Despite Offensive Weapons from Boston, P-Bruins Drop 2/3 Games this Weekend (Recap)
Tl;Dr Recap for those who just want the stats:
1/5/18 Providence (21-8-2) vs. Hartford (13-15-6) 7:05 PM
Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 7 of 10 shots, .700 SV%, relieved by Jordan Binnington, 15 of 15 shots, 1.000 SV%; Marek Mazanec, 37 of 39 saves, 0.948 SV%.
Box Score w/ Scoring Summary:
|1st||HFD||S. Fogarty||A. DeAngelo|
|1st||HFD||C. Langkow||J. Whitney, A. Chapie|
|2nd||HFD||J. Gilmour||G. Fontaine|
|3rd||PRO||J. Szwarz||A. Czarnik, E. Johansson|
|3rd||PRO||P. Cehlarik||T. Cross, A. Bjork|
PVD 3-2 Regulation Loss, Drops to (21-9-2); HFD improves to (14-15-6)
1/6/18 Providence (21-9-2) @ Springfield (13-12-6) 7:05 PM
Goalies: Jordan Binnington, 27 of 29 shots, .931 SV%; Sam Montembeault 4 of 7 shots, .571 SV%, Evan Cowley, 28 of 31 shots, .903 SV%.
Box Score w/ Scoring Summary:
|1st||PRO||K. Agostino||J. Szwarz, A. Czarnik|
|1st||PRO||A. Bjork||J. Forsbacka Karlsson|
|1st||PRO||J. Szwarz (PPG)||J. Zboril, K. Agostino|
|1st||SPR||A. Greco (SHG)||R. Hamilton|
|3rd||PRO||T. Cross||K. Agostino, A. Czarnik|
|3rd||PRO||J. Forsbacka Karlsson||A. Bjork, R. Fitzgerald|
|3rd||SPR||J. Hawryluk||R. Hamilton, D. Hunt|
|3rd||PRO||J. Szwarz||A. Czarnik|
PVD 6-2 Regulation W, improves to (22-9-2), SPR drops to (13-13-6).
1/7/18 Providence (22-9-2) vs. Syracuse (19-12-1) 3:05 PM
Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 30 of 34 shots, .882 SV%; Connor Ingram, 21 of 24 shots, .875 SV%
Box Score w/ Scoring Summary:
|1st||SYR||M. Bournival||A. Erne, B. Thomas|
|1st||PRO||M. Beleskey||C. Cave, T. Cross|
|1st||SYR||M. Peca||M. Joseph, D. Walcott|
|2nd||PRO||P. Cehlarik||R. O’Gara, J. Forsbacka Karlsson|
|2nd||PRO||A. Bjork||R. O’Gara, J. Forsbacka Karlsson|
|3rd||SYR||M. Stephens||C. Verhaeghe|
|3rd||SYR||A. Erne||K. Lynch|
PVD Regulation Loss, Drops to (22-10-2), SYR improves to (20-12-1).
X’s and O’s:
Providence Bruins vs. Hartford Wolf Pack 1/5/18
For the Providence Bruins, 2018 began with a dud. In their first game back at the Dunkin Donuts center since December 10th 2017, the Providence Bruins fell victim to some recently developed bad habits. Zane McIntyre wasted little time giving up the game’s first goal a minute and change into the first. Off a turnover from Providence Captain Tommy Cross, Hartford moved the puck below the hash marks where Steven Fogarty was waiting. On the game’s first shot, Fogarty beat McIntyre from a sharp angle up over the short-side glove. Hartford would add insult to injury midway through the first frame on their 4th shot on goal. Providence failed to keep the puck in the Hartford zone off a sloppy entry, and the Wolfpack quickly broke 3-on-2 up ice. Jakub Zboril broke up the initial entry by the Wolfpack, but the puck stayed in the Providence zone where a trailing Hartford skater picked up the loose puck, and threw it toward McIntyre’s net. After a series of unfortunate caroms and bounces with a lot of traffic in front, the puck slipped by McIntyre for the second goal against the Bruins of the night. Despite outshooting Hartford 12-9, Providence trailed by two headed into the first intermission. The second period was similarly unkind to the Providence Bruins. About 3 minutes into the 2nd, the Wolfpack intercepted an outlet pass from Ryan Fitzgerald, and held the puck near the zone, and then worked it around the perimeter of the Providence zone. Chris Breen tried to hoist the puck off the glass and out, but the Wolfpack again held the puck in, and Gabriele Fontaine turned and shot the puck. Fontaine’s rebound found ex-PC Friar John Gilmour in the low slot for an easy tap-in goal. Having given up 3 goals in 10 shots, Jay Leach elected to pull Zane McIntyre. Binnington faced 15 shots, and saved them all. The goaltending change seemed to spark the rest of the Providence squad, as they scored twice in the third to put the game back within reach. Jordan Szwarz and Austin Czarnik combined on a perfect play where the latter sped up the boards and found the former for a pretty one-timer goal. Later, Anders Bjork and Tommy Cross broke up the ice. Bjork fed Cross, who centered it for the late man Peter Cehlarik’s first goal since being sent down from Boston. In the end, Providence couldn’t provide the equalizer, despite a last minute offensive flurry. Credit to Hartford who effectively jammed up the neutral zone for the first two periods, shutting the potent, albeit slightly rusty Providence offense down for most of the game.
