Providence, RI: After a spiritless 1-4-0 start through the first five games of the season, the Providence Bruins now have a detectable pulse. Despite surrendering the first goal to Bridgeport Friday, they fought the Sound Tigers to a 3-3 draw at the end of regulation. Providence failed to capture the win in overtime, but displayed fighting spirit that would spill over into the following night. Back home in Providence Saturday, the Bruins stepped on the Sound Tigers’ throats and never let up, to the tune of a 5-2 victory—their first at home this season.
Game 6: PVD Bruins (1-4-0) @ BPT Sound Tigers (1-2-1)
Nuts and Bolts:
Bridgeport went on the attack early. After Providence failed to clear the puck out of their own zone, Bridgeport set up in the offensive zone. Defenseman Devon Toews sent an innocent looking slap shot down the slot to teammate Michael Dal Colle positioned in front of Daniel Vladar, with Dal Colle able to tip the shot under Vladar’s pads to give Bridgeport the lead.
The Providence Bruins would answer within five minutes after strong play at their own blue line.
Providence attacked the puck deep in Bridgeport’s zone; while effective, a defensive lapse did afford Bridgeport’s Joshua Ho-Sang a breakaway chance, only to be denied by Vladar. Bridgeport forced a turnover off the ensuing rebound, but excellent situational awareness and quick decision-making by Colby Cave allowed him to capitalize on poor puck control by the Sound Tigers, generating a breakaway chance of his own that sent a puck stick-side on Chris Gibson for a shorthanded goal.
Zboril’s First Goal of The Providence Bruins 2018-19 season:
The score remained tied until late into the second period. Providence recovered a puck deep in their own zone. Jakub Zboril passed laterally to teammate Jeremy Lauzon, who sent an outlet pass to Ryan Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald dropped the puck for teammate Cameron Hughes as he was entering the offensive zone. Hughes maneuvered into the slot where the Sound Tigers took the body–Hughes passing the puck to teammate Mark McNeill in response. McNeill recognized the opportunity with Bridgeport’s defense out of position, and found Zboril skating in off the blue line. Zboril wasted no time as he found an open shooting lane, and beat Gibson glove side with a booming slap shot.
Tug-of-War part II:
Providence could not hold the lead, however. Barely into the third period, Providence lost a draw in their defensive zone. Michael Dal Colle passed the puck to Rathgeb, who played catch-and-release with teammate Sebasitan Aho. This opened the Providence defense enough for Rathgeb to walk right down the slot and wrist a shot by Vladar.
After trading chances for most of the third, Providence took a late lead. Providence pounced on a dribbling puck in the right faceoff circle after a botched clearing attempt by Bridgeport. Cody Goloubef originally recovered the loose puck for Providence but a Sound Tiger broke up his pass. Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson was in the vicinity and scooped the puck up and found Cave streaking into the slot. Cave opted to shoot cross-body, glove side on Gibson and he found the back of the net to put Providence ahead.
With their goalie pulled, Bridgeport cycled the puck by the Providence blue-line. Sebastian Aho noticed Providence overcommitted to the left-wing and redistributed the puck to Parker Wotherspoon in the right faceoff circle, with Wotherspoon one-timing a laser past Vladar with 47 seconds left in regulation, forcing overtime in Bridgeport.
A defensive breakdown would cost Providence early in overtime. Barely a minute in, the Sound Tigers broke two-on-one into the Providence zone. Tanner Fritz shot for a rebound off the pads of Vladar while teammate Mike Sislo trailed. Sislo picked up the rebound in the slot, easily tapping it in past a sprawling, diving Vladar.
Game 7: PVD Bruins (1-4-1) v. BPT Sound Tigers (2-2-1)
Nuts and Bolts:
How Great thou Start:
Providence weathered an early storm from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, and immediately found their legs thereafter. After an initial clear by Bridgeport was turned aside at center ice, Providence’s Cameron Hughes picked up the Jakub Zboril chop-pass. Hughes caught the Sound Tigers all trying to skate out of their own zone. Hughes walked into the right faceoff circle and wired a shot on former Bruin Jeremy Smith to put Providence ahead by one.
