Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 23 Recap

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By Sam Fryman | Follow me on Twitter @sfryman20

Friday, March 15th, 2019, Providence Bruins Vs. The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Road)

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

Since its founding, Pennsylvania has always been known as the Keystone State. Beginning on Friday, the Bruins hoped two key victories against teams in that state would offer them the key to a playoff berth. First up were the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, a team sitting five points behind Providence after just three wins in their last ten games. The Bruins also looked much different than last weekend with Connor Clifton, Trent Frederic, and Paul Carey all up with the big club and five more players out with injuries.

First Period:

The action started just 47 seconds as Zach Senyshyn got a lucky deflection right in front of Alex Lyon. The first shot was set up by Karson Kuhlman who continues his consistent offensive play for Providence. Not even a minute later, the oldest member of Bruins proved he is still a force to be reckoned with. Lee Stempniak made it two goals on two shots and the Phantoms were quickly back on their heels. For the rest of the period, Dan Vladar came up with some huge saves, including a pair of robberies on Mike Vecchione and Justin Bailey.

Score: 2-0 Bruins

Second Period:

Special teams became the story for both Providence and Lehigh Valley as the game got to its late stages. After David Kase out the Phantoms on the board just 56 seconds in the second period with a power play, Lee Stempniak continued his brilliant night early in the third. From a good steal by Karson Kuhlman, Stempniak got the puck unchallenged and easily found the back of the net.

Score: 2-1 Bruins

Third Period:

Two minutes later, the ever aggressive Tyrell Goulbourne got sent to the box for roughing and Gemel Smith made him pay. The Bruins forward picked up his 13th goal of the season to give Providence a 4-1 lead.

As the minutes ticked down in regulation, Lehigh Valley applied a highly aggressive strategy by pulling goalie Alex Lyon with over seven minutes remaining to try to stage a comeback. The plan backfired as Peter Cehlarik put one into the empty net. A couple of garbage time goals from Connor Bunnaman and Greg Carey gave the Phantoms a glimmer of hope, but in the end, it wasn’t enough as Providence walked away with a 5-3 victory to begin the weekend.

Final: 5-3 Bruins

Saturday, March 16th, 2019, Providence Bruins Vs. The Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

First Period:

Coming off of a solid win against the Phantoms, the Bruins went a little further up the Northeast Extension to take on the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins. Through the first period of play, there were no goals to talk about although the Bruins held Wilkes Barre/Scranton to just five total shots in the period, many of them coming late.

Score: 0-0

Second Period:

The even battle was finally put to an end late in the second period with Jake Lucchini netting his first career AHL goal. He waited at the side of the net as a great two on one was started by Jimmy Hayes. Before that tally Zane McIntyre had been having one of his strongest periods of the season, turning aside many close chances from the Penguins.

Score: 1-0 Penguins

Third Period:

At the halfway point of the third period, the hard checking pressure for the Bruins finally paid off as they tied the game at one. Tristan Jarry was caught out of position and Ryan Fitzgerald found the puck on the doorstep. A three on two rush got the offense going for Providence and Karson Kuhlman was able to send in a deadly slap shot for his teammates to collect. Jakub Zboril thought he might have had the go-ahead goal with two and a half minutes to go but Jarry denied him with an aggressive, spinning save to keep the game tied.

Score: 1-1

Overtime:

Adam Johnson ended the game just over a minute into the overtime period for Wilkes Barre/Scranton. He lifted a superb forehand to backhand shot top shelf over Zane McIntyre to give the Penguins their 30th win of the season. The Bruins have one more game on the road against the Laval Rocket before returning home on Wednesday, March 22nd against the Belleville Senators. Every point will be on the line and we’ll recap every game!

Final: 2-1 Penguins

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Providence Bruins Weekend Recap: 3/9 and 3/10

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By: Sam Fryman  |  Follow Me On Twitter @sfryman20

Check out my Friday night March 8th Providence Bruins Vs Hershey Bears game recap from the Dunkin’ Donuts Center by CLICKING HERE

Bruins vs Bears, 3/9/19

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

A shootout was needed to decide the first game of the weekend between Providence and Hershey, and the Saturday sequel would not disappoint. Both teams have been swinging back and forth in the Atlantic Division standings over the last few weeks and the weekend was a prime opportunity for one team to gain a solid amount of distance on the other.

First Period:

The defense showed up first and foremost, holding Hershey to just 4 shots through the first twenty minutes and killing off an early power play. Trent Frederic got the scoring started for Providence at the 9:51 mark. After keeping in a clearing attempt on the half wall, Frederic fired a slap shot that Ilya Samsonov was unable to get out of the air. It was Frederic’s eleventh goal of the season.

Score: Providence 1-0

Second Period:

Just like the Friday contest Hershey always seemed to linger, tying the game up just 1:30 into the second period with Riley Barber beating Dan Vladar on a delayed penalty call.

Providence got to show off the special teams to get right back in the game courtesy of Uhro Vaakanainen. It would be the first goal on what ended up being six power plays in the game for the Bruins. Barber would score his second goal of the evening on a breakaway to tie the game again for Hershey 2-2 late in the second period.

Score: 2-2

Third Period:

Jayson Megna gave Hershey their first lead of the night just about halfway through the third period.

A few minutes later, the Bruins were given a good break when Beck Malenstyn was called for tripping. That power play allowed Paul Carey to lift a puck from right in front of the net to tie the game back up for Providence. Connor Clifton also continued to dish out the assists, notching his fourth in the last two games.

Score: 3-3

Overtime:

As fate would have it, Carey’s night was destined to end more dramatically. After a Bruins faceoff win to begin the overtime period, Carey streaked into the offensive zone and ended the game earlier than expected for the crowd at Dunkin Donuts Center. The Bruins would finish the weekend with a contest against the Springfield Thunderbirds, once again in front of a home crowd.

Final: Providence Wins 4-3 

Bruins vs. Thunderbirds, 3/10F

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

After picking up two wins in post-regulation against their division rivals Hershey, the Providence Bruins looked to make it a clean sweep of the weekend against the Springfield Thunderbirds, a team that is a lowly 9-14-5 on the road this season. Paul Carey came into Sunday’s contest with 6 points in his last 4 games, and with a few additions back on the Providence, roster looked to keep it intact.

First Period:

With Providence getting their first power play opportunity in the first period, Trent Frederic came off from the bench and made a beautiful two on one pass to defenseman Urho Vaakanainen, his third goal in the last four games.

Springfield looked to get the momentum back in their favor when Jacob McDonald went after Michael Doherty just about halfway through the period, with both receiving matching fighting penalties. The bad blood continued to the very last seconds of the period when all players on both teams gathered in the near side corner of the ice to apply some shoves.

