Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 24 Preview

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(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr)

By: Tim A Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Week 24 of the AHL season has arrived. The Providence Bruins skate into it 32-18-3-3 (82 points) and 10-0 in their last 10 games. This is good for first in the Atlantic Division and first in the Eastern Conference. The Providence club is coming off a stellar week that saw them push their win streak to 12 games. Our boys in black and gold were able to beat Springfield twice before beating Hershey and Hartford. This weekend will have exciting hockey that you do not want to miss.

The weekend kicks off on Saturday, March 14, 2020, when the Providence Bruins invade Charlotte, North Carolina, to take on the Checkers at Bojangles’ Coliseum. The weekend action wraps up on Sunday, March 15, 2020, when the Providence Bruins take on the Charlotte Checkers at The Biscuit in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Saturday, March 14, 2020, and Sunday, March 15, 2020, Providence Bruins vs. Charlotte Checkers (AWAY)

The weekend series between the Providence Bruins and Charlotte Checkers will be the fifth and sixth of eight meetings the two teams will have. In the first battle, the Providence Bruins would win 4-1. Brendan Woods (2), Scott Conway, and Robert Lantosi scored goals for the Bruins. Max Lagace was excellent in net stopping 28 of the 29 shots fired his way.

The second matchup saw the Bruins shutout the Checkers 4-0. Brendan Woods, Urho Vaakanainen, Pavel Shen, and Jack Studnicka found the back of the net. Dan Vladar was a wall, stopping all 36 shots he faced. The third game saw the Bruins fall 4-0. Max Lagace would go on top stop 39 of the 42 shots he faced. The most recent matchup wasn’t much better. The Bruins would be beaten 4-1. Robert Lantosi scored the lone goal for Providence.

Last season, the Charlotte Checkers were dominant. They would beat the Bruins in four games in the first round of the playoffs on their way to their first Calder Cup Championship. This season has been a bit of a different story. The Hurricanes’ affiliate skate into the match up 34-22-5 (73 points) and 5-4-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for third in the Atlantic Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference.

Something that led to their dominant season last year was their defense. Their defense only surrendered 189 goals, while they scored 255. That’s a +66 goal differential. This season has been a little different. The Charlotte club on the year has scored 202 goals while giving up 172. That’s a +30 goal differential. That means they’re scoring 3.31 goals a game while giving up 2.81.

To put those numbers into perspective, the Providence Bruins have played in one more game than Charlotte. They’ve scored 197 goals while giving up 154. That’s a +43 goal differential. This means they’re scoring 3.17 goals a game while giving up only 2.48. The Providence Bruins are 8-7-1 against Charlotte over the past five seasons. This includes 5-3 at the Checkers.

Who’s Hot and Who’s Not

Hot

Jack Studnicka: Jack Studnicka finds himself in the hot category once again. The young forward is having a stellar season. In 60 games, he’s netted 23 goals while dishing out 26 assists for 49 total points. This includes netting nine goals while dishing out 14 assists for 23 total points over his last 18 games. Studnicka also finds himself registering a point in six of his last seven games. He’s netted three goals and dished out 5 assists for eight total points during that time. Studnicka is also becoming an elite penalty kill weapon. He’s registered seven shorthanded goals on the year. This is the most in the AHL.

Peter Cehlarik: Peter Cehlarik has fallen out of favor with the Boston Bruins in recent years. He’s had a few players jump ahead of him on the depth chart when it comes to callups. Despite this, the veteran forward has played well this season. In 48 games, he’s netted 16 goals while dishing 21 assists for 37 total points. This includes netting three goals and dishing out six assists for nine total points in his last nine games. Cehlarik has been a large part of the Bruins’ win streak.

Not

Robert Lantosi: Robert Lantosi is in his first full season with the Providence Bruins. Overall, it’s been a successful first season. In 50 games, he’s netted 11 goals while dishing out 20 assists for 31 total points. Despite these numbers, he’s only dished out two assists in his last six games. The young forward came to Providence after spending the previous season in his native Slovakia.

