and Kyle Keyser has been hindered from what’s rumored to be an upper-body injury and although close to a return, not quite ready.

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As seen in the above tweet from Divver, Providence seems to have a great interest in netminder Brandon Halverson who per Elite Prospects Transfers Twitter account below has the 23-year-old Traverse City, Michigan native going to the Rhode Island state on loan from the ECHL Norfolk Admirals a Premier “AA” organization who currently is the only ECHL organization without an NHL affiliation agreement per Wikipedia.

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Halverson, a former second-round selection of the New York Rangers at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft has been a bit of a journeyman in the minor-pro ranks bouncing year-to-year from the AHL to the ECHL and Vise-Versa. With the Norfolk club, this season the 6′-4″ 203-pound netminder has appeared in 11 games posting a record of 2-6-3 with a 3.85 goals-against-average and .893 save percentage.

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As mentioned, the Providence Bruins are in action this weekend starting with at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Friday night as visiting Bridgeport Sound Tigers come to the Lasalle Square facility a place where the home Bruins haven’t been very successful in front of the Providence faithful. The B’s get back at it on Saturday night on the road as the B’s travel to Springfield, Massachusetts to take on Atlantic Division rival Springfield Thunderbirds. The B’s end the three-game festivities on Sunday afternoon as they return to the Dunk to play host to the visiting 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.

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Conway’s Professional Climb Gets Rewarded In Providence Shootout Win

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The National Hockey Leagues Boston Bruins have a sneakingly good way of scouting talent especially with the vast amount of New England colleges and universities within driving distance. Regardless if an NCAA player was successful or not the Bruins scouting staff have found suitable players to fill gaps whether at the NHL level or with depth signings for those “show me first” American Hockey League contracts.

In the past, we’ve heard about the Bruins scouting staff practically circle the skies above like hawks waiting for the opportunity to pounce on the next hidden gem that might want to sign their first professional free-agent deal. Noel Acciari, Karson Kuhlman, Kevan Miller, Torey Krug, and Frank Vatrano all made an impact at one time in the NHL and were added by the due diligence and keen eyes of B’s management. Now small moves like these are minimal risks but they are in fact worth taking and the Bruins might’ve struck again with a recent signing who developed his game not only in North America but overseas in England of the United Kingdom.

Forward Scott Conway has taken an interesting route to professional hockey as a player born in Basingstoke, Great Britain. Conway’s father Kevin had a successful Ontario Hockey League career posting 268 points in 175 career games making appearances with the Oshawa Generals, his hometown Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, and Kingston Canadians. After leaving the Canadian Major Junior ranks Kevin would turn pro in the now-defunct International Hockey League playing with the Toledo Goaldiggers and Salt Lake Golden Eagles posting 44-41-85 numbers in 121 games played in the IHL.  Seemingly due to his body size, further advancement in the North American professional levels looked like a dead end, so it’s believed the 5′-10″ 179-pound took a popular route to keep playing landing him in Europe.

Kevin made a huge impression upon his arrival in England. During the 1980s the game was growing at a significant rate and leagues such as the British Hockey League were the cornerstone of growing the game in an otherwise difficult area with indoor facilities at a minimum. Kevin’s first season in England was spent with the Ayr Bruins where he posted an astonishing 129-98-227 numbers in only 35 games. Conway would go onto play in several different leagues while he continued to play in the United Kingdom.

Per EliteProspects.com he posted 522-430-952 numbers in the BD1 League in 152 games, posted 372-363-735 numbers in the aforementioned BHL League in 208 games, posted 60-63-123 numbers in 125 games in the BISL League, and finally posted 89-97-186 numbers in 85 games played in the EPIHL League. Father Conway was star and cult member of the Basingstoke Bison where his number 10 jersey is retired per the EliteProspects website and was inducted into the British Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004-05 as a dual citizen of Canada and England.

With all of Scott’s father’s success in the game of hockey no matter where he played in the world, that knowledge and experience was filtered down to his son who also played his youth years in England but with pro ambitions of his own heading to North America to reach professional goals might’ve been the smartest thing to do in his development. The college route seemed to be important for Scott and family so a few seasons in the Tier 1 EHL, NAHL, and USHL all got Conway prepped and ready for his freshman year at Penn State to start the 2014-15 campaign. After one season and contributing 10-16-26 numbers in 34 games, he would leave the Nittany Lions for the British Columbian Hockey League Penticton Vees junior club where he had his best year of hockey with 56-60-116 numbers before leaving to go back to the NCAA ranks with a different team.