Score: 1-0 Providence

Second Period:

Joel Lowry tied the game for Springfield just 2:17 into the second. After a shorthanded chance by Trent Frederic went off of the post, Lowry went right back the other way with Sebastian Repo and beat Zane McIntyre cleanly. Just a minute and a half later, Anthony Greco continued his goal-scoring streak to give the Thunderbirds took a 2-1 lead. Springfield continues to be ranked in the top ten of the AHL in second period scoring with 73 goals for.

Providence took the deficit and started to fire a flurry of shots towards the Springfield cage. Turnovers lead to great chances by the Bruins forwards but they were all stopped, including an incredibly athletic save by Chris Driedger with just over seven minutes to go.

Score: 2-1 Thunderbirds

Third Period:

With 7:39 to go in the third period, Vincent Praplan scored his first goal as a Springfield Thunderbird after the penalty kill had come up large for most of the period. The forward also had his family in attendance after making a late surprise trip from his native Switzerland. That would be all as far as the Bruins efforts would go as they could not get any more shots past goaltender Chris Driedger. Still, the Bruins managed to get four of a possible six points on the weekend to keep themselves in a playoff position. Providence will rest for the week then be back in action against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, who currently sit just outside of a playoff spot.

Final: 3-1 Springfield 

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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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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 19 Recap

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The American Hockey Leagues Atlantic Division is tight with five teams in the eight-team division within 4-5 points of each other as they’ll be jockeying their way back and forth toward Calder Cup Playoff Hopes. In that mix is the Providence Bruins who’ve been red hot to start the 2019 calendar year but have come back to earth a little losing two of three during this weekends action.  The last time the team from the State of Rhode Island lost consecutive games was a 3-0 shutout to host Hartford Wolf Pack on Wednesday, December 19th, 2018 and a 6-3 beatdown the Binghamton Devils gave the Providence club on Friday, December 21st, 2018 once again on the road.

With a season record of 27-19-6-1 and sitting in the fourth position in the division and seventh in the Eastern Conference, the playoffs aren’t out of the realm, but it’s not going to be easy and dropping the last two of three in their home barn, and local fan support certainly didn’t help matters. With proper rest and practice schedule, set up by head coach Jay Leach, the B’s should snap out of this small slide in the wrong direction before they face second-place Bridgeport Sound Tigers to start next weekends three-game set on Friday, February 22nd, 2019.

Anyways, below are the ups and downs of the weekend that was for the Providence Bruins and a little better detail of the game’s action highlighted by the B’s offensive numbers. Hope you all enjoy!

Friday, February 15th, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. The Toronto Marlies (Home)

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

The Bruins kicked off the weekend’s festivities hosting the Toronto Marlies, and red hot B’s goaltender got the start in goal looking for his 12th consecutive victory. After being down 1-0 to the visiting Marlies team through the first 20 minutes, the B’s got on the board in the second period with a shorthanded goal for recently demoted NHL Bruins defenseman Steven Kampher assisted by another newcomer Lee Stempniak. The veteran Stempniak was signed to a professional tryout last week after spending a majority of the 2018-19 season practicing with the Boston Bruins when the team was in the Boston area as a non-roster player.

Stempniak would get his second point of the evening later in the second period with his first of the year assisted by Gemel Smith to get the B’s first lead of the night. The Providence club would seal the deal with a third-period goal from Anton Blidh who scored his eighth of the season assisted by defensemen Chris Breen and Kampher. The three stars of the night were selected from the players that produced offensively with Kampher with the first, Stempniak with the second, and finishing off the honorable mentions, Blidh with the third star.

Bruins goaltender McIntyre stopped 25 of 26 shots and extended his winning streak to 12 games in the 3-1 victory. He’s honestly been sensational in goal since the start of 2019, and with a season record of 20-8-3 and in his last 17 games dating back to December 15th the former 2010 sixth-round draft pick of the NHL Bruins has gone 14-3-0 with a goals-against-average of 2.06, and .909 save percentage in that timeframe.

Saturday, February 16th,2019, Providence Bruins vs. The Charlotte Checkers (Home)

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

This particular game was the start of the weekend troubles for the Bruins team being down 3-0 to the visiting Checkers team going into the third period. The B’s did try and create a spark in the last frame but forward Paul Carey’s 11th of the season assisted by Breen and Ryan Fitzgerald and Jakub Zboril’s fourth of the season a minute later weren’t enough as the Checkers shut down the B’s effort earning the 3-2 victory.

Goaltender Dan Vladar was in goal on this night taking the unfortunate loss.  The rookie netminder is 7-10-4 with a 2.70 goals-against-average, and .903 save percentage in 22 games played. The 21-year-old Czech Republic native has only two wins in his last ten games.

Sunday, February 17th, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. The Springfield Falcons (Home)

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

To finish the weekend’s action and the final game of week 17, the Providence club looked to get back on track after losing to the Charlotte club the night before, but that just didn’t happen. For the second game in a row, the Bruins were fighting an uphill battle and again being down three goals going into the third period certainly didn’t help matters at all. B’s captain Jordan Szwarz tried to create a spark offensively in the last frame, but the Springfield Falcons were just too much punching in two more goals to end the B’s effort and second consecutive loss.

Bruins netminder McIntyre got the start in goal on this night looking for his 13th consecutive victory, but it just wasn’t in the cards on this night as he took the 5-1 loss. The 26-year-old McIntyre didn’t exactly have the full support of his teammates in front of him in the loss to the Thunderbirds and will look to get on track this weekend as he’ll presumably get two of the three starts at the end of the week’s action.  He and Vladar have been on a consistent schedule of McIntyre on Friday and Sunday games while the AHL rookie Vladar gets the call on Saturday’s contests.

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 19 Preview

PBruinsvSpringfield

Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr

By Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Week 19 of the Providence Bruins season is upon us, and our favorite AHL team has a jam-packed weekend ahead. The spoked P comes into the game 26-17-6-1 (59 points) and 8-1-0-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for third in the Atlantic Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference. This past weekend the boys in black and gold saw their 12-point streak come to an end, but they followed that up with an impressive shutout against the Syracuse Crunch. Hopefully, that is the start of another long point streak. Let’s get into what is on tap for the Baby B’s this weekend.

The Bruins have a weekend full of home cooking ahead. It all starts out on Friday, February 15, 2019, when the Toronto Marlies come into town for their only game at the Dunk this year. The weekend action continues Saturday, February 16, 2019, when the Charlotte Checkers come to town to finish up the season series between the two clubs. Finally, the Dunkin Donuts Center is sure to be rocking on Sunday, February 16, 2019, when familiar foe the Springfield Thunderbirds make their way to Providence. It’s going to be a great weekend of fast-paced, exciting hockey that you do not want to miss.