Providence Bruins @ Springfield Thunderbirds 1/6/18
On a throwback night in Springfield where the home team Thunderbirds wore jerseys replicating the old Springfield Indians team of the 90’s. Opening festivities would be the only positive thing for the Thunderbirds, however as the Providence Bruins dominated the first period, scoring three goals in 11 minutes of play. 3 minutes into the opening from Kenny Agostino opened the scoring, tapping home a rebound from a Jordan Szwarz shot. Anders Bjork, recently sent down from Boston, begun his bid to return to the big club off his first goal for the Providence Bruins. JFK made a brilliant read on an outlet pass, intercepting it and carrying the puck behind the goal line, centering it to a charging Bjork who rifled it home on one knee from point-blank range glove side on Montembeault. Later, on a double minor to Springfield’s Alex Grenier, Jakub Zboril fired a shot off the half-boards inside the Springfield Zone. After bouncing off a Springfield skate, Jordan Szwarz redirected the puck past Montembault, squeezing it just past the Springfield netminder, ending the latter’s night. Evan Cowley came on the ice in relief of Montembault shortly thereafter. The first period was not all rainbows and sunshine for Providence, as off a bad drop pass during another powerplay for Providence, one of the Springfield skaters sprung Anthony Greco who sprinted in alone on Jordan Binnington. To his credit, Binnington made the initial save, but Greco crushed his own rebound and put the Thunderbirds back within 2 as the period ended. The second period featured no goals, but the Bruins and Thunderbirds traded chances at both ends of the ice. Three minutes and change into the third period, Tommy Cross finally solved Evan Cowley. Kenny Agostino took the puck from Czarnik who was being checked tightly by Springfield’s Juho Lammiko and slid a perfect pass from the left faceoff dot to Tommy Cross skating in off the blue line. Cross wristed a bar-down shot up over the shoulder of Cowley and the Bruins were up by 3 again. Less than two minutes later, Bjork fed JFK for a goal in a role reversal from the 2nd Providence goal. Bjork raced up the ice, behind the goal line, around the net and found JFK in front through a maze of bodies. JFK patiently protected the puck until he could fix the puck into a shooting position and tucked one home for Providence’s largest lead of the night. Jace Hawryluk did his best to rally Springfield with a goal at the ten minute mark, however Jordan Szwarz got a breakaway of his own and went forehand backhand on Cowley for his second goal of the night and the final goal of a 6-2 game.