Conway would then take his collegiate talents to Providence, Rhode Island and spend three seasons with the Providence College Friars under the watchful eye of longtime Head Coach Nate Leaman. While with the Friars, Scott posted 50-51-101 numbers in 153 career games and after joining the Providence Bruins after his NCAA commitment was over with the Friars he finished up the 2018-19 regular season in the AHL seeing now playing time to finish the year. Conway was later signed to an AHL only deal back in early July of 2019 as a free agent and attended the AHL Bruins training in late September. He would get passed over of a roster spot forcing Providence General Manager John Ferguson Jr. to place the forward in the ECHL with the Bruins “AA” minor-pro affiliate the Atlanta Gladiators to start the 2019-20 campaign.

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Conway didn’t use the demotion to hang his head and sulk but used the opportunity and acted like a seasoned veteran and swallowed his pride and reported to Atlanta with surprising results. Scott got to work right away on the scoresheet and was the ECHL’s hottest player offensively posting 7-0-7 numbers in his first five games. One of those games he posted his first career hat trick in a Gladiators victory over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. After this give game goal streak, it was just a matter of time before he and other Atlanta players that we’re producing at the lower level were going to get at least a look in Rhodes Island or road trip contest.

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Scott was recalled to the AHL’s Providence club on October 28th per theahl.com website transactions page. His transition to the higher level and pace of the game was slow to start but I thought he did very well adjusting and gaining more confidence from B’s Head Coach Jay Leach. In his third career AHL game, he got a helper in a Providence 4-1 win over struggling Bridgeport for his first-ever professional offensive contribution.

Last night the undrafted signing who worked his way through the developmental levels starting as a young man in the country of England finally made his dream come true notching his first career AHL goal. His first goal came from an unselfish effort from teammate and 2017 second-round selection Jack Studnicka who’s also been hot as of late posting 3-2-5 numbers in his last five games. The shorthanded goal for Conway came at the 14:26 mark of the first period which was the first goal of the game that was held at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in front of a crowd of 7,626.  Studnicka with a Class Act move to get the rookie his first career goal puck for the effort.

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The Providence club would go onto beat the best team in the AHL last night with a 4-3 shootout victory. The B’s had a commanding 3-1 lead late in the third period but let the foot off the gas to get the Hartford Wolf Pack team back into the game with two goals in exactly a minute of time. No goals were scored in the extra session and in the shootout forwards Jack Studnicka and Robert Lantosi were the Providence goal scorers sealing the shootout victory. Both teams are back in action tonight as the B’s travel to Hartford, Conn. as a visitor to the Wolf Packs home XL Center in the insurance capital of the world.

Check out our new Black N’ Gold Prospect Podcast episode 5 that we recorded on November 13th, 2019! Our BNG Prospects Pod can be found on the same RSS Feed as our original Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast, which can be found 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!!

AHL Providence Bruins Recall Asselin From Atlanta

( Photo Credit: Dale Zanine / Atlanta Gladiators )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The American Hockey Leagues Providence Bruins announced earlier today that the top minor-pro affiliate of the National Hockey Leagues Boston Bruins has recalled forward Samuel Asselin from the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators. Asselin, a 21-year-old 5′-9″ 181-pound undrafted centerman signed with Providence on a two-year AHL contract back in July of 2019 after an impressive QMJHL season with the Halifax Mooseheads where he led the league in goals with 48.

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The Repentigny, Quebec native was with the Providence Bruins for their annual training camp but was passed over for a roster spot to start the 2019-20 campaign. B’s General Manager John Ferguson Jr. had no choice but to send him down to the ECHL to begin his pro career. This was pure motivation for the young forward that @BruinsNetwork on Twitter describes as a hard-nosed, gritty two-way forward with an advanced defensive game and doesn’t shy away from contact and plays hard around the net.

The crafty forward didn’t use this demotion to hang his head and dwell but instead got right to work in game one of the 2019-20 ECHL campaign with Atlanta and would notch at least one point in every game ending his career-high streak at eight games. In those eight games, he would tear up the league producing one assist in his first four contests, then would release the goal fury in his next ultimately getting serious recollection from the higher Providence club posting 7-3-10 in his last four games before heading north to the state of Rhode Island.