Friday, February 15, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Toronto Marlies (HOME)

The Friday match-up marks the second meeting between the two hockey clubs this season. The Marlies are in the North Division, so because of that the Baby B’s only play them twice during the year. Once at home and once on the road. The first meeting between the two clubs saw the Bruins blank the Maple Leafs’ affiliate 5-0 getting goals from Jordan Szwarz, Zach Senyshyn (2), Karson Kuhlman, and Anders Bjork. Meanwhile, goalie Zane McIntyre was excellent in net turning away all 35 shots he faced. Over the past five seasons, our boys in black and gold have had some good success against the Toronto hockey club with a record of 4-2-1 overall and 2-1 at home. This bodes well for the spoked P on Friday night.

The Toronto Marlies come into the game 25-17-5-3 (58 points) and 5-2-2-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for third in the North Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference. There are going to be a few major keys to this game. The first thing is playing total team defense. Like the Bruins’ last opponent, the Syracuse Crunch the Toronto hockey club scores goals, a lot of goals. In their 50 games played they’ve scored 176 goals. That’s a whopping 3.52 goals a game. Now the reason why total team defense is going to be key for the Baby B’s is that the Maple Leafs’ affiliate has eight players with a point per game total of 0.58 or higher. This means you have shut down more than just one line. Luckily for the Boston affiliate, they have excellent team defense giving up 137 goals in 50 games which 2.74 goals a game.

Another major key to the game will be special teams. The Toronto Marlies boast the top-ranked power play in the North Division and the second-ranked in the entire Eastern Conference at 23%. Meanwhile, the Providence Bruins are equipped with the second-ranked penalty kill in the Atlantic Division as well as the entire Eastern Conference. This plays back into the first key I touched on which was team defense being essential to shutting down the Toronto Squad. Finally, it’s imperative that the Baby B’s have a lead when the second period ends. When leading after two, the spoked P is 20-3-2-1, and the Toronto affiliate is 18-0-1-1. Being on the right side of these battles Friday night will almost guarantee a victory for the boys in black and gold.

Saturday, February 16, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Charlotte Checkers (HOME) 

The Saturday match-up will mark the eighth time these two teams have faced each other, and things haven’t gone the Providence club’s way. In the first installment of the season series, the Carolina Hurricanes’ affiliate beat the Baby B’s 4-3 with the Bruins getting goals from the now departed Jan Kovar, Trent Frederic, and Jordan Szwarz. Meanwhile, goalie, Dan Vladar had a rough night in net turning away 20 of the 24 shots he faced. The second meeting did not yield better results for our boys in black and gold as the Checkers won 3-2 with the Bruins getting goals from Peter Cehlarik and Ryan Fitzgerald while goalie, Zane McIntyre played valiantly stopping 17 of 20 shots in the loss.

The third match-up between the two clubs saw the spoked P finally break through winning 2-1. They got goals from Peter Cehlarik and Jordan Szwarz. Zane McIntyre was superb in net turning away 25 of the 26 shots that were fired his way. The fourth installment between these two teams the Baby B’s fell in OT to Charlotte 3-2 getting goals from Jordan Szwarz and Trent Frederic. Zane McIntyre was great in net again, turning away 44 of the 47 shots he faced, and he pitched in with the rare goalie assist.

The fifth meeting between the two clubs saw the spoked P beat the Hurricanes’ affiliate 5-3 with the Bruins getting goals from Trent Frederic (2), Gemel Smith, Paul Carey, and Karson Kuhlman. Zane McIntyre was very good in net turning away 24 of the 27 shots he faced. In the six games of the season series, The Bruins beat the Checkers 2-1 in overtime getting goals from Ryan Donato, and Cameron Hughes (OT GW). Goalie Zane McIntyre was superb in net stopping 28 of the 29 shots he faced. The last grudge match saw the Baby B’s beat Charlotte 1-0 in overtime getting their game-winning goal from Gemel Smith. Goalie Dan Vladar was excellent in net turning away all 37 shots he faced.

The Charlotte Checkers come into the game 32-13-6-1 (71 points) and 2-4-3-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for first in the Atlantic Division as well as the Eastern Conference. The Baby B’s have had success against Charlotte not only this year but over the past five seasons. This year the spoked P is 4-2-1 against the Carolina affiliate and 6-4-1 over the past five seasons. Some major keys to this match-up are scoring early and keeping that lead. The Checkers are 16-3-1-1 when leading after the first period and 21-0-0-0 when leading after two periods. Meanwhile, our boys in black and gold are 12-5-2 when leading after one period and 20-3-2-1 when leading after two periods. Another major key is out-shooting the opponent. Both teams have great records when out-shooting the team they’re playing the Providence hockey club is 17-11-3-1 meanwhile the Charlotte team is 15-9-4-1. The season series between the two teams has been grueling, and the final game of the series will be nothing short of that.

Sunday, February 17, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (HOME) 

This game mark the ninth time the Bruins and Thunderbirds have faced off this season. In the first meeting, Springfield beat Providence 6-3 with the Bruins getting goals from Zach Senyshyn, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Colby Cave. Meanwhile, goalie Zane McIntyre was a little off his game stopping 14 of 20 shots. The second meeting between the two teams saw a different score with the same result. The Florida Panther’s affiliate beat the Baby B’s 4-2 with the Bruins getting goals from now-departed Martin Bakos and Jan Kovar, while current goalie Zane McIntyre looked much better stopping 17 of 20 shots in net.

The third game of the season series saw the Bruins finally break through and get a win beating the Thunderbirds 5-4. The boys in black and gold got goals from Mark McNeill, Karson Kuhlman, Peter Cehlarik, Jordan Szwarz, and Connor Clifton while Dan Vladar stopped 22 of 26 shots he faced. The next installment of the season series did not go according to plan for the spoked P as they fell to the Springfield club 5-3. Bruins got goals from Zach Senyshyn, Gemel Smith, and Jordan Szwarz. Meanwhile, goalie Dan Vladar was a little off his game despite facing a barrage of shots stopping 34 of 39 he faced. Part five of the season series was a good one for the boys in black and gold. The Bruins beat the Thunderbirds 4-3 getting goals from Peter Cehlarik (2), Trent Frederic, and Paul Carey. Meanwhile, goalie Zane McIntyre continued to play well as he turned away 19 of the 22 shots he faced.

The sixth part in the season series saw the Panthers’ affiliate beat the spoked P 3-2 in overtime. The Baby B’s were able to get goals from Gemel Smith, and Cameron Hughes with Dan Vladar giving a tremendous effort in net stopping 38 of the 41 shots he faced. The seventh showdown saw the boys in black and gold win 2-1 in a shootout getting goals from Karson Kuhlman, and Trent Frederic netted the winning shootout goal. Zane McIntyre was excellent in net turning away 23 of the 24 shots he faced. The most recent throw-down between the two clubs saw the Providence hockey club win 3-2 getting goals from Mark McNeill, Gemel Smith, and Zach Senyshyn. Goalie Zane McIntyre was great in net stopping 22 of 24 shots that came his way.

