AHL Bruins Sign Goaltender For Remainder Of The 2019-20 Season

( Photo Credit: ECHL / Utah Grizzlies )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Earlier this week I dropped the news of the Boston Bruins recall of goaltender Dan Vladar and the club’s top minor-pro affiliate the Providence Bruins signing of a new addition in the crease. That article I posted late on Wednesday night January 15th, 2020, can be seen HERE. The official news from the Boston organization pertaining to this transaction can be seen HERE from the team’s official website. Both can also be viewed via official tweets below.

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The second part of the article I got from the same source of the Vladar recall was correct even though I mentioned it was a loan in the article when it was, in fact, the signing of a new goaltender. With the injury news of Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (Upper-Body) and his unknown timeframe of return, the organization was on full alert creating space and making additions to accommodate the multi-levels that get affected when situations like these happen at the highest level of professional hockey. A signing like this was also important due to the injury status of B’s prospect goaltender Kyle Keyser who I talked about later in this article.

The Providence club signed veteran netminder Martin Ouellette for the remainder of the 2019-20 American Hockey League regular season. The 28-year-old Ouellette has spent time already this season appearing in ten games for the Bruins affiliate the Atlanta Gladiators this season but was involved in a December 2019, trade shortly after to the Beehive State (Utah) where his game certainly garnered interest from the Providence Bruins and General Manager John Fergerson Jr. Ouellette a former Columbus Blue Jackets seventh-round draft pick in 2010 has spent a majority of his minor-pro career with the Philadelphia Flyers organization covering the crease in both the AHL and lower ECHL levels. Lately, Martin has been a bit of a journeyman and an attractive risk to take when finding suitable talent to keep any team’s minor-pro developmental system competitive.

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The 6′-1′ 161-pound netminder from Quebec, Canada has New England ties as his alma mata the University of Maine Black Bears is nearby in the six-state Northeastern area. Ouellette played in 82 games in his four year NCAA hockey career in the Hockey East Men’s Division 1 Conference posting a record of 28-33-14 with a 2.82 goals-against-average and .893 save percentage. This season with the Utah Grizzlies team before coming to the Ocean State (Rhode Island), he appeared in 14 games posting an 11-1-2 record, a GAA of 2.11 and .924 Save%. This short time period with his former Utah club has been his best timeframe in the ECHL since he was with the Florida Everblades in the 2017-18 campaign when he posted a 33-5-3 record, a 2.02 GAA, and .921 Save% in 42 games played that particular season.

As soon as Boston Bruins 2020 All-Star nominated Tuukka Rask returns to the ice for the Boston club the trickle-down effect will commence having either Vladar or Max Lagace in Providence full time. Newly acquired Ouellette will most likely report back to the ECHL this time with the Atlanta club he’s already had familiar experiences with previous games as mentioned this season.

Kyle Keyser Update And What The Ouellette Addition To The Bruins Minor-Pro System Means To Him

( Photo Credit: Atlanta Gladiators )

Per RinksideRhodeIsland.com founder/writer Mark Divver’s tweet below, the undrafted Keyser has been suffering concussion symptoms which have caused many to speculate about his injury status which I thought was shoulder related dating back to when he was with the Providence Bruins earlier this season. In six games with Providence, the 20-year-old Keyser had a 1-4-1 record with his last game before his injury in November of 2019. He only appeared in one game for the Atlanta “AA” team when we all thought he was returning from the first injury but after his ECHL debut on December 13th, 2019, where he gave up four goals in a loss to the Jacksonville IceMen news about him vanished.

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So for the time being Ouellette will serve a valuable service in the AHL with Providence until things return to normal. With Keyser being out now and possibly for the foreseeable future, Martin will be a solid addition to the Gladiators team and used as a “break glass” in case of emergency scenarios if injuries happen to arise again in the Bruins organization. When Keyser returns to the Gladiators club after his head injuries it would add to the depth of the ECHL organization and not create the three-headed goaltending monster at the AHL level.