Brendan Woods: Brendan Woods came to Providence after spending the last two seasons in the Vancouver Canucks organization. In 49 games this season, he’s netted eight goals while dishing out 12 assists for 20 total points. This includes dishing out two assists in his last 10 games. Despite this, the 20 points did eclipse his total of 17 from last season. Hopefully, the veteran forward’s offense game is back soon.

My Player To Watch This Weekend

Up Front

Jakub Lauko: Jakub Lauko came into this season with a lot of publicity. The young forward came to Providence after having a stellar season in the QMJHL with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. This season was derailed because of injuries before and during the World Junior Championships. In 22 games this season, he’s netted five goals while dishing out four assists for nine total points. He’s played in four games since returning from injury, netting a goal. Look for him this weekend.

On The Blue Line

Jakub Zboril: Jakub Zboril has had an up and down season with Providence. He’s also a player that has caused many different arguments amongst Bruins’ fans. In 58 games this season, he’s netted three goals and dished out 16 assists for 19total points. This includes netting one goal and dishing out four assists for five total points in his last four games. The young defenseman has also been playing better defense recently. Look for him this weekend.

In Net

Dan Vladar: Dan Vladar has had a superb season for the Providence Bruins. On the year, he’s 14-7-1 with a 1.79 GAA and a .936 save percentage. The young netminder has also registered three shutouts on the year. Vladar is also 1-1 with 1.51 GAA and a .956 save percentage against Charlotte this season.

The Providence Bruins are playing excellent hockey right now. Earlier in the year, I hammered home the point that this team was one of the most talented teams in the league. We are seeing that tenfold right now. The Providence club looks primed to make a deep run in the playoffs. I hope you enjoy 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: Jakub Lauko Will Play For Providence On Saturday

( Photo Credit: Fred Kfoury III / Icon Sportswire )

 

By Carrie Young | Follow me on Twitter @carrieyoung512

According to a tweet by reporter Mark Divver (@MarkDivver), Providence Bruins forward Jakub Lauko will return from injury on Saturday, February 29th. Head coach Jay Leach reportedly confirmed Lauko’s return.

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Lauko suffered a knee injury during his first shift of the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. He was ruled out for the remainder of the tournament, unfortunately, unable to continue to represent his home country of the Czech Republic.

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Lauko began his professional career with Providence at the beginning of this season. He was drafted in the third round, 77th overall, by the Boston Bruins in the 2018 NHL Draft. The Bruins signed him to a three-year entry-level contract on September 28th, 2018. He went on to play for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL. Lauko helped his team to the Memorial Cup tournament, with the Huskies being named the champions of the Canadian Hockey League.

After a strong showing during the 2019 preseason, Lauko was assigned to the AHL. He recorded four goals and four assists in 18 games with Providence. Unfortunately, before he could get significant momentum going, he suffered a scary injury on December 7th and had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher.

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Though initially very worrying, Lauko escaped serious injury on the play. He recovered in time to be sent to the Czech Republic for World Juniors, where he suffered his knee injury.

After going two months without playing, Lauko will finally return to the P-Bruins lineup. Providence plays at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday, then will travel to Springfield on Saturday.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 167 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 Prospect Lauko Is Starting To Skate After Mid-Season Injury

( Photo Credit:  Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Per RinkSideRhodeIsland.com founder Mark Divver below, Bruins prospect forward Jakub Lauko attended a pre-practice skate session presumably for the first time since his mid-season knee injury. Lauko, a former 2018 third-round selection of the National Hockey Leagues Boston Bruins only managed to appear in one shift for his native Czech Republic U-20 team that happened to host this year’s 2020 IIHF World Junior Championships from the beautiful cities of Ostrava and Trinec. It honestly doesn’t matter what time of any game or everyday life an injury happens it’s certainly unfortunate but 53 seconds into the game was all that was needed before being taken off the ice seeking medical attention.