The Providence Bruins have two big games coming up this weekend against the AHL’s Atlantic Division-leading Hartford Wolf Pack, who the Bruins faced earlier this week losing a 2-1 battle to the pack at the Dunk on November 10th. The second game of the home-and-home has the Providence club traveling to the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, to wrap up the weekend festivities. Providence sits in third place in the Atlantic with an 8-6-0-2 record with 18 points while the front running Hartford club sits comfortably in first with a 10-1-0-4 record earning a league-best 24 points.

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Check out our new Black N’ Gold Prospect Podcast episode 5 that we recorded on November 13th, 2019! Our BNG Prospects Pod can be found on the same RSS Feed as our original Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast, which can be found 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!!

Bruins Prospect Beecher Notches First NCAA Goal For Wolverines

( Photo Credit: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Boston Bruins 2019 first-round draft pick John Beecher is off to a fantastic start to his collegiate hockey career. In five games thus far for the University of Michigan, the 18-year-old Elmira, New York native has four points in five games to begin his freshman year in the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Big Ten Conference. After posting his first career point with an assist in last Friday’s 4-0 victory over Lake Superior and a double helper the following night against the same Lakers club he went into last night’s contest against Western Michigan on a two-game point streak and thirsty for his first career goal.

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As seen in the official University of Michigan Wolverines Twitter Account above, at the 5:25 mark of the first period in a non-conference game against Western Michigan the wait for his first was finally over. With his first of many in last night’s contest at the Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan the B’s prospect extends his career-high point streak to three games and tied for first in the Wolverines team points at four. Fellow linemate and Bruins prospect Jack Becker who leads Michigan in goals is off to a great start to his Junior year also streaking in points with numbers in his last three games.

Both Wolverine forwards Becker and Beecher have worked well together to start the 2019-20 NCAA campaign after third-year Michigan Head Coach Mel Pearson put the pair together on the third line. Below is a Michigan Hockey official Tweet of an interview with Wolverines Assistant Coach Kris Mayotte and his thoughts after the former Bruins first-rounder got his first goal of the season.

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I know some Boston Bruins fans and prospects enthusiasts are frustrated to see Beecher playing a bottom 12 role but he’s a freshman with a lot to learn as he grows and develops. Having the will to do what it takes and learn what all forward lines can bring at any part of a hockey game is instrumental in today’s progression and climb to higher levels. For instance, Bruins prospect Jakub Lauko is a highly-touted prospect in the system and is currently playing in his first year as an American Hockey League rookie with the Providence Bruins and has constantly seen time on the third and fourth lines.

If you think about how recalls work in certain situations especially when it comes to an injury with the parent NHL Bruins club, it creates an upshift with the recalled player often seeing time slotted in the bottom six. Preparing players for these types of roles comes from the lower levels of the organization’s system and their roles on those same lines with the minor-pro affiliates. Now I know the NCAA and American Hockey League coaching styles are seemingly different but what Assistant Coach Mayotte said in the interview above (Pharaphasing Here), Beecher has time to grow and with that time he’ll earn bigger roles as he continues to develop.

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The Wolverines are back at it with another non-conference game against Western Michigan this time on the road tonight in Kalamazoo, Michigan at the Lawson Arena. Michigan has an overall season record of 3-1-1 with a .700 winning percentage and scoring 14 goals in those games while giving up seven

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Prospect Podcast episode 003 that we recorded on 10-23-19 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!

AHL Bruins Forward Gaunce Suffers Head Injury Against Laval

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / ProvidenceBruins.com )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Providence Bruins forward Brendan Gaunce was taken off the ice on a stretcher tonight as his American Hockey League club is played the Laval Rocket on the road in the second game in three nights. The video below from Twitter account Scott Matla, Rocket Forward Michael McCarron plants an open-ice hit on Gaunce at the 14:50 mark of the first period. There was no penalty on the play. Per source in Laval, Quebec the 25-year-old Gaunce suffered a severe concussion and broken nose.

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This isn’t the first time this week that McCarron has been involved with contact to the head as Providence forward Peter Cehlarik was the subject of a McCarron hit on Wednesday night when these two clubs faced each other for the first time this season and the first game of the current four-game road trip. RinksideRhodeIsland.com reporter Mark Divver mentioned below that the AHL Bruins team could ask the league for a review which could result in the league also looking into Wednesday nights infraction that had Cehlarik playing the rest of the game with a protective cage as seen in the image above courtesy of the Providence Bruins official website.