The Springfield Thunderbirds come into the game 21-20-6-4 (52 points) and 3-6-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for seventh in the Atlantic Division and 13th in the Eastern Conference. The Baby B’s have had a good amount of success against the Panthers’ affiliate over the past five years with a record of 21-10-3 and 4-3-1 this season. Defense again will play a major role in who wins this game. The Thunderbirds have scored 170 goals in the 50 games they’ve played this season which is 3.33 goals a game their problem is they’ve given up 171 goals in that time frame as well which is 3.35 per game. As I stated earlier the preview, Providence’s defense is quite good giving up only 2.74 goals a game. Their offense is no slouch either scoring 3.30 goals a game. The other big key is again who had the lead after two periods. Despite their position in the standings the club from Springfield Massachusetts is 16-1-1 when leading after two periods and 0-18-1-1 when down after two periods. It should be an exciting game to end the jam-packed hockey weekend.

Who’s hot and Who’s not for the Bruins

Hot

Zane McIntyre: The recent point streak the Providence Bruins went on, and their climb in the standings was in large part thanks to McIntyre. The University of North Dakota alum has been excellent recently. Over his past 11 games, the veteran net-minder is 11-0-0 turning away 241 of the 260 shots that came his way for a save percentage of .927 and goals against average of 1.70. It cannot be overstated how he has played recently. It seems like he took the quote “new year, new me” to heart and really turned around not only his season but the Baby B’s season as well.

Gemel Smith: Gemel Smith has been nothing short of excellent since coming over to Providence. The gritty forward was acquired from Dallas in December and after three games with the big club in Boston, was sent down to Providence. Since then the OHL product has played in 22 games for the Baby B’s netting nine goals while dishing out 12 assists for 21 total points. That is a point per game total of 0.95 which is higher than his OHL days of 0.77 (89-114-203 in 264 games played). To top all of that off, he has registered a point in six of his last seven games in which he has found the back of the net three times and tallied six assists for nine total points.

Not

Kyle Cumiskey: Cumiskey has been pretty good for Providence since joining the team. However, the veteran defenseman is on a bit of a cold streak. The WHL product has only registered a point in one of his last six games dishing out two assists in that time frame. He also hasn’t found the back of the net since December 15, 2018. Despite the cold streak, he still is scoring at a point per game clip of 0.55 (3-13-16 in 29 games). This is higher than his AHL career of 0.48 (25-97-122 in 253 games played) as well as his WHL career of 0.45 (12-67-79 in 177 games played).

Mark McNeill: Mark McNeill has proven to be streaky for Providence this season. On the year he does have stats of 7-15-22 in 37 games played. This is a point per game total of 0.59. This is slightly higher than his AHL career of 0.57 (96-119-215 in 380 games played) and lower than his WHL days of 0.88 (97-146-243 in 276 games played). Despite this, the gritty forward has only registered one point in his last six games. The Baby B’s offense has still been clicking recently; however, with Kuhlman getting called up to Boston, Providence will need someone to pick up the mantle in the scoring department. McNeill could help do that.

My players to watch this weekend

Up Front

Jordan SzwarzSzwarz has had a good season for Providence this year. The Baby B’s Captain has netted 15 goals while dishing 11 assists for 26 total points in 43 games played. This is a point per game total of 0.60. This is right on par with his AHL career of 0.59 (105-135-240 in 407 games played), but lower than his OHL days of 0.78 (82-122-204 in 262 games played). On top of that, the gritty forward has been especially good against Charlotte, Springfield, and Toronto this season. In 15 games against those teams this season he has found the back of the net six times while dishing out four assists good for ten points against them this year. That means 38% of his points have come against these three teams. Look for the Captain to have a big weekend.

On the Blue Line

Urho VaakanainenUrho Vaakanainen has been good in limited time for Providence this season. The young defenseman has only played in 16 games with the Baby B’s because earlier in the year he was called up to Boston and in his second game with the big club, he got an elbow to the head leaving him concussed. After recovering from the injury, he then played for Finland in the World Junior Championships where he helped lead his team to the gold medal. Not only has he played well since returning to the spoked P, but three of his eight assists on the season have come in the four games against Springfield he’s played this season. Look for the future star to have a good weekend.

In Net

Zane McIntyre: I know it was stated earlier in the preview how good Zane has been for Providence, but he’s been so good that the numbers bear repeating. He was won his last 11 games that he’s played in while stoning 241 of 260 shots faced in that time frame. That’s good for a save percentage of .927 and goals against average of 1.70. He has also been especially good at home this season. With all three of the weekend games being played at the Dunk look for the veteran net-minder to continue his scorching hot play.

The Providence Bruins had their 12-game point streak snapped last Saturday night. However, they followed that up by shutting out one of the best offenses in the AHL the very next day when they beat Syracuse. That shows the heart of this team. It is very easy after losing a long point streak to let things snowball in the wrong direction. Instead of letting that happen, the Baby B’s had one of their best games of the season right after. The three games the boys in black and gold play this weekend are winnable. The toughest one coming Saturday when they take on Charlotte. I would expect the Bruins to secure at least four points this weekend continuing their hot play. We will catch up with you next week to let you know how the team fared but feel free to send any questions or comments to me on Twitter. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend and Go, B’s, Go!

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 18 Preview

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Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr

By Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

The Providence Bruins come into the weekend 24-16-6-1 (55 points) and 8-0-1-1 in their last 10 games this is good for third in the Atlantic Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference. The Baby B’s are currently riding an 11-game point streak which has seen them go 9-0-1-1. This has catapulted them from near the bottom of the conference to right in the thick of things in the playoff picture. This weekend proves to be another tough test for our boys in black and gold. They have three games this weekend, and the two teams they play against are both ahead of them in the Eastern Conference standings.

The weekend action all starts on Friday, February 8, 2019, with a return home when the Bridgeport Sound Tigers invade the Dunk. The weekend continues Saturday, February 9, 2019, when the Bruins return the favor traveling to Bridgeport, Connecticut to take on the home team Sound Tigers at the Webster Bank Arena. Finally, the exciting weekend wraps up with some more home cooking as the Syracuse Crunch make their first trip to the Dunkin Donuts Center on Sunday, February 10, 2019. These are going to be three games you do not want to miss.

Friday, February 8, 2019 (HOME) and Saturday, February 9, 2019 (AWAY) Providence Bruins vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers

The weekend home and home series will mark the either and ninth time that these two teams have met, and all the games have been closely contested games with five of the seven games going to overtime or shoot-out. The first game of the season series saw the Sound Tigers beat the Bruins 4-3 in overtime with the spoked P getting goals from the recently departed Colby Cave (2), and Jakub Zboril with goalie Dan Vladar playing well turning away 30 of 34 shots he faced. The next meeting saw the Providence club win 5-2 getting goals from Cameron Hughes, Colby Cave, Trent Frederic (2), and the now departed Jan Kovar. Goalie Zane McIntyre looked good in net stopping 25 of the 27 shots he faced.