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Lauko’s development since he was selected in the summer of 2018 has been exciting to watch but it’s also come with a few unlucky times concerning the injury bug. Now I’m not saying this is trending into a prone situation or to be high alerted by my opinions but he did get banged up in his rookie year in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League scoring 41 points in 44 games. During his first full season of North American hockey and smaller ice sheet the game comes, quicker and he did see time on the IR during the regular season and 2018-19 Memorial Cup Championship year for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Lauko has the capabilities to be a crafty fast forward and offensive threat on the scoresheet but his game also comes with a considerable amount of jam incorporated into his heavy style game.

This season with the American Hockey Leagues Providence Bruins the top minor-pro affiliate of the NHL’s Boston Bruins the 19-year-old versatile forward has appeared in only 18 games posting 4-4-8 since his return from NHL training camp. In his AHL rookies season, Jakub played some hard minutes learning the professional game grinding it out on the third and fourth line left side as higher seniority players get top-six roles. had an upper-body injury (shoulder) early in the campaign to return and spend another stint on the IR with another upper-body injury (concussion) in the video provided below that he suffered just before reporting to his Czech Republic team for the mentions WJC tourney.

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It’s good to hear that he’s back on the ice taking the appropriate steps to make a healthy return and his timing might be perfect as he tries to catch a Providence club who seems destined to make an eighth straight Calder Cup Playoff appearance.  This playoff consistency came off of three straight years without a postseason appearance but has certainly been a player dating back to when current Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy and now Providence bench boss Jay Leach hope to bring the city’s second Calder Cup since being organized in 1992. The franchises first and only AHL league championship came in the 1998-99 campaign.

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The Providence club sits in the third position in the Atlantic Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 25-16-2-3 record and 55 points. The B’s only trail Conference-leading Hartford Wolf Pack by four points with 30 games remaining in the 2019-20 regular season. Judging by Divver’s “timeline” of a potential return of Lauko would put him back with the team around the middle of February and a little more than a month and a half of regular-season games to stretch the legs and regain some chemistry. Jakub is a tremendously fast player with high intelligence of making plays in tight areas and the offensive ability to possess the puck in full stride and break away cleanly with some pretty filthy hands at times finishing it off is always a welcome wagon offensively.

Lauko is currently on year one of his three-year entry-level contract so there’s plenty of time to mold this young man to gain a little muscle and round out his overall game. Although, I heard he was tough to teach the North American two-way style game in the early season of his rookie year in the “Q” his knowledge grew stronger and how to be an effective 200-foot game forward was absorbed like a sponge leading him cracking the AHL roster after his time in the B’s NHL training camp. Jakub’s NHL expectations for me if you’re asking is at least two years away as this Boston organization has seemingly been comfortable at the patients of prospects and no rush tom insert said talent into the NHL lineup as soon as they leave the draft podium.

The Providence club gets back to work tomorrow night on the road in Binghamton, New York so get everything you need to know from our very own AHL Bruins writer Tim Richardson in his weekly Providence Bruins preview articles. Click HERE to read this week’s edition!

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 163 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 Prospect Jakub Lauko Injured At World Juniors

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(Photo: Boston Bruins / NHL.com)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Boston Bruins prospect Jakub Lauko appeared to have injured his right leg during his first shift for the Czech Republic at the 2020 World Junior Championship. The forward was trying to control the puck as he skated through center-ice, before being taken down by a trailing Russian forechecker and colliding with another Russian defender.

Lauko went down holding his knee, was slow to get up and had to be helped off the ice. As he went to the locker room, he did not put any weight on his right leg; he has been ruled out for the remainder of the contest.

The 19-year-old had just returned to action after suffering a concussion with the Providence Bruins, Boston’s AHL affiliate. The concussion came as a result of a scary incident, in which Lauko had to be stretchered off the ice, in the P-Bruins’ contest against the Utica Comets on Dec. 7.

Lauko has suited up in 18 games for Providence this season, which is his first professional campaign. In that span, Lauko has four goals and four assists for eight points to go along with a plus-four rating and 20 penalty minutes.

Don Sweeney and the Bruins selected Lauko 77th-overall in the third round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, the 6-foot, 170-pound skater posted 21-20-41 numbers in 44 games as well as 6-7-13 totals in 19 playoff contests with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL in addition to a goal and an assist in five games with the Czech Republic at last year’s World Juniors.