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Report: Bruins Assign Forward Koppanen To ECHL Atlanta

( Photo Credit: Finnish Junior Hockey @FINjrhockey )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Per RinksideRhodeIsland.com reporter Mark Divver and the AHL.com’s website transactions page, the Boston Bruins have assigned forward Joona Koppanen to the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators. The 21-year-old 6′-5″ 195-pound forward has only appeared in one game this season for the NHL Bruins top minor-pro affiliate Providence Bruins registering zero points and in Mark’s tweet below was in rotation for fourth-line centering duties where he was obviously overpassed by players earning more time.

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Koppanen, a Finnish born left shooting forward, has the ability to be a big presence either up the middle or on the left side but hasn’t exactly brought it offensively to the American Hockey League. Joona was selected in the fifth round of the 2016 National Hockey League Entry Draft and spent some time developing his skillset back home after being selected in the draft from Buffalo, New York. He spent two full seasons playing for the IIves organization with one season in the Jr. A SM-liiga and his second year in the higher Liiga Pro League. With the junior club, he posted 23-31-54 in 38 games playing with talent around his own age, but when he moved up to the pro league netted 2-12-14 numbers in 45 games. He left his llves club after his contract expired and joined the Providence Bruins team at the end of their 2017-18 campaign appearing in ten games and posting 2-0-2 numbers.

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Joona’s no stranger to the ECHL Atlanta club as he started the 2018-19 season appearing in seven games where he and former Boston Bruins prospect Jesse Gabrielle were assigned. Joona would eventually get the call back up to Providence after a one-point stint with the Gladiators and finished the season with 2-0-2 totals in 45 games in the higher AHL. As mentioned in Mark Divver’s Tweet above, this is a sold move to keep him game time fresh and paraphrasing here but could be given a bigger role with top 12 minutes that he might need to find a spark offensively. You have to learn to crawl before you walk, so if he gets on a roll and works hard, there’s no reason he couldn’t return to PVD after point streaking in the Coast.

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Check out the new Black N’ Gold Prospect Podcast episode 002 that we recorded on 10-8-19 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 Opening Weekend Recap

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The American Hockey Leagues Providence Bruins started the 2019-20 regular season on a positive note with victories over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (3-0 Shutout) and Hershey Bears (2-1 In Overtime) both on the road. Over the weekend, the top minor-pro affiliate of the National Hockey Leagues Boston Bruins held it’s annual Opening Weekend festivities with two games at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.

Before I recap the first two regular-season games from the Dunk over the weekend, I’d like to take a moment to share some incredible news. Our Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast, and blackngoldhockey.com website has been granted full season press credentials from the AHL’s Providence Bruins organization. This is a tremendous opportunity for our team of 15+ Bruins writers and a group of podcasters. Acceptance from a professional organization is pure motivation to increase our prospects coverage as a team, but it also opens doors to others that want to get involved with special access. If you live in the Providence area or willing to travel there regularly, please send a cover letter to blackngoldhockeyblog@gmail.com with a sample of your writings to join our team.

Saturday, October 12th, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Rochester Americans (Home)

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

The first home game of the season was a much-anticipated one for the hometown Providence fans, which had a decent crowd on hand for the mid-weekend tilt. The first period was lackluster at most as the Bruins seemed to be skating in cement, trying to fight there way through the heavily tilted Rochester ice. The first period ended with the Americans leading 1-0 and leading in the shots department 14-6.

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It didn’t take long for the hometown Bruins to get on the board in the second period as AHL rookie forward Jakub Lauko notched his first professional goal at the 4:36 mark assisted by a pair of B’s defensemen in Urho Vaakanainen and Alex Petrovic. Exactly two minutes later forward Anders Bjork scored his second goal of the season on the power-play assisted by Vaakanainen and Cameron Hughes, who’s been outstanding to start the year even though his face got mashed by a skate in an NHL Bruins preseason game. Almost a minute after the Bjork goal on the man advantage, the Rochester club tied the game at two at the 7:40 mark of the second, and the score remained the same until the end of the period. The Bruins led that period in shots with an 11-8 advantage and started to be more competitive other than the first frame where they had troubles completing passes and struggled in defensive zone exits.