The third meeting between the two clubs saw Providence breakout offensively winning 6-1 getting goals from Cameron Hughes (3), Zach Senyshyn (2), and Trent Frederic. In net, Dan Vladar was superb stopping 28 of the 29 shots fired his way. The next three meetings the Eastern Conference foes would play ended up going to overtime. The first of those ended up going the Sound Tigers’ way 5-4 with the Bruins getting goals from Jan Kovar, Anton Blidh, Jakub Zboril, and Ryan Donato. Zane McIntyre was in net for the contest, and he was a little off his game stopping 20 of the 25 shots that were fired his way.

The next meeting between the two teams had the puck bounce the Bruins way as they won 2-1 in overtime getting goals from Wiley Sherman, and Ryan Fitzgerald (OT). Goalie Dan Vladar was excellent in net stopping 29 of the 30 shots he faced. The sixth game of the season series saw the Baby B’s fell in overtime 4-3 getting goals from Anton Blidh, Peter Cehlarik, and Kyle Cumiskey with goalie Dan Vladar stopping 13 of 17 shots he faced. Most recently, the Bruins fell 4-3 in a shoot-out getting goals from Jordan Szwarz, Mark McNeill, and Zach Senyshyn while goalie Dan Vladar stopped 12 of the 15 shots that came his way. It’s been a crazy season series thus far, and I would look for it to continue that way.

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers come into the game 26-17-4-2 (58 points) and 4-6 in their last 10 games. This is good for second in the Atlantic Division and third in the Eastern Conference. Our boys in black and gold have had an up and down season against the Islanders’ affiliate this year going 3-0-3-1. However, over the past five years, the Baby B’s have seen success against the Bridgeport club going 23-16-5-3. This bodes well for the weekend series despite having more success at home than on the road. Major keys to this game will be special teams and getting a keeping a lead early.

The Sound Tigers have the eighth-ranked power play in the Atlantic Division, and 13th ranked in the Eastern Conference at 17.4%. Meanwhile, the Islanders’ affiliate has the fifth-ranked penalty kill in the Atlantic Division, and ninth-ranked in the Eastern Conference at 81.0% On the flip-side the Providence Bruins boast the second-best power play in the Atlantic Division and the fifth-best in the Eastern Conference at 20.1%. Their penalty kill is even stronger ranked second-best in the Atlantic Division as well as second-best in the Eastern Conference at 86.6%. In terms of grabbing an early lead and keeping it, the Sound Tigers are 13-3-2-1 when leading after the first period and 13-2-3-2 when leading after two. The Baby B’s are 11-5-2 when leading after one, and 18-3-2-1 when leading after two. It should be a closely contested home and home series with the two clubs.

Sunday, February 10, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Syracuse Crunch (HOME)

The Sunday afternoon contest marks the first time these two teams have played each other this season. The Crunch come into the game 28-13-2-1 (59 points) and 7-2-0-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for second in the North Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference. Over the past five seasons, the two teams have not played each other much because they are in different divisions, but the Bruins have a record of 1-3 against the Crunch in that time frame. Something that does bode well is that they are 1-1 at home in that time frame. Also, the Lightning affiliate is 10-8-2 on the road this season which is much worse than their home record of 17-5-0-1.

The Syracuse Crunch score a lot of goals. It is going to take a total team effort defensively to keep them off the score-sheet, and team defense is going to be a major key for the Bruins if they want to win. Despite only playing 44 games the Tampa Bay affiliate has scored 166 goals. That’s an eye-popping 3.77 goals a game. Luckily, for the Baby B’s they boast one of the best defenses in the Eastern Conference giving up 132 goals in 47 games played which is 2.80 goals a game. Another reason why I said it would take team defense to beat the Crunch is that you can’t stop just one guy or even one line from scoring and be okay. They have nine players with a point per game total of at least 0.71 and six of those players have at least 30 points on the year. It should be an exciting game from the Dunk.

Who’s hot and Who’s not for the Bruins

Hot

Ryan Donato: Donato was sent down to Providence early last week before the team’s two games against Charlotte. The young winger promptly scored a goal and got an assist in his first game back. The former Harvard University forward has registered a point in six of his last nine games with Providence with stats of 6-4-10. He did have a stint in Boston mixed in there but has been excellent for the Baby B’s when with the club. In 12 games he has netted six goals and dished out five assists. That is a point per game total of 0.92 which is very close to his NCAA days of 1.07 (60-44-104 in 97 games played).

Paul Carey: The veteran forward has been excellent for the Providence Bruins since being acquired from the Senators in mid-January. Over his last five games he has netted four goals and tallied two assists, and in nine games with the Baby B’s he has a point per game total of 1.00 (5-4-9). Overall on the season the former Boston College Eagle and two-time NCAA champion has a point per game total of 0.93 (5-22-27 in 29 games). This is significantly better than his college days of 0.59 (45-41-86 in 147 games played).

Not

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson: The young forward was also sent down to Providence at the same time Ryan Donato was early last week. The former Boston University Terrier did register an assist in his second game back in the AHL but has not registered a goal in his last nine games with the Baby B’s and has only dished out three assists in that time frame. Forsbacka Karlsson was someone who the Bruins had hoped would take a big step forward this year, and thus far it’s been less than inspiring. On the year he has a point per game total of 0.41 (1-4-5 in 12 games). This is much less than his NCAA days of 0.81 (24-39-63 in 78 games played).

Jordan SzwarzThe Bruins’ Captain hasn’t registered a goal since January 19, 2019. That is a five-game goal-less streak. He has dished out three assists in that time frame, but the Baby B’s need him to start scoring more goals if they want to continue their hot streak. On the year the OHL product has a point per game total of 0.60 (14-10-24 in 40 games played). This is higher than his AHL career of 0.59 (104-134-238 in 404 games played) but is lower than his OHL days of 0.78 (82-122-204 in 262 games played).

My players to watch this weekend

Up Front

Cameron Hughes: Hughes has had a good first full season thus far for Providence. The former University of Wisconsin Captain has a point per game total of 0.55 (11-15-26 in 47 games played) and has been especially good against Bridgeport this season. In seven games against the Islanders’ affiliate, the young forward has potted four goals while dishing out three assists for seven total points. That means a little more than a quarter of his point total has come against the Sound Tigers. Look for him to have a big weekend.

On the Blue Line

Kyle Cumiskey: The veteran defenseman has played well for the Baby B’s this season. Cumiskey has a point per game total of 0.56 (3-11-14 in 25 games). This is up from his career AHL total of 0.48 (25-95-120 in 250 games played). On top of that, the WHL product has been especially good against Bridgeport this season in three games played he netted one goal and dished out three assists for four total points. This means he too has scored a little more than a quarter of his points against the Sound Tigers this season. I think he has a big weekend in store.