In my opinion, just by the way Ouellette has rejuvenated his minor-pro career in his short tenure with the Utah franchise. He comes to the Bruins system with determination to stay in the game at multiple professional levels and even though he might fly under the radar of the higher Boston Bruins franchise, at the lower level he seems like the perfect candidate and hard worker that can contribute whenever called upon. With Providence going with Dan Vladar in last night’s 2-1 loss to the visiting Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Max Lagace being returned to the AHL minor-pro affiliate today with the official news that can be seen HERE,  I’d be surprised if Oullette gets the call tonight on the road against the Sound Tigers. With the NHL Boston club playing the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow afternoon and who knows who gets the netminding recall, I could see Ouellette getting into his first action with Providence with a game Sunday afternoon at home against the Springfield Thunderbirds as the Bruins AHL team has three games this weekend.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Prospects Podcast episode 11 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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Bruins Recall Maxime Lagace On Emergency Basis, Assign Dan Vladar

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(Photo: Providence Bruins)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced on Friday that the team has assigned goaltender Dan Vladar to the Providence Bruins, and recalled goaltender Maxime Lagace on an emergency basis. Vladar was recalled earlier this week after goaltender Tuukka Rask went down with what head coach Bruce Cassidy labeled a concussion.

Vladar served as backup to Jaroslav Halak in Boston’s 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night. The 22-year-old holds a 6-5-0 record with a 1.84 goals-against average, a .935 save percentage two shutouts in 12 AHL contests this season.

Lagace has been strong with the P-Bruins this season since signing a one-year, $700,000 contract over the offseason. Through 23 AHL appearances this season, the 27-year-old boasts a 14-6-2 record to go along with five shutouts, a 2.49 GAA and a .915 save percentage. This is the first time the club has recalled him this season.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound netminder was with the Vegas Golden Knights organization over the course of the last two seasons, spending time with both the big club in Vegas and the team’s AHL-affiliate, the Chicago Wolves. In 17 career NHL appearances, Lagace holds a .868 save percentage and a 3.92 GAA. In 184 games in the AHL over his career, Lagace has a .904 save percentage and a 2.84 GAA.

The Bruins will return to action on Sunday as they will travel to Pittsburgh for a matinee rematch with the Penguins. Puck-drop is slated for 12:30 pm.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 162 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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Bruins Announce Transactions

 

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Photo Courtesy Of NESN.com

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced this morning that the team has placed goaltender Tuukka Rask on injured reserve and recalled goaltender Dan Vladar from Providence on an emergency basis. Check out Mark Allred’s piece on the recall of Vladar right here. The Bruins have also recalled forward Karson Kuhlman from Providence. Rask suffered an upper body injury during Tuesday nights loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. He has posted a 17-4-6 record this season with a 2.27 goals against average and a .925 save percentage in 28 games.

Kuhlman has skated in eight games this season for Boston, going scoreless. He has also skated in four games for Providence this season, posting two goals and an assist. Kuhlman suffered a leg injury in October and has just recently become healthy enough to play. He appeared in 11 games for Boston last season, recording three goals and two assists and played in eight playoff games, scoring a goal and adding two assists.

The recall of Kuhlman shouldn’t surprise anyone as he had earned a varsity spot in training camp and simply just caught a bad break on a blocked shot. He should inject some life into the Bruins lineup and probably could play as soon as tonight when the B’s take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. As for Vladar, he’ll now become the backup behind Jaroslav Halak and he could see his first NHL action as early as this week.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 162 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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Boston Bruins Recall Vladar, Providence Gets Netminder On Loan

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Word through the pipeline late this evening is that the National Hockey Leagues Boston Bruins have recalled goaltender Dan Vladar from their top minor-pro affiliate the Providence Bruins. In 12 games this season with the American Hockey League club from Rhode Island, Vladar has a 2019-20 regular-season record of 6-5-0, a 1.84 goals-against-average, a .935 save percentage along with two shutouts. Since his return from a high ankle sprain in early December of 2019, the former 2015 third-round selection has been on top of his game after spending time rehabilitating with goaltending coaches Bob Essensa and Mike Dunham and many hours of video sessions.

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With the departure of Vladar to the higher NHL for coverage, the Providence Bruins have accepted a loan from the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies for netminder Martin Ouellette. The 28-year-old Ouellette played for the Boston Bruins “AA” minor-pro affiliate the Atlanta Gladiators this season but has most recently been playing with the Utah club. The journeyman goalkeeper was a 2010 Columbus Blue Jackets draft pick but has spent a majority of his minor-pro career in the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers organization.

