Providence Bruins vs Hershey Bears Game Recap 3/8/19

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flikr )

By: Sam Fryman  |  Follow Me On Twitter @sfryman20

Providence Bruins Lines:

Carey – Szwarz – Kuhlman
Blidh – Frederic – Senyshyn
Fitzgerald – Smith – McNeill
Riley – Koppanen – Pond

Goalie:

McIntyre

Hershey Bears Lines:

Smith Pelley – Sgarbossa – Barber
Gersich – Megna – Walker
O’Brien – Pilon – Malenstyn
Kammerer – Pinho – Whitney

Goalie:

Vanacek

First Period:

The Bruins looked to begin a strong weekend in the month of March against one of their chief rivals in the Atlantic Division. The Hershey Bears came into this matchup sitting just one point ahead of Providence for third in the division standings. It was the first of two games against Hershey as the Bruins looked to prevent the Bears from getting their 8th win in the last 11 games.

With the return of forward Karson Kuhlman to the lineup, Providence was expecting an added boost of offense. Early on the Bruins wouldn’t do so, going 0 for 2 on the power play and not controlling the pace of the game as Hershey could. Zane McIntyre continued his impressive season by coming up with several very athletic saves in the early minutes, notably on Beck Malenstyn, while the Bruins defensemen were making a few passing mistakes.

The Bears got the scoring started with just about a minute and a half left in the first period with Riley Barber receiving a terrific pass from behind the net by Aaron Ness. Despite the slow start on the scoreboard, Providence lead in the shots on goal category 12-8.

Score: Hershey 1-0

Second Period:

Providence applied more of an aggressive forecheck to begin the second period, and the scoring chances were coming much more frequently as were fortunate turnovers. Providence went on their third power play of the game with 13:19 to go in the period due to an interference penalty. Special teams finally yielded a goal to the Bruins via the captain Jordan Szwarz, his third against the Bears this season. After a great point shot by Clifton, Szwarz dived in front of the net to put it past Hershey goaltender Vitek Vanecek. A punch filled scrap between Tyler Lewington and Trent Frederic right after the goal kept the fans very much into it.

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As the physicality of the game picked up it was the job of the Bruins penalty kill to keep the tie intact. They held Hershey scoreless on their two power play chances in the period, continuing their season-long success down a man. After some incredible stick moves by Connor Clifton, the Bruins got yet another power play goal to take their first lead of the games. While he didn’t finish off his highlight reel approach, former Bear Paul Carey received a perfect pass and finished with under three minutes left in the second.

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Score: Providence 2-1

Third Period:

The third period started with a great bounce from Hershey. Their continued zone presence and crisp passing left the Bruins gassed, but the defense and McIntyre were able to fend off all challenges. With some tight back and forth action being applied between the two squads, Lucas Johansson tied it up for the Bears with 4:54 left in regulation. It was his first AHL goal since mid-October. It was an unfortunate one to give up given how much Providence had controlled the puck in their offensive zone. The goal would give each team one point as the contest headed to overtime, but only one squad would walk away with a big second for the win.

Score: 2-2

Overtime was a very even contest but it yielded no winner. The noteworthy highlights were a big couple of denials by McIntyre on Hershey’s Jason Megna, who had been a shot machine all night for the visitors.

Shootout: Hershey has been known throughout the season as a very strong shootout team, but none of their shooters could figure out Zane McIntyre. In the sixth round, Anton Blidh scored to give the Bruins the win which will leave the teams tied in the Atlantic Division standings. Next up for Providence: Another tilt against the Bears tomorrow night at the Dunk, followed by a Sunday matinee contest versus Springfield.

Final: 3-2

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