In Net

Zane McIntyre: Zane has been one of the biggest reasons the Providence Bruins are on an 11-game point streak. Over his last nine games played he has a record of 9-0-0 while turning away 189 of the 207 shots that he has faced for a save percentage of .913 and goals against average of 1.96. The veteran goaltender has solidified the back-end of the defense. Look for him to have another big weekend for the boys in black and gold.

A few weeks ago, in one of these previews, I mentioned that this Providence team was too good to not be in a playoff spot. Since then the boys in black and gold have proved my point. There are many young, exciting prospects on the verge of being ready to make an impact in Boston. Despite that, they have a tough weekend ahead. Both teams they will be playing are above them in the Eastern Conference standings. A big weekend could change. We could see the Baby B’s climb to fourth in the division. Who would’ve thought that 11 games ago that when they started this crazy streak, we’d be saying that? I believed in the team, but I wouldn’t have guessed a streak like this was possible. I hope they can continue it this weekend. We will catch up with you next week to let you know how the team fared but feel free to send any questions or comments to me on Twitter. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend and Go, B’s, Go!

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You! 

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 17 Recap

( Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The American Hockey Leagues Providence Bruins played two games in week 17, and both were on the road in Charlotte, North Carolina. As an avid follower and viewer of the top minor-pro affiliate of the Boston Bruins, going into this weekends action had me feeling like we were going in the bowls of hell heading into Bojangles’ Coliseum for two contests at the home of the AHL’s best Charlotte Checkers. The Checkers club has a 2018-19 season record of 31-11-6-0 sitting at the top of the Eastern Conference with 68 points in 48 games played and a home record of 13-5-4.

The team from Rhode Island as I’ve mentioned in previous weekly recaps have played tremendously better since the start of 2019 earning points in the last 11 games climbing the Conference standings with a 24-16-6-1 record in 47 games and good enough for third in the Atlantic and fifth in the Eastern Conference and in the Calder Cup Playoff picture with 29 games remaining. The B’s offense has really stepped it up, and the backend has certainly taken notice as things are seriously coming together and head coach Jay Leach finally has the chemistry he’s been looking for at the first half of the season to try and keep the playoff dreams alive with a seventh straight appearance. Notably on the backend is goaltender Zane McIntyre who’s as focused as I’ve ever seen him since landing in Providence after a successful four-year career with North Dakota University.

In my opinion, since the 2019 calendar year started, it seems like this Providence club is so dialed in that they can literally play any opposing system and evaluate quickly when down on the scoresheet or moments of even play. For instance, this Bruins team was not intimidated at all from this weekends action against the Checkers. Great goaltending from MacIntyre and rookie Dan Vladar but played a very stingy defensive style with an emphasis on not letting pucks by and quick zone transition. On the other hand, this B’s team can bury the puck when needed outscoring their opponents since the start of January going 45 for 30 in 13 games. The AHL is a complete gamble league when you operate on a three-day schedule, so I’m not going to mail in a Calder Cup Championship prediction, but as I continue to watch I’ll be optimistic because of the previous first half Jeykl and Hyde ways,

Well enough about my thoughts and onto the week that was from our Providence Bruins. Enjoy!

Friday, February 1st, 2019, Providence Bruins Vs. The Charlotte Checkers (Road)

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

The Bruins came into Charlotte earning points in the last nine games and even though I mentioned one the bowls of hell earlier, I was pleasantly surprised how the B’s came into the game and ready to play. In front of a really good crowd of 8,076, the B’s would be down in shots after the first period 6-8 but inspiring play with no score from either team in the opening back and forth opening frame.

In the second period, B’s prospect Ryan Donato scored his sixth of the season with excellent D-Zone transitioning from defenseman Conor Clifton and veteran forward Paul Carey who in turn had the vision and hockey IQ along the half wall to rifle a pass completely through the neutral zone to a streaking Donato. Once Donato received the pass from Carey, he crossed the line and unselfishly surveyed the offensive zone at a slow pace then took advantage of the traffic in front of goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic to snipe a top-shelf second-period 1-0 lead at the 19:45 mark.

Unfortunately, with the way MacIntyre played in this game it seemed like the B’s let up off the gas a little and let the Checkers get back in the game with a power-play goal at the 19:33 mark of the third period forcing overtime. In this game, it would be late period heroics throughout the contest, but to every game, there must be a victor!

With ten seconds remaining in overtime Bruins forward Cameron Hughes wound up making a last-ditch effort going north to south to win the game. The rookie Hughes had the smarts to move the puck to Donato who just stepped onto the ice for a new shift and crossed the blueline heading towards the opposing net. Hughes with a never quit attitude powered forward to get into the play which was a two on one that started in the neutral zone. With a pass from Donato that actually hit a Checker’s defenders stick and went through the legs of another defenseman, the puck somehow landed on Cameron’s stick for the tap in under the netminder’s pad overtime winner.

As mentioned Providence Goaltender Zane McIntyre was sensational along with counterpart Nedeljkovic at the other end of the sheet. Zane stopped 28 of 29 Checker shots for the win and his ninth straight victory. McIntyre is 17-8-3 with a goals-against-average of 2.67, and .890 save percentage. Mac’s 17 wins are ranked third in the AHL behind Nedeljkovic who leads with 21.

Saturday, February 2nd, 2019, Providence Bruins Vs. The Charlotte Checkers (Road)

( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

To many a scoreless game through 60 minutes might seem boring, but to me, this was a very exciting game right down to the final minutes. The third period is where I got a little concerned for the game after the first-period shots were tied at 11, the second period the B’s were up 11-10 but where I was on the edge of my seat nervous was the third period where the checkers took a 13-5 shot advantage.

Throughout the game, Providence starting goaltender Dan Vladar who hasn’t won a game in 2019 dating back to December 22nd, 2018, was absolutely on point in this game and by far the best outing of his rookie season. To compliment Vladar’s outstanding game against the best team in the AHL was the moment the game ended in 3vs3 overtime extra session.

With a faceoff to the right of goaltender Vladar in the defensive zone, Jakub Forsbacka Karlsson won the draw and got the puck to Urho Vaakanainen who was behind the play and ready for a quick transition.  The rookie Vaakanainen dished the puck up to JFK who was on the right side in the neutral zone with veteran Gemel Smith hustling up the left side to get into the play. JFK crosses the blueline and slows up when he notices he’s got a two on one and quickly sauced a pass under the defenders stick to Smith who wristed it past goaltender Scott Darling at the 1:36 mark of OT to win the game and sweep the weekend’s action in North Carolina.