In ten games with Atlanta, this season he’s posted a record of 4-6-0 with a GAA of 3.74 and .874 Save% in ten games to posting an 11-1-2 record with the Utah club contributing with a 2.11 GAA and .924 Save%. He had a pretty decent NCAA career at the University of Maine where he might’ve received positive praise from the aforementioned Mike Dunham who also spent time in a Black Bears Jersey back in the day.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 162 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Weekend Recap (Week 14)

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The American Hockey Leagues Providence Bruins played their second three-game series of the 2019-20 regular season at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island over the weekend earning (Add Total Weekend Points Here). Heading into the weekend’s action the top minor-pro affiliate of the National Hockey Leagues Boston Bruins sat in the second position in the Atlantic Division with a 20-12-1-2 record with 43 points in 35 games played only trailing division-leading Hartford Wolf Pack by two points.

Looking at the big picture in the AHL’s Eastern Conference the Providence club was in the fourth spot with a .614 winning percentage and 5-5-0 in their last ten games. Although the B’s are in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference Calder Cup Playoff picture, the Ocean State team has struggled at home with a record of 7-6-0-1 while having a record away from the Dunk of 13-6-1-1. Leading the club in points so far this season leading into the weekend’s action has rookie and 2017 second-round pick Jack Studnicka leading the team with 14-12-26 numbers in 33 games. Veteran forward and Weymouth, Massachusetts native Paul Carey is second on the club with 14-11-25 totals in 34 games and rounding off the top-three is AHL rookie Robert Lantosi who’s contributed 9-14-23 numbers in 31 games.

Goaltending for the Providence team has been one of the key factors in the AHL clubs’ success with the addition of veteran netminder Max Lagace who signed a one-year, two-way free-agent contract over the 2019 offseason. Lagace has a record of 13-5-2 with a 2.44 goals-against-average, a .916 save percentage and leading the AHL in shutouts with five. Dan Vladar who struggled to get off on the right foot to start the 2019-20 campaign suffered a high ankle sprain early in the year returned to the crease on December 1st, 2019, and has been outstanding in his return thus far leading into the new 2020 calendar year. Vladar has a season record of 5-3-0 with a 1.67 GAA, a Save% of .940, and two shutouts on the season. Now let’s get you updated on the weekend games and how the Providence team did in the three straight contests at the dunk. Enjoy!

Friday, January 3rd, 2020, Hartford Wolf Pack vs. The Providence Bruins (Home)

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

Trailing the visiting Hartford Wolf Pack by a mere two points for the top position in the Atlantic Division this was a huge game against an opponent that the Providence club has certainly had a tough time against all season. Leading up to the action on Friday night the visiting Wolf Pack club has outscored the B’s 21-9 in six previous matchups in the 2019-20 regular season and it was important the home team came out on the right foot against a Packs netminder that has absolutely had their number for a majority of those games.

In the first period, the Bruins got off to a good start against a Wolf Pack team that they’ve been jockeying back-and-forth all season for the Division Lead. Captain Paul Carey got the first Bruins goal of the game scoring a shorthanded goal, his 15th of the year which was unassisted at 6:51 of the opening period. Hartford would only need three minutes after the Carey goal to tie things up at one on a goal from Tim Gettinger who scored his 8th of the year. Shots on goal to end the opening frame had the home Bruins team at an 11-7 advantage leading into the second period which was a tight battle in the middle of the game without either team putting the puck past the games netminders.

Jumping to the third period the scoring would all go to the visiting Wolf Pack. Pack leading goal scorer Vinni Lettieri would add his 12th of the year at the 19:34 mark of the final frame and to seal the deal for the visitors, winger Gettinger would get his second goal of the game with an empty netter at the 19:55 mark to end the game. Shots on goal in this game had the Wolf Pack with a 31-28 shot advantage

Bruins goaltender Dan Vladar got the start in goal on this night stopping 28 of 30 shots on goal and was a major reason the Wolf Pack club didn’t add several goals to make things worse. Regardless of this loss, the Bruins third-round selection in 2015 continues to play well since his return to the B’s lineup and will most likely get the call on Sunday against the Charlotte Checkers with the way Providence Head Coach Jay Leach has the rotation going. The Bruins have lost their last two games and look to snap out of this funk against a hot Checkers club that’s won their last three games before heading to the state of Rhode Island.

Saturday, January 4th, 2020, Charlotte Checkers vs. The Providence Bruins (Home)

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

The Bruins looked to change their recent misfortunes against an AHL team they’ve had recent success earlier this season. Providence has outscored the Checkers club 8-1 in the previous two games with one of the contests being a 36 save shutout in a 4-0 victory in Vladar’s return from injury. This night in game two of three on the weekend at the Dunk the end result would be very different.