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!

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!

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

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By Carrie Young | Follow Me On Twitter @carrieyoung512

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr)

By Carrie Young | Follow me on Twitter @carrieyoung512

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

Starting Lineups

Providence:

Frederic – Hughes – Lauko

Sherman – Petrovic

Lagace

Bridgeport:

Bourque – Bardreau – McDonald

Hutton – Wotherspoon

Gibson

Game Recap

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First Period

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Second Period

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Third Period

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

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

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

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

Providence Bruins Fall 4-3 To Belleville To Close Out Disappointing Weekend

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(Photo: Providence Bruins via Flickr)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

PROVIDENCE – The Providence Bruins fell to the Belleville Senators by a final score of 4-3 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Sunday afternoon. The loss came as the second in a row for Providence as the team fell in a shootout to the Laval Rocket at the Dunk on Saturday night during Pink in the Rink Weekend. Maxime Lagace got the start in net for Jay Leach’s group while Filip Gustavsson went for Belleville.

“It’s certainly disappointing,” Leach said of only getting one point out of the weekend after the loss. “We’ve certainly got our work cut out for us moving forward.”

The P-Bruins got out to a hot start in this one as Jakob Lauko took a feed from Zach Senyshyn, who danced though a couple Sens defenders, and shoveled a shot from the high-slot past Gustavsson, giving Providence a 1-0 lead just over three minutes into the opening frame. Alex Petrovic, who had himself a solid night, picked up the secondary assist.

Belleville answered quickly, though, as Jonathan Aspirot beat Lagace from long-range for his first professional goal to tie things at one apiece about three minutes after Lauko’s third of the year. Aspirot’s tally accentuated what was already a strong start for Belleville as the Sens had their way with the P-Bruins on the forecheck during the early proceedings of the first period.

Ryan Fitzgerald broke the tie for Providence with 8:10 to go in the first as Chris Breen’s shot with a purpose found Fitzgerald’s stick for the redirect into the back of the net. The Baby B’s were not able to enjoy the lead for long as a breakdown in coverage led to Michael Carcone blasting a one-timer into the wide open cage to tie things at 2-2.

Stuart Percy went to the box, giving Providence a power play late in the period, but the Bruins’ inability to capitalize was a huge lift for Belleville as Drake Batherson drove into the Providence zone on the rush after the penalty kill and zipped a slapper passed Lagace to give Belleville a 3-2 lead. It was the third goal Lagace had given on just six shots.

“I’m not going to blame Max on all of it, but I’m sure he’d like to have one or two of those back,” Leach continued. “Sometimes in these games we need a bit of a wakeup call, so he was more of a sacrificial lamb for us today.”

“[The decision to pull him] was almost like ‘look, this guy’s been great and he just had two shutouts for you–he’s now pulled–so it’s time to wake up.’ Certainly not going to put it on him.”

Kyle Keyser would get the nod in the second period after a shaky first from Lagace. About midway through an evenly-matched second, Providence forward Robert Lantosi went down in quite a bit of discomfort and eventually would head to the dressing room holding a towel to his face–he would return to finish the game, though.

Even though Lantosi would appear to be fine, his injury certainly was not ideal for the P-B’s as the team was already shorthanded up front as Anders Bjork and Peter Cehlarik are with the big club in Boston while Brendan Gaunce is out with a concussion.

The Bruins would ratchet up the pressure in the second as Keyser held the fort in his own end, highlighted by a sprawling save to keep Providence in it. With 4:00 remaining in the middle stanza and with Providence on a 5-on-3 power play, Petrovic sent a nifty cross-ice saucer pass to captain Paul Carey, who one-timed his fifth of the year by Gustavsson to bring the game back to even.

The tie would stand after two periods, but not before Lauko almost gave Providence the lead as his snapper found its way through Gustavsson’s paraphernalia before a Belleville defender was able to sweep the puck off the goal line.

Early in the third period, Trent Frederic and Robert LaBate would exchange pleasantries and eventually, fists in what was a spirited bout. LaBate may have had the advantage during the early going of the fight, getting Frederic to do his best headless horseman impression in the spirit of Halloween as his sweater was pulled over his head, but after the officials, surprisingly, did not step in, Frederic landed several haymakers, earning the knockout on LaBate.