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Both teams entered the third and final frame of the contest tied at two apiece, and after a second period that saw some physicality and a little bit of hatred for one another, both teams battled until the final moments with positive results at least for the hometown Providence crowd. With 57 seconds remaining in the game Bruins forward, Oskar Steen broke the 2-2 deadlock scoring his first professional goal assisted by forward Ryan Fitzgerald and defenseman Jeremy Lauzon.

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New goaltender Maxime Lagace was in goal against the Amerks and stopped 30 of 32 shots for his second win in the early season. Lagace is 2-0-0 so far in 2019-20 with a 3-0 shutout in his first game and currently has a 1.00 goals-against-average and .967 save percentage. Maxime is the fifth-ranked goaltender in the AHL thus far and has looked sensational since being a sneaky free agent steal when he signed over the summer offseason.

In this game, Rochester led the way in shot totals with a 32-30 advantage. Special teams for both sides had the visiting Americans going 1/2 on the power-play while the home Bruins went 1/5. Forward Cameron Hughes and newcomer Josiah Didier had team-highs with four shots apiece. On this night, 9,722 faithful fans were in attendance at the Dunk for game one of Opening Weekend.

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Sunday, October 13th, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (Home)

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

The second leg of the Providence Bruins Opening Weekend games didn’t exactly live up to Saturday night’s heroics as the cross-state Atlantic Division rival  Springfield Thunderbirds came to play. Much like Saturday nights game, the first-period scoring had the visiting Thunderbirds up 1-0 after the opening frame, but this time the B’s were the ones doing the outshooting in this particular period having a 13-3 advantage.

Down 1-0 in the middle frame, the Bruins only needed 20 seconds to tie the game at one apiece with a power-play goal from forward Peter Cehlarik, who scored his first of the year assisted by Anders Bjork and Cooper Zech. The 24-year-old Cehlarik who slipped through the wavier wire on his way down from his time at the NHL Bruins training camp got injured shortly after his arrival in Providence, and this was his first game back in action which he didn’t disappoint. The B’s would once again give up the lead to Springfield on the man advantage at the 7:37 mark of the second period and again at 15:59 on the power-play to end the middle frame for the Thunderbirds and their 3-1 lead. The Hometown Providence club had 13 penalty minutes vs. the seven that Springfield had. Both teams were showing signs of frustration for each other, and this will continue no doubt with both clubs facing each other 11 more times in the 2019-20 regular season.

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In the third period, the Bruins seemingly took matters into their own hands, tilting the ice to stay in this game, and Providence Head Coach Jay Leach relied heavily on his veteran core for heavy minutes and a grind’em down style. In this final period, the Bruins club showed impressive signs of diligence staying out of the penalty box for the entire period, but the Thunderbirds got to a commanding 4-1 lead with a shorthanded goal at the 11:51 mark. Providence forward Anders Bjork scored his second goal of the weekend (3rd Of Season) assisted by forward Jack Studnicka and forward Paul Carey at 14:47 of the final frame as the B’s were pushing hard to at least tie the contest. The last desperation effort just wasn’t enough as the Thunderbirds added another at the 17:54 mark capping off the 5-2 road victory for their second win of the season.

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Providence goaltender Dan Vladar took the loss in this one stopping 23 of 28 shots giving him a season record of 1-1 with a 2.91 GAA and .880 Save%. I thought Vladar showed signs of greatness with some exceptional saves, especially down low with his big frame but also was left out to dry with defensemen and backchecking forward missing assignments. This is not all on his teammates as he’s a work in progress and has to keep working hard to correct those small mishaps.

Some positive mentions in this lopsided loss for the Bruins. Anders Bjork was the only “plus” player in this game with a +1 and five shots to accompany his two-point afternoon. Forward Cameron Hughes also had five shots in the contest giving him 10 shots on goal in his last four games, one behind Bruins leader Bjork with 11 on goal.

To finish, I once again have to mention our Black N’ Gold writing team on the threshold crossing achievement this season with press access. This is a huge step for us and looking forward to the challenge of bringing you the readers our opinions and insight of this Providence Bruins team. Please give fellow BNG team members below a follow as they’re truly the ones that make this Bruins related platform happen, and without them, this couldn’t continue. Thanks, to everyone for the continued support and hope you all enjoy the content from all levels of the NHL’s Boston Bruins organization throughout this 2019-20 season.