After the Providence club commanded close to four minutes of the opening frame but that excitement was quickly deflated at the 3:59 mark when Checkers forward David Gust got the first goal of the game. Although there were times when the Bruins looked like they were getting back into the game the visiting Charlotte club just added more pressure holding the lead. At the 3:45 mark of the second period, the Checkers scored their second goal of the game on Steven Lorentz 9th of the season making things more difficult for the home Providence team.

The third period was a chippy affair as the Bruins started to show frustrations in being down on the scoreboard and were penalized four times putting themselves in a difficult situation. The Checkers club would score two goals in the final frame one from Julien Gauthier who scored his 15th of the season at the 1:54 mark of the third and sealing the deal on the night was an empty netter from Spencer Smallman who notched his third of the season at 16:48. The final tally on the shots on goal from both combatants had the visiting Checkers team finishing with a 43-25 advantage.

As mentioned above about the goaltending rotation, Providence Head Coach Leach did, in fact, go with Max Lagace in the second night of the weekend’s action. Lagace who’s been one of the best netminders in the AHL has had a recent run of bad luck giving up nine goals in his last three games and is on a three-game losing streak. Max stopped 39 of 42 Checkers shots on this night and did the best he could but ultimately the support in front of him didn’t do enough on the scoresheet to help out. Lagace suffered his sixth regulation loss of the year and will most likely have to wait until next Saturday, January 11th to try and snap his season-long losing streak.

Sunday, January 5th, 2020, Charlotte Checkers vs. The Providence Bruins (Home)

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

The final game of the Bruins weekend at the Dunkin Donuts Center came to a screeching halt with another loss in front of the Providence crowd. The Checkers club was again just too much to handle for the B’s outscoring the home team 8-1 in two of the three games in this weekend set and are now on a four-game losing streak.

The Checkers owned all-three periods leading up to a 4-0 lead with their fourth goal on a Brian Gibbons empty-netter at the 17:26 mark of the third. Providence broke the shutout bid for Anton Forsberg on a goal from B’s rookie Robert Lantosi who scored his 10th of the season at the 19:04 of the final frame. Shots advantage in this game went to the visiting team for the third straight contest in the weekend’s action this time giving the Checker a 33-27 total at the end of 60 minutes.

The AHL Bruins get back to work on Saturday, January 11th, 2020, in Springfield, Massachusetts with a tilt against a hot Springfield Thunderbirds team. The Thunderbirds are currently on a four-game winning streak and only one point behind the Providence club to tie for third place in the Atlantic Division. Springfield is 11-7-1-0 at the MassMutual Center and 53-3-2 in their last ten games. The Bruins wrap up the week’s action on Sunday against the same Thunderbirds team to finish up a home-and-home on Sunday, January 12th, 2020, at the Dunk in Providence Rhode Island.

The AHL’s Atlantic Division is very tight as rivals are starting to play better gearing up fro Calder Cup Playoff runs. In this said “tight” division the Providence team has an 8-8 record since December 1st, 2019 and is slowly going in the wrong direction as they started the year as one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference. With almost a full week of practice B’s Head Coach, Leach and assistants behind the bench should have an interesting week of work addressing key areas that opposing teams have exposed in their game. Still, a lot of season left and keep in mind that this Providence team has gotten hot in previous years around this time of year and made the postseason debuts so I’m not giving up on this club just yet.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 160 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Providence Bruins Lagace Has Persevered In First Season With AHL Club

( Photo Credit: Michael Kuszay @TMGKuzKuz10 )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

In a recent article, I wrote which can be seen HERE, I mentioned how well Providence Bruins goaltender Dan Vladar was doing in his return to the crease after a lengthy lower-body injury. In this article, I’d like to stay with the goaltending depth with the Boston Bruins top minor-pro affiliate and talk about the effort thus far of netminder Max Lagace who’s having a successful first year with the B’s organization and is worthy of honorable mention in my opinion.