Vladar, as mentioned, was stellar against the AHL’s best stopping all 37 Checkers shots that came his way. The 21-year-old netminder is now 7-8-4 on the season with a 2.67 goals-against-average, and .903 save percentage. This was Vladar’s second shutout of the season with his last coming back on December 5th, 2018, on the road in Toronto, Ontario against the Toronto Marlies.

Below are Mark Allred’s Top Three Goals Of Week 17!

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Bruins Recall Cehlarik, Frederic From Providence, Reassign Forsbacka Karlsson and Donato

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( Photo credit: NHL.com )

By: Mandi Mahoney | Check me out on Twitter @phonymahoney

This afternoon, Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced that the team made several transactions today, including recalling Peter Cehlarik and Trent Frederic from the American Hockey League and reassigning Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Ryan Donato to their AHL affiliate in Providence.

Cehlarik, a 23-year-old drafted by the Bruins at 90th overall in 2013, was originally called up earlier this month and made his season debut against the Flyers in Philadelphia. At this point, the Zilina, Slovakia native has skated in three games with the Black and Gold this season, tallying 2 goals and one assist for a total of three points. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound forward has been one of the Bruins’ better forwards in each of the three outings he’s played since being called up.

Cehlarik was reassigned to Providence of the AHL last week when the Bruins’ bye week began, as he wouldn’t have to pass through waivers and the Bruins wanted to keep him engaged and playing through the break. As expected last week, the Bruins recalled him as soon as the bye week ended, and he will likely pick up where he left off, playing alongside David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk. Cehlarik has enjoyed some good chemistry with his linemates and hopefully can keep up the good work with his return to the NHL, where he has notched three goals and four assists for a total of seven points in 20 games since the 2016-17 season.

Center Trent Frederic, a late first rounder drafted by the Bruins 29th overall in 2016, had a good training camp with the Bruins and was one of the more likely players to b center the third line coming into this season. Neither he nor Forsbacka Karlsson had a great preseason despite both having a strong camp, and both were reassigned to Providence to start off the season. Frederic will probably be making his NHL debut Tuesday night at home against Winnipeg. The St. Louis native was selected by the Bruins using the first round picked they received along with Sean Kuraly as a return in the Martin Jones trade (Marty, we hardly knew ye!).

The 6-foot-2, 203-pound American center is tough as nails and defensively responsible. Don’t be fooled by his willingness to drop the gloves, as Frederic is offensively gifted, as well, and has 10-7-17 totals in 37 games in the AHL this season. He’s currently riding a hot streak as well and scored two goals Friday night. Frederic played two seasons for the University of Wisconsin Badgers of the Big 10, where he tallied 32-33-65 totals in 66 games – not too shabby for a player labeled a bottom-six defensive forward and draft bust only a year or two ago. Prior to his two seasons in college hockey, Frederic suited up for the United States National Team Development Program, also known as the USA under-18 team, where he scored four goals and assisted on 11 for a total of 15 points in 24 games.

Both Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Ryan Donato have been with the Bruins’ NHL squad for the better part of this season, and both players have shown some solid NHL potential but have also struggled for the most part. Forsbacka Karlsson, a two-way center, has scored three goals and assisted on six, totaling nine points while playing mostly as the Bruins’ third line center in 28 NHL games this season. Ryan Donato has scored a few beautiful goals and reminded Bruins fans of the offensive potential he showed during the Olympics last February, but he’s had trouble lighting the lamp with any consistency this season, with 6-3-9 totals in 34 NHL games this season. JFK and Donato definitely can be NHL players, but each of them will benefit significantly from a stint in the AHL.

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Bruins Place G Tuukka Rask On Retroactive IR, Recall G McIntyre

Rask-collision.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (Associated Press)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

Off the hands of the All-Star Weekend in San Jose, the Boston Bruins have announced some roster moves ahead of their game against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, January 29th. In addition to some forward breaking news that can be found on blackngoldhockey.com, the Bruins announced today that goaltender Tuukka Rask has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to January 19th and goaltender Zane McIntyre has been called up from the AHL’s Providence Bruins.

In the final game before the nine-day break, goaltender Tuukka Rask was involved in a scary collision with New York Rangers forward Filip Chytil, resulting in Rask leaving the game with what appeared to be a concussion. Jaroslav Halak replaced Rask in the game and the Bruins went on to lose 3-2 the final score.

The extended break for the Bruins may have been the best thing possible for Rask and the organization. It has been confirmed today that Rask has indeed suffered a concussion from the collision and in today’s NHL, concussions are taken quite seriously as they should be. The time off has allowed the Bruins doctors and trainers to properly diagnose Rask and Rask has not had to miss any games in the meantime.

While the Bruins have ruled Rask out of the game against the Winnipeg Jets tomorrow, they have not ruled out a possible return for Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers. The retroactive injured reserve placement means Rask can return to the Bruins lineup whenever he feels that he is ready. To replace him against the Jets, Boston has called up goalie Zane McIntyre on an emergency basis.

McIntyre has played in twenty-seven games with the Providence Bruins, compiling a record of 16-8-3 with a goals-against-average of 2.74 and a save percentage of .887%. The 165th overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Bruins has made eight NHL appearances, going 0-4-1 in that time span along with a 3.93 goals-against-average and a .858 save percentage.

In my opinion, Boston will go with Halak against the Jets, as he is the better goaltender and has done well this season. McIntrye will most likely serve as a backup goaltender for the inevitable future but the possibility is there for him to get his first National Hockey League start in goal in the 2018-19 season.

Returning from the All-Star festivities, it is now crunch time for the B’s as we enter the final stretch of the ’18/’19 regular season. Boston currently sits in the first wild-card position, two points behind the Montreal Canadiens for third place in the Atlantic Division, but the Bruins do have two games in hand. Boston also has a five-point lead on the Buffalo Sabres who are the best team that is currently outside of the playoffs. Every game from this point on has its consequences and the healthy return of Tuukka Rask is needed to make that push for the post-season.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You! 

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 16 Recap

( Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The American Hockey Leagues Providence Bruins had two games this weekend with both events held at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. The 2019 calendar year continues to be a successful time for the top minor-pro affiliate of the National Hockey Leagues Boston Bruins. With points in the last nine of ten games in the month of January and losing only one of those games in regulation, the club from Rhode Island is really playing well and climbing up the Atlantic Division standings.

After a 5-7-2-0 month of December in 2018, hovering around the basement of the eight-team division and out of the Calder Cup playoff picture, the B’s have improved their postseason odds going 7-1-1-1 in the last ten games and currently sit in the sixth position in the Eastern Conference. Their 22-16-6-1 record in 45 games played thus far in the 2018-19 regular season campaign, and the recent unbeaten streak has them listed as one of the hottest teams in the AHL.