BNG Team Members To Follow For B’s Coverage From The NHL Down To The Prospects Playing Worldwide: Thomas Nystrom ,  Mike Cratty , Max MainvilleEvan Michael , Garrett HaydonLiz St. PierrePatrick DonnellyTim RichardsonYanni Latzanakis , Joe Chrzanowski , Lucas PearsonScott DelanoJamara Wakefield

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Prospect Podcast episode 002 that we recorded on 10-8-19 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!

Bruins Prospect Keyser Reassigned To ECHL Atlanta

( Photo Credit: Michael Penhollow / Boston Bruins )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

When the Boston Bruins signed free agent goaltender Maxime Lagace in early July of 2019, the speculation immediately gained traction on what the netminding tandem will look like in Providence for the 2019-20 American Hockey League campaign.  Many thought it was a good idea to roll with a three-headed monster in goal, but honestly, when it comes to development in the crease, playing time is of the utmost importance.

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As seen above from a tweet I sent out two days ago after hearing this Bruins related news come across my desk from a very trusted source, the National Hockey League Bruins have in fact reassigned netminder Kyle Keyser to the B’s “AA” minor-pro affiliate wth the Atlanta Gladiators per the official AHL websites leagues transactions page and below tweet from longtime Providence Bruins writer Mark Divver who also shared the news this morning.

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While Keyser is a fantastic goaltending prospect and seems to be highly regarded as the NHL Bruins next one in the near future, this demotion to Atlanta is not a knock on his talent and skills but a path that might be commonly used especially with the bottleneck in the AHL. As many of you know, goaltender Dan Vladar was selected in the third round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, and after playing a full season in the United States Hockey League with the Chicago Steel, the Bruins had him start his pro career in Atlanta.

At least to start the 2019-20 AHL Providence year, the netminding tandem will be Maxime Lagace and Dan Vladar. The 26-year-old Lagace takes over for the departed Zane McIntyre, who signed a deal to join the Vancouver Canucks organization over the 2019 summer offseason. Lagace will provide veteran leadership to the younger Vladar, who’s currently in year three and last of his entry-level contract. Vladar is set to be a restricted free agent at the end of the upcoming hockey season.

This is a solid move for the Bruins moving forward. All goaltenders will get their share of time in the crease, and who knows if Keyser actually stays in Atlanta for the whole season. From the trusted source that I mentioned above, the Bruins are going to give the ball to Vladar and let him run with it at the AHL level. I’m hearing that leash is short as he didn’t exactly have the greatest rookies season with Providence last year but did show signs that he’s getting it. I was told that placing Vladar in the ECHL where he started his pro career could mess with his head when it comes to confidence, and if he proves he can handle splitting duties with Lagace, then the B’s will keep the same tandem at the AHL level.

If, by any chance Vladar slips and cannot get a handle of his duties in his sophomore year in the AHL, he could lose that position and be demoted to Atlanta to figure out his game and give the call to Keyser who could be ready for his first AHL regular-season action. Regardless of who plays where and at what level of developmental hockey, the NHL Boston Bruins are prepared to act on any scenario when needed. If something happens up at the NHL level in the crease, Lagace will most likely get that call, and the shift upward in the goaltending system will happen and the same when all are healthy and returned to their respected teams and minor-pro systems.

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New Multi-Rink Facility In Amesbury Set To Break Ground

( Photo Credit: TownMapsUSA.com )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

After many attempts to break ground over the past year and a half, Global Property Developers Inc. Project Manager Michael Gorman and his team can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Gorman and investors are planning a groundbreaking event for September 26th and to usher in the construction of one of the nations top developmental training facilities. My hometown of Amesbury, Massachusetts is finally getting a rink of its own after a 40+ year absence having players in the area seeking ice at the nearby Graf Rink in Newburyport, Massachusetts and most recently the Valley Forum 11 miles away in Haverhill, Mass.

This new state of the art $70M facility that is coming to Amesbury will house six rinks in its 410,000-square-foot building located alongside Interstate 495 on South Hunt Road. I believe having an in-house facility of this nature in the area it’ll create more local interest and proper avenues for continued development when it comes to the game and potential “pro ambitions” from younger players. Amesbury hasn’t had a rink in the city since the early 1980s and a few new sheets, in my opinion, could put this area back on the map when it comes to the evaluation and training of tomorrows stars and with that recipe is the Field of Dreams notion that could very well happen.