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The Man, The Myth, The Lagace

Since joining the Providence club as an undrafted free agent, the 26-year-old veteran netminder was signed to a one-year, two-way contract over the 2019 summer offseason and has made an immediate impact to the top-minor pro affiliate of the NHL’s Boston Bruins.  The journeyman netminder is having a career year which has him ranked with some of the AHL’s best in categories such as shutouts (Ranked #1), Wins (Ranked #2), games played (Ranked #5), goals-against-average (Ranked 9th), and save percentage (Ranked #10).

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This was a sneaky good signing from Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney because it addressed several different needs for the Boston organization. His addition to the B’s minor-pro depth in the crease covers the veteran leadership left from departing Zane McIntyre but also covers areas of concern at the NHL level with what’s to become of current backup netminder Jaroslav Halak. With the uncertainty of Halak staying or going, Lagace being in the mix may be the insurance policy or back up plan for each scenario. Although limited Max does have NHL experience which he gathered as a member of the Vegas Golden Knights before signing with the Boston club. In 17 career games at the highest level of hockey in the world the Longueuil, QC native has a record of 6-8-1 with a goals-against-average of 3.92 and .868 save percentage.

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Lagace and his Dominance in the city of Providence

So far in Providence this season the game plan is to seemingly give the workload to the veteran Lagace playing two of every three contests to keep him sharp and ready at a moment’s notice if services are needed at the NHL level. The AHL predominately operates on a weekend schedule with the occasional Wednesday night game but Providence players are very active with daily practice times and a travel schedule that’s close to the Rhode Island operations to allow the appropriate ice time. To me even though one netminder sees a little more time in the crease than another developing goaltender, the AHL level I see it as a “1A” and “1B” tandem scenario with games sometimes three in a row on a Friday to Sunday weekly schedule.

( Photo Credit:  Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images )

This season as the workhorse on the backend with injuries to aforementioned Vladar and his replacement from the “AA” minor-pro affiliated with the Atlanta Gladiators Kyle Keyser, Lagace has appeared in 20 of the 34 games played in the 2019-20 regular season. In that timeframe, Max has a 13-4-2 with a 2.36 goals-against-average, and .919 save percentage. Although mentioned previously, Lagace’s league-leading five shutouts have been nothing but amazing to watch, to be honest. Max has also been a benefactor of the knowledge and wisdom of former NHL goaltenders and now Boston Bruins goaltending coaching tandem of Bob Essensa and assistant Mike Dunham as previously mentioned in my Vladar piece seen HERE.

The Providence Bruins club is in first place of the Atlantic Division with a 20-11-1-2 record and 43 points, two points ahead of second-place Hartford Wolf Pack who the AHL Bruins team is set tom play in the final game of this current five-game road trip. With Vladar getting the start last night in a 4-3 victory on the over the cross-state rival Springfield Thunderbirds, it’s hard not to imagine with the way things have been scheduled that Providence Head Coach Jay Leach will look to Lagace to start in the crease tonight. If in fact, Max gets the nod in goal he’ll be going against one of the AHL’s top-ranked teams, and a 14th victory tonight will only bring him closer to his career-high of 15 and with this being game 35 of 76 of the 2019-20 regular season, there’s a strong chance he’ll surpass all career AHL numbers from the past and do it with a class organization, to say the least.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 159 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

AHL Bruins Goaltender Vladar Has Been Stellar Since Return To Providence

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The 2019-20 American Hockey League regular season didn’t exactly get off on the right foot for Providence Bruins goaltender Dan Vladar in his second full season with the top minor-pro affiliate of the National Hockey Leagues Boston Bruins. After starting the campaign with a 1-1-0 record, a 2.99 goals-against-average, and .888 save percentage things would progressively get worse in his third appearance of the year.

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On October 16th, 2019, the Providence club was in Laval, Quebec to play in game one of a four-game road trip against the host Laval Rocket the minor-pro affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens. Veteran netminder Max Lagace got the start this night giving up four goals in the first period. To start the second frame, Providence Head Coach Jay Leach opted to take the struggling Lagace out of the game in favor of the fresh Vladar on the bench in hopes of an offensive spark. Netminder Vladar would go onto make eight saves in the second period but to end the middle frame the former 2015 third-round selection would need relief himself. Vladar went down with a lower-body injury and would need help off the ice from fellow teammates and Providence trainer prompting the AHL Bruins to back to Lagace to finish the game.

Further medical evaluations concluded that Vladar suffered a high ankle sprain and was listed as week-to-week. Dan would spend a better part of six weeks on the shelf recovering from his injury but used the downtime to his advantage working with training staff along with longtime Boston Bruins goaltending Coach Bob Essensa and assistant Mike Dunham who’s entering his third season with the B’s franchise.