Providence Bruins vs. Syracuse Crunch 1/7/18
In the final matchup between Providence and Syracuse for the 2017-2018 regular season, the Bruins came out flat, digging another early hole for themselves. In a new record for the club this season, they allowed their first goal 17seconds into the game. After an icing on the Bruins brought the faceoff into their own end, the Crunch controlled the puck off the draw, and easily slid the puck through the gaps of the lazy defensive effort of the Bruins. The Crunch’s Adam Erne had no trouble sliding a centering feed from behind the Providence goal line and found Michael Bournival in the slot for a one-timer short side high. To their credit, the Bruins responded with 7 minutes remaining at the period. The Crunch attempted a clear along their right-wing boards, which was thwarted by Tommy Cross holding the blue line. He dished the puck out to Colby Cave in the slot. Cave fired a shot while turning toward te net, and Matt Beleskey tapped home the rebound. The Crunch would not leave the period quietly, however. A few minutes after Beleskey’s tying goal, the Crunch took advantage of a sloppy Bruins line change and attacked 3-on-1, passing it beautifully between members of the attacking triangle, ending with the shot unfortunately beating McIntyre. Despite the Crunch outshooting the Bruins 18-9, the score was only 2-1 Crunch headed into the first intermission. The Bruins came out strong in the second period, scoring an even strength, and powerplay goal to take the lead. At even strength, Tommy Cross broke 3-on-2 with Jackob Forsbacka Karlsson and Peter Cehlarik. Cross entered the zone first, debated shooting but lost the handle on the puck momentarily, instead passing to the first trailer JFK, who dished it to Cehlarik for a laser guided missile into the back of the Crunch net. Later on the powerplay, JFK held the puck in at the Crunch blue line passing to Rob O’Gara on his left. Anders Bjork on the right wing side had his stick elevated in a shooter’s position waiting for a pass from O’Gara. The pass came, but Bjork didn’t catch it cleanly, however his eventual shot beat Ingram cleanly up over the left shoulder. The Bruins entered the third period up by a goal, but Syracuse came out as they did in the first, forechecking hard and hungry for the win. Providence’s defensemen Chris Breen attempted a clear 4 minutes into the 3rd unsuccessfully, and to make matters worse, Breen’s partner Connor Clifton was stripped of the puck before making a clearing attempt. Another lazy defensive effort cost the Bruins as they allowed a seam to open up from below the goal line to the front of their net where a cross crease shovel pass was turned into a shot that beat a sprawling McIntyre. The Crunch scored the final goal of the game right off an offensive zone faceoff. Off the draw, McIntyre looked out of position as Adam Erne found Kevin Lynch off the draw, who sent a hard wrister into the back of the Providence net. Syracuse controlled play for most of the dying minutes of the third, and suffocated any chance to pull the goalie for extended 6 on 5 time for the Bruins.
Plus / Minus
Plus: + In 6 games against the Thunderbirds, JFK has recorded 8 of his 22 total points. His shooting % is among the highest of Providence at 19.6%.
+ Peter Cehlarik returned to the Providence lineup for the tilt against Hartford. He had his first goal the same night. He was a healthy scratch against Springfield the following night, however. Sources tell me Head Coach Jay Leach is managing his return from an MCL sprain very cautiously.
+ Providence responded to a 2 game skid (1 OTL vs. BEL, 1 L vs. HFD) with a strong statement game on Saturday against the Springfield Falcons in which they chased starting goaltender Sam Montembeault from his crease (3 goals on 7 shots).
+ Providence scored its first Powerplay goal in several weeks on a double minor to Springfield’s Alex Grenier. On Sunday, they magically potted a second Powerplay goal for the first time in several weekends.
+ Rookie Anders Bjork was sent to Providence January 4th, and in 2 games with the P-Bruins, has recorded his first 3 points (1G, 2A). He won’t be down for long; too dominant for the AHL. For examples of this, check out @BruinsNetwork’s videos from AHL Live.
+ 5 different goal scorers contributed to the win in Springfield Saturday night. (Bjork, JFK, Agostino, Cross, Szwarz [x2])
Minus: – Zach Senyshyn is mucking through a cold streak, with only one assist in his last 7 games. He is by no means invisible however, moreso a victim of bad bounces.
– Providence surrendered a shorthanded goal Saturday night off a bad drop pass by JFK; Sprinfield’s Hamilton then sprung Anthony Greco for a breakaway on a penalty kill.
– Matt Beleskey has had a rough time on the powerplay, often dumping passes into dead ice, or not holding the puck in the zone to keep the cycle going.
– Providence lost both games against the Syracuse Crunch this season; the Crunch continues to be a team they struggle to overcome.
– Providence looked flat for the first two periods of Friday’s game, and the first and third periods of Sunday’s game. They seem to lack urgency at times and have a bad habit of coasting.
– Bad news about Lauzon’s injury: it’s worse than initially feared. Sources around the organization aren’t hearing positive news about it, however Lauzon is in good spirits and his mobility and skill are seemingly unaffected (although his ability to play is).
– Tommy Cross, Connor Clifton, and Chris Breen have been turnover machines lately, having difficulty holding pucks at the opponent’s blue line, making good outlet passes, and play in their own end has been scary.
-Providence has lost 2 of 3 games in a weekend for the first time in a while, despite receiving significant offensive firepower from Boston.