( Photo Credit: The Daily News of Newburyport )

Developing properly and strong lines of training continue to happen today with the fantastic members of the Amesbury Youth Hockey program, but it was at a whole new level starting in the early 1920s to the present day. The Amesbury Maples was once known as one of the best semi-pro / amateur teams in the country. Even though they had a great all-time record and traveled throughout the Northeast as an organization often, their biggest claim to fame believe it or not was continued development. The Amesbury Maples prided themselves on taking what you learned and be there for the next generation when those in the community needed guidance and structure.

From former Maples players such as Albie Roy, Alphonse Picard, Fred Fournier, Leo Dupre,  and George Dodier, this is a small mention of a casting crew that spent a tremendous amount of time giving back to the younger generation. For decades so many, I wish I could mention helped produce some very good hockey players with some dabbling in the minor-pro levels to some having a chance to represent their country during the Winter Olympic times.

Speaking of former Amesbury Maples greats,  Paul “Desi” Desautels and Albie Roy along with other great former Amesbury High School athletes will be inducted into the Hall of Fame so there are two exceptional events happening later this month on the same day. Mr. Roy wasn’t only a fantastic all-around athlete, but the leading cog during his Maple hockey career dedicating even more time to the community as a creator of the high school program. This Hall of Fame event on 9/26/19 will be held at the Amesbury High Auditorium and is free to the public.

Mr. Gorman has been a class act throughout this process and has always brought the idea of history and honoring those who played in this city since the beginnings of the project in 2016. Remembering the Maples has always been important for him and crew, but in yesterday’s Newburyport Daily News article he paid the ultimate respect to those former players by renaming the facility from the former Atlantic Sports Center to the new Maples Crossing name as seen in the image below.

In the above mentioned Daily News article by James Sullivan on September 3rd, 2019, Gorman mentioned how important remembering the area’s history by saying….

“We are anxious to celebrate this next part of our project, which is monumental to us,” Gorman said. “We have worked very hard to get to this point and it is a big deal for us to see this on the horizon. It is also a big deal to us to know that we are on the cusp of physically getting this project built.”

“This is our home now,” Gorman said. “We wanted a name that we could proudly display that wasn’t just about us but about the community. The name we had was good enough to get us to today but we felt we needed something more dynamic in terms of its meaning and its visual. We feel we have accomplished that in a way that hopefully the people of Amesbury will embrace and be proud of.”

Amesbury Youth Hockey board member and co-chair of fundraising Heather Ingerson said last night when I reached out to her after the recent news. “ This facility will lead to so many avenues for our youth league to grow and be a part of continuing the rich hockey history of our community.”  Ingerson also added, “ From the first steps of learning to skate through high school, I know the kids and parents are excited to have ice time and expanded training opportunities right here at home.”

( Photo Credit: amesburyma.gov )

Now I know some reading this are saying that six rinks are overkill and pointless, but you really have to be in the know and understand the vision that this group has on and off the ice. With developmental hockey at the top of the mission, these folks have the potential to house music events, indoor lacrosse, and other non-related recreational functions. The biggest attraction from my dealings with Mr. Gorman besides the history factor has been the need for another multi-rink facility to take advantage of tournaments that will be a huge spectators draw. With I-95 and I-495 so close, travelers will also see what Amesbury has to offer with it’s growing downtown area and excellent bars and restaurants.

This facility could also be great for adults either getting in the game or a veteran beer leaguer. I’m sure a mega-plex like this will have openings for adult lessons and leagues but also a place to go and have a great meal and some competitive hockey. Rumor has it the project managers have applied for four liquor licenses, so no matter where folks go either up on the hill or to the downtown area and attraction to come here and spend money works for both sides. I’ve heard some concern from Amesbury’s downtown business owners about being concerned with what direction the foot traffic is going and to that rumored back and forth, all I can say is just work together and think about the common goal here. We’re still one community that benefits from each other.

This is an exciting moment and can’t wait to report on all the news that I get and provide updates of the site’s construction, so stay tuned. Anyways, thanks for reading and be on the lookout for more Maples related articles in the near future.

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