( Photo Credit: Alan Sullivan Photography )

The Athletic Bruins beat writer Joe McDonald spent a day in Providence on December 15th, 2019, and unveiled some interesting information when he had the chance to interview Vladar. In the article from McDonald, aforementioned goalie coaches Essensa and Dunham spent a great deal of time with the 22-year-old as he recovered watching countless hours of video fine-tuning the netminders game ultimately finding that the Czech Republic native was too active in the crease and needed to minimize his movements to be better prepared. All quotes below from McDonald’s December 16th “Down On Th Farm” article can be found HERE or click the hyperlinked quotes below to direct you to the originator.

“I don’t think I had the greatest camp, so it was something I needed to work on,” Vladar said. “I felt good physically, but the pucks weren’t hitting me and I wasn’t playing the way I wanted. (Spending time with Dunham) helped and so far it’s working really well. A lot of pucks can hit me and that’s what I’m trying to do more and more, and I feel comfortable every single game.”

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On November 27th, 2019, The Boston Bruins sent Vladar to the organization’s “AA” minor-pro affiliate the Atlanta Gladiators for a conditioning stint to test his return to professional hockey from an injury that commonly takes a while especially when it comes to goaltenders. Dan got the victory over the visiting Norfolk Admirals giving up two goals in a 4-2 Atlanta win. That was apparently enough for the Providence Bruins staff to see as the AHL club recalled Vladar to join them on the road in Charlotte, North Carolina to finish up a short three-game road trip against the Charlotte Checkers.

Dan was spectacular in his return stopping all 36 Checkers shots for his first shutout of the season and a game that would start a tremendous return with all accolades gravitating back to the tutelage and wisdom of Essensa and Dunham. Vladar would need just three more games to earn his second shutout of the season when he blanked cross border and Atlantic Division rival Springfield Thunderbirds in a 5-0 victory stopping all 42 shots he faced. Although the 6′-5″ 185-pound netminder looks to be completely healthy, he had this to say to McDonald after the game at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island below.

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“I felt great,” Vladar said. “It’s always easier for a goalie when you face that many shots. I felt really good. It was one of those nights where I saw the puck really well and felt like everything was hitting me. It’s a long season though, it’s nice, but I’m not getting too high from it.”

“To be honest, I can still feel it a little bit,” Vladar said of his ankle. “I’m doing treatment every day and (trainers) are keeping an eye on it.”

Since Vladar’s return from injury at the beginning of December, the second-highest ranked goaltender in his draft year (European Netminders Only) of 2015, has posted a record of 3-2-0 and compiled impressive 0.99 GAA, and .954 Save% numbers in that timeframe. His overall record for this season is still a respectable 4-3-1 record with a 1.49 GAA and .945 Save%. Dan’s AHL career numbers of 23-18-6, a 2.48 GAA, a .911 Save% along with five career No-No tells me he’s certainly stepped up a level in maturity as he continues to develop and from this small sample size since his return from the said high ankle sprain, I’d expect him to have a stellar season in the remaining games working alongside Max Lagace.

( Photo Credit: Gregory Vasil / Getty Images )

Lagace who’s contributed his own stellar play in his first season with the Boston Bruins organization since signing a one-year, two-way free-agent contract in the early month of July 2019, has been a solid mentor for the younger members of the crease with of course Vladar being around along with appearances from Kyle Keyser and Sean Bonar who was up from Atlanta lightening the workload with so many injuries. While the Boston Bruins don’t exactly look like gangbusters when talking about ranking the NHL’s best goaltending depths, its good to know that the organization will be in good hands with Essensa and Dunham at the helm to offer advice with the proper tools for the continued development of future netminders.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 159 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

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

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By Carrie Young | Follow me on Twitter @carrieyoung512

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

Starting Lineups

Providence Bruins:

Cehlarik – Studnicka – Fitzgerald

Vaakanainen – Didier

Vladar

Utica Comets:

Bailey – Camper – Lind

Brisebois – Rafferty

Bachman

Game Recap

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First Period

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

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

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

Second Period

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

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

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

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

Third Period

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

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

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

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

Overtime

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

Shootout

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 10 Preview

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(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr)

By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Week 10 of the AHL season is here, and the Providence Bruins skate into it 14-7-1-2 (31 points) and 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for first in the Atlantic Division and third in the Eastern Conference. Our boys in black and gold are coming off a superb week that saw them beat the defending Calder Cup Champion Charlotte Checkers 4-1 and 4-0 in Charlotte. This week the team return home for a dreaded three games in three days stretch.