The tempers and animosity would flare following the fight as Urho Vaakanainen would take exception to a Sens forechecker after a stoppage in play and Cooper Zech would take a hard cross-check from Vitalii Abramov later on.

Keyser would be tested frequently during the third as he made an impressive save on a point-blank one-time bomb look easy. However, after two initial saves from the Bruins’ goaltender, Abramov had the puck squirt out to him in front as he jammed it into the yawning cage to put the Sens up 4-3.

“On that last [goal] Keyser made about two real good saves at first before it even goes in, so we can’t really expect much more out of him on that,” Leach noted.

Although the P-Bruins had a solid push late in the game, Abramov’s tally would prove to be the game-winner. Keyser made 20 saves on 21 shots in relief of Lagace while Gustavsson came up with 28 saves in his own right.

“[Since the call-up] Keyser’s been real good,” the Providence bench boss spoke of his rookie goaltender. “He’s real athletic and he fights to see every puck . . . He’s given us a chance to win every night.”

The overall result is certainly disappointing, but there were still some impressive individual performances for Providence in this one, starting with Keyser. Senyshyn easily had his best game of the season while Petrovic had a two-assist night. With his goal, Fitzgerald now has five points (3G, 2A) over his last five contests, too. Also, Carey extended his point-streak to four games.

“I thought he was outstanding,” Leach said of Senyshyn’s performance. “If he can play like that it’s a great stride. [It’s] great for us and certainly great for him.”

Keyser was called up early on in the year for Providence after Dan Vladar went down with an injury. The goaltender in his first professional season was supposed to start the year in Atlanta, Boston’s ECHL-affiliate, but was pulled back to the Baby B’s before he even got a game in with the Gladiators.

“That’s pro hockey for you. You have to expect the unexpected at all times,” Keyser described. “You have to be ready to run whenever they call your name.”

“For me, it’s about staying focused and staying in the present. Whenever I’m called upon, I’ve just got to go out and do my own thing.”

Providence will return to action this Wednesday as the team will travel to Rochester for a tilt with the Americans, Buffalo’s AHL-affiliate. The action is slated to get underway at 7:05 pm–stay tuned for Tim Richardson’s preview for the week!

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!

Bruins Announce More Training Camp Cuts Ahead Of Preseason Tilt With Devils

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(Photo: AP Photo)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced this morning that forward prospect Jakub Lauko has been assigned to Boston’s AHL-affiliate, the Providence Bruins, and defenseman Josiah Didier will report to P-Bruins training camp. Lauko was “assigned” since he is on his NHL entry-level contract whereas Didier will “report” to Providence because he is on an AHL deal.

Lauko was selected 77th-overall by Boston in the third round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft after standing out on the international stage with the Czech Republic’s U-18 squads. The highly-skilled, tenacious forward had a strong showing at camp this year, building off of what was an impressive camp and preseason for him last September.

Last season, Lauko posted 21-20-41 numbers in 44 games as well as 6-7-13 totals in 19 playoff contests with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL. Lauko is definitely one of the Bruins’ best prospects; keep an eye on him. The 19-year-old highlighted his time at training camp this year with this fantastic goal against Philadelphia on Monday night:

Didier has been a career AHL-er for the most part, but has also spent some time in the ECHL (4-5-9 numbers in 17 games). Selected in the fourth round (97th-overall) by Montreal in 2011, the University of Denver product has appeared in 195 AHL contests, recording 8–25-33 totals.

In 28 Calder Cup Playoffs games, Didier has 1-6-7 numbers. During his time in college, the right-shot defenseman registered four goals and 25 assists for 29 points in 148 NCAA games. The 26-yea-old had a solid camp with Boston and recorded an assist to go along with three hits in 15:55 of ice-time in Monday’s overtime win versus the Flyers; he is expected to bring a nice veteran presence to a young defense group in Providence.

Check out the Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 146 that we recorded on 9-22-19 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!