This weekends action started on Friday night with the Conference-leading Charlotte Checkers in town who are having an impressive campaign sitting at the top with 66 points and a 31-11-4-0 record in 46 games played. The Bruins are 2-2-1 on the season against the Checkers, and both teams meet three more times before the season ends in April with one at the Dunk and two on the road in Charlotte.  Saturday night’s action once again from the Dunk had the division rival Springfield Thunderbirds came to town as both of these teams have already played in eight of fourteen games on the year.

The B’s swept both games on the weekend beating the powerful Checkers 5-3 on Friday night and a 3-2 victory over the Thunderbirds in the last game before the AHL’s All-Star festivities from MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. The All-Star event kicks off tonight with the Skills Competition and game on Monday night. Both events can be seen on the NHL Network and AHLtv. We wish Providence Bruins captain Jordan Szwarz well as he’ll represent the B’s on the Atlantic Division roster sitting in for the injured Ryan Fitzgerald who’s just not healthy enough to participate.

Anyway, Let’s get to the important stuff and provide our readers with how these weekend games unfolded with a little more detail. Hope you all enjoy!

Friday, January 25th, 2019, Providence Bruins Vs. The Charlotte Checkers (Home)

( Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr )

The Checkers came into the Dunk with an 18-5-2 record on the road and 6-3-1 record in their last ten games looking to take the lead over the B’s in the regular season series. After being down to the Checkers 2-0 after the first six minutes of the opening frame Bruins Prospect Trent Frederic got the B’s on the board with his ninth goal of the season with the lone assist going to Paul Carey at the 9:02 mark.

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Later in the first period, Gemel Smith scored his seventh of the year on the powerplay assisted from veteran forward Mark McNeill and Frederic at the 14:07 mark of the first period. Smith who’s playing in his 16th game since clearing waivers from the parent NHL Bruins club on December 19th, 2018. Gemel was picked up off the NHL waiver wire by the B’s on December 6th,2018 and after only playing three games was then reassigned to the AHL Providence team. The 24-year-old has been playing very well and is one of the team leaders on the bench and in the room behind Captain Jordan Szwarz. He has 16 points in 16 games this season with Providence to this point in the weekend.

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The second period the Bruins were on a mission to play strong and contain the powerful Checkers club and got to work quickly with the only goal of the middle frame to take a 3-2 lead on a Paul Carey shorthanded goal at the 2:33 mark from veteran defenseman Kyle Cumiskey and second-year pro Connor Clifton.  Carey who came to the Providence club via a trade with the Ottawa Senators has been a valued addition to the forward core of this B’s team as they look to be in the mix of the playoff picture. In seven games this season with the AHL Bruins the 30-year-old Weymouth, Massachusetts native has 5-3-8 numbers and recently had a hat trick in a game against the Hartford WolfPack a week ago.

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In the third period, Trent Frederic would get his second goal of the game and Providence 4-2 lead with his 10th of the year assisted by fellow University of Wisconsin Badger alum Cameron Hughes who got the lone helper on Frederic’s 15th career goal in his first full season of AHL play. Trent got his first 13 games of pro hockey in with Providence after his NCAA commitment was through with Wisconsin. In those games in the 2017-18 campaign, the former first-round pick of the B’s had 5-3-8 numbers to end the regular season and got one assist in three Calder Cup Playoff games.

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Ending the Providence scoring on this night and sealing the 5-3 victory was red hot AHL rookie Karson Kuhlman who scored his 10th of the year at the 16:03 from linemate Jordan Szwarz and defenseman Cumiskey. Kuhlman’s 10th extended his point streak to five games and tied his career/season high. The 23-year-old Kuhlman was a member of the NCAA Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs team which he captained to a National Championship and Tournament MVP before turning pro. So far in 44 games this season the undrafted free agent who signed back in April of 2018 has 10-13-23 in his rookie season and 7-7-14 numbers in his last 14 games.

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( Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr )

Providence goaltender Zane McIntyre was sensational in the victory over Charlotte on this night stopping 24 of 27 shots. This was the 15th win of the season for the 26-year-old who was selected in the sixth round back in 2010. This was Zane’s seventh straight game with a win and is certainly deserving for consideration if NHL Bruins starting goaltender Tuukka Rask’s head injury continues to bother him. Many reports have Rask ready to go as they get back to work after the bye week ends on Tuesday night at TD Garden against the Winnipeg Jets. So far this season.

Saturday, January 26th, 2019 Providence Bruins Vs. The Springfield Thunderbirds (Home)

( Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr )

To end the weekend festivities and prepare for the All-Star break the Bruins were once again engaged with a battle against state border rival Thunderbirds team. The motto of  2019 so far is once the opposition gets a lead did down deep and get it back, and that’s exactly what happened twice in this game. The no-give-up attitude started with a goal from Mark McNeill at the 9:27 mark of the first period scoring his seventh of the season and points in the last two games. The 25-year-old forward has 21 points in 32 games this season and has played well in his first year with the Providence club as another leader around a plethora of Bruins prospects. This powerplay goal below was assisted by Gemel Smith and Zach Senyshyn.

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After ending the first period down 2-1 and no scoring in the second frame, the B’s would eventually tie the game at two on a goal from Gemel Smith who netted his eighth of the season on the man advantage early in the last period of play at the 1:17 mark of the third. This was Smith’s second goal in the last two games and ended this night with a goal and two assists. In the last 12 games, Smith has 7-6-13 numbers and is jumping in on the offense quite nicely at a very appropriate time for this Bruins team.

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With the game deadlocked at two, it was Providence forward Zach Senyshyn who got the first Bruins lead of the game at 3-2 and the eventual game-winner at the 12:30 mark of the final period. Senyshyn’s 13th of the season was assisted by Smith and Jakub Zboril who earned his first multi-point game of the year with two assists against the Thunderbirds which snapped a six-game pointless streak. In the last ten games, Senyshyn has 3-4-7 numbers and continues to be a valued asset up and down head coach Jay Leach’s lineup and in all situations.

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( Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr )

Providence netminder McIntyre got the start in goal for the second time in as many nights stopping 22 of 24 Thunderbird shots for his eighth straight victory and 16th win of the season. Zane has been outstanding in the early parts of 2019 and could be a key member to finish the season strong and possible workhorse in the upcoming postseason which starts in April of this year. His goals-against-average has dipped below three per game sitting at 2.74 but his .887 save percentage remains somewhat of a concern moving forward. With this win, McIntyre now has a 2018-19 season record of 16-8-3. His 16 wins are good enough for 5th in the league, his goals-against-average is ranked 19th, and save percentage out of 53 goaltenders in the league ranked 46th.

The Providence Bruins get back to work this week starting on Friday, February 1st when they travel to the mid-Atlantic for two games in as many nights against the Charlotte Checkers for the weekend series. The Bruins are only two points from third place Lehigh Valley Phantoms and 15 points from Division-leading and Conference-leading Checkers Club.

Mark Allred’s Providence Bruins Top-Three Goals of The Week!

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