The hockey action kicks off on Friday, December 6, 2019, when the Binghamton Devils invade Providence, Rhode Island, to take on the Bruins at the Dunk. The action continues on Saturday, December 7, 2019, when the Utica Comets soar into town to take on the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin Donuts Center. The three games in three days conclude on Sunday, December 8, 2019, when the Hartford Wolf Pack come to Rhode Island to take on the Bruins at the Dunk. The hockey action wraps up on Wednesday, December 11, 2019, when the Syracuse Crunch comes to town to take on the Providence club at the Dunkin Donuts Center.

Friday, December 6, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Binghamton Devils (HOME)

The Friday night matchup marks the first of two that these two teams will have this season. The Binghamton Devils have had a rough start to their season. The New Jersey affiliate skates into the game 7-11-4 (18 points) and 4-4-2 in their last 10 games. This is good for eighth in the North Division and 16th in the Eastern Conference.

Not only have the Devils had a bad start to their season, but they’re also facing a Providence club that has their number over the past five seasons. Our boys in black and gold are 13-5-1-1 against the Binghamton club during that time, including 5-3-1-1 at home. Binghamton’s defense has really let them down this season. This is why the Binghamton club is last in the conference this season.

The New Jersey affiliate has surrendered 77 goals in 22 games this year. That means they’re giving up a terrible 3.5 goals a game. In comparison, the Providence Bruins have let in 63 goals in 24 games this season. That’s a stingy 2.62 goals a game given up. If that isn’t bad enough for the Devils, their offense isn’t great either.

They’ve scored 59 goals in 22 games. That means they’re scoring 2.68 goals a game. The Bruins, on the other hand, have scored 82 goals in 24 games. That means they’re scoring 3.41 goals a game. This is a game the Providence club should absolutely win.

Saturday, December 7, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Utica Comets (HOME)

The Saturday night matchup marks the second and final meeting of the year that these two teams will have. In the first meeting, the Bruins would shutout the Comets 2-0, getting goals from Zach Senyshyn and Joona Koppanen. Netminder Max Lagace was excellent in net stopping all 34 shots he faced.

Utica comes into the game 13-8-1 (27 points) and 5-4-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for third in the North Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Vancouver affiliate has been on a downward trend recently. They started the year 8-0. Since that start, they’ve gone 4-8-1, including a loss to Providence. To add insult to injury, the Providence Bruins are 8-5 against the Comets over the past five seasons, including 3-3 at the Dunk.

Scoring early and keeping the lead will be extremely important in this game. When leading after the first period, Utica is 7-3-1. When leading after the second, they are 9-2. The Providence Bruins, on the other hand, are 8-0 when leading after the first period. They are a perfect 11-0 when leading after the second period. This is another game I think Providence should absolutely win.

Sunday, December 8, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (HOME)

The Sunday matchup will mark the fourth of 10 meetings the two teams will have this year. In the first meeting, the Bruins would fall 2-1. Providence got their lone goal from Jack Studnicka. Goalie Kyle Keyser was up to the task in net stopping 23 of 25 shots that were fired his way.

The second battle saw the Bruins win 4-3 in a shootout. They got goals from Scott Conway, Jack Studnicka, and Robert Lantosi. Max Lagace was able to stop 35 of the 38 shots he faced. The last game saw the Bruins fall 5-2. They received goals from Ryan Fitzgerald and Jack Studnicka. Netminder Kyle Keyser was able to stop 24 of 28 shots he faced.

The battle with the Hartford club is going to be challenging. The Rangers’ affiliate comes into the game 11-4-2-5 (29 points), including 3-3-2-2 in their last 10 games. This is good for third in the Atlantic Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference. Even though it’ll be a tough game, there is hope for the Bruins.

Over the past five seasons, our boys in black and gold have gone 22-13-4-2, including 14-5-1-1 at the Dunk. The Wolf Pack has seen success this season thanks to a stifling defense. They’ve given up only 58 goals in 22 games. Providence, on the other hand, has scored 82 goals in 24 games. That’s 3.41 goals a game. It’ll be a great battle between the two teams.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Syracuse Crunch (HOME)

The Wednesday matchup will mark the first of two meetings the two teams will have. The Lightning affiliate skate into the matchup 11-9-2 (22 points) and 5-5 in their last 10 games. That’s good for sixth in the North Division and 11th in the Eastern Conference. The two clubs haven’t played each other much over the past five seasons. Providence holds a 3-3 record, including 2-1 at home.

This has the makings of being a trap game for Providence. Even though the Syracuse club is out of a playoff spot, they’ve been a good team for the last few years. Special teams are keeping the Tampa Bay affiliate afloat. On the power play, they’ve scored 19 goals in 101 opportunities. That’s 18.8%, which is good for fifth in the North Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference. Their Penalty kill is even better. They’ve given up 12 goals in 93 opportunities. That’s a stifling 87.1%, which is good for first in the North Division and second in the Eastern Conference.

The Providence Bruins’ penalty kill is also stellar. They’ve given up 14 goals in 103 opportunities. That’s 86.4%, which is good for second in the Atlantic Division and third in the Eastern Conference.  The Providence club also has a league-leading eight shorthanded goals. The power play, on the other hand, is not good. They’ve scored 14 goals in 89 opportunities. That’s 15.7%, which is good for fourth in the Atlantic Division and 10th in the Eastern Conference.

Who’s Hot and Who’s Not

Hot

Brendan Woods: This is Brendan Woods’ first season in Providence. He came to the Bruins after spending last season with the Utica Comets. The former University of Wisconsin Badger has gotten the opportunity to play more recently, with players going up and down between Boston and Providence. The veteran forward has taken that opportunity and run with it. Over his past five games, he’s found the back of the net five times while dishing out two assists for seven total points. In 13 games total on the year, he’s netted five goals and dished out three assists for eight total points.

Urho Vaakanainen: Urho Vaakanninen has been on an absolute tear recently. Since being sent back down to Providence after a brief stint with Boston, the young defenseman has played in five games. In those five games, he’s found the back of the net four times while dishing out three assists for seven total points. In 20 games this year, he’s netted four goals and dished out five assists for nine total points. He’s also playing superb defense.

Not

Josiah Didier: This is Josiah Didier’s first season in Providence. The veteran defenseman came to the Bruins after winning the Calder Cup with Charlotte last season. Though he’s providing some essential leadership to the team, that hasn’t translated on the scoresheet. Over his past 15 games, the University of Denver alum has only registered one point, an assist. In 23 games this season, he hasn’t found the back of the net and dished out five assists for five total points.

Jakub Zboril: Jakub Zboril has been playing average on defense. Offensively, the game doesn’t seem to be clicking currently. Over his past 11 games, he has registered just two points, both assists. In 24 games this season, the young defenseman has netted one goal and dished out six assists for seven total points. The Bruins hoped his offense would be closer to the production he had in the QMJHL. That hasn’t happened yet, but there is still time.

My Players To Watch This Weekend

Up Front

Jakub Lauko: Jakub Lauko is a top prospect in the Bruins’ system. The young forward didn’t start off the season the way he’d like before getting injured. Recently, however, he’s played well. Over the past four games, he’s netted one goal, while dishing out three assists for four total points. He also had the game-winning shootout goal in a game this week. In 16 games on the season, Lauko has four goals and three assists for seven total points. Let’s hope he can keep up the hot-streak.

On The Blue Line

Urho Vaakanainen: Urho Vaakanainen has been on an absolute tear recently. Not only contributing to the scoreboard but playing elite defense while also driving the play. It wasn’t a great start to the year, but he looks like himself again after his callup to Boston. Look for him to continue the hot-streak. I would also recommend just watching him play in general. He’s a joy to watch in every facet of the game.

In Net

Dan Vladar: Dan Vladar returned from injury to Providence against Charlotte this weekend and was excellent in between the pipes. The young goalie registered his first shutout of the season. In four games this year, he is 2-1 with a 1.77 GAA and a save percentage of .936%. Look for him this weekend.

The Providence Bruins have been excellent this year. They sit atop the Atlantic Division and third in the Eastern Conference. With the team clicking in all facets of the game, it seems like they’re gearing up for a big run. The Providence club could have one of those seasons that’s talked about for years to come. We should all just sit back and enjoy it. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend. Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. As always, GO, Bs, GO!

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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.

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!