Only a few minutes passed before Providence found themselves on the scoresheet again. Following a successful breakout and transition through the neutral zone, Providence worked the puck around the boards in the Sound Tigers’ zone. The eventual goal scorer Colby Cave took a shovel pass along the boards and protected the puck long enough to filter it back to Jeremy Lauzon waiting at the blue line. Cave drifted back into the slot, whereupon Lauzon sent a purposeful shot toward his teammate, which Cave redirected past Smith for an early two goal lead.
In an attempt to spark his team, Connor Jones picked a fight with Trent Frederic. Jones scrapped hard initially, but Frederic’s size advantage almost immediately gave him the upper hand. After grappling, Frederic landed several heavy blows, picked Jones up slightly before body slamming the Sound Tiger to the ice. Both contestants received fighting majors and the remainder of the period was scoreless.
Three score and one:
Midway through the second, the Bruins won another board battle, this time at the edge of the offsenive zone by the blue line. Karson Kuhlman remained deep in the Bridgeport zone, and recieved a pass down the boards. With Bridgeport’s defense overcommitting to the off-side, Trent Frederic found himself open in the slot, took a centering feed from Kuhlman and snapped the puck past Jeremy Smith, putting Providence up by three.
Feeling the pressure, the Sound Tigers responded with a goal of their own. Michael Dal Colle took advantage of a Providence scramble to break McIntyre’s bid for a shutout. The second frame ended as it began—with Bridgeport trailing by two.
Providence was out for blood in the third. The line of Cehlarik-Kovar-Bakos had been generating chances all night, and finally they were rewarded by way of restoring Providence’s three goal lead when not even a minute into the period, newcomer Jan Kovar scored. Bridgeport was late tracking Kovar down as he skated into the Bridgeport zone almost unobstructed. Kovar fired a quick snapshot that Jeremy Smith saved, but the goaltender left a juicy rebound in the slot. Kovar scooped his rebound and made a crisp backhand shot over a back-diving Smith to give Providence a 4-1 lead.
Trent Frederic added insult to injury off the subsequent faceoff. Peter Cehlarik picked a pass from Connor Clifton off the boards and broke into the Bridgeport zone. As he reached the right faceoff circle, Cehlarik dropped the puck off for a trailing Frederic. The misdirection worked, and Frederic’s laser snuck by Smith.
Bridgeport added another tally with two minutes remaining. Bridgeport opted to pull their goalie as they had the previous night. The gambit was unsuccessful, but Providence could not hit the empty net. The Providence Bruins decisively won a game in front of their home crowd, the first of the year.
+ Colby Cave is on a hot streak, with 4 goals in his last 3 games.
+ Providence successfully won a game at home. Further, they did not surrender their two goal lead after building one.
+ Trent Frederic scored twice and handily won a scrap in front of the home crowd. Frederic possesses a unique blend of skill and tenacity that will fill the opponent’s net with pucks, and pummel their players.
+ Jakub Zboril and Cameron Hughes tally their first goals of the season while Jeremy Lauzon picked up two important helpers on Satuday.
+ Additionally, Zboril has significantly refined his decision making and as a result, his defensive game looks much improved since opening night.
+ Zane McIntyre collects his first win at home off a 25 save performance, turning aside 25 of 27 shots. He bailed the Providence Bruins out early, and his team responded by thumping Bridgeport 5-2.
+ While not a Boston Bruins prospect, Atlanta Gladiator Joel Messner performed remarkably well in his sudden call-up to Providence.
+ A healthy Scratch Friday night, Peter Cehlarik came back the following night reinvigorated and out to prove he shouldn’t be out of the lineup anymore.
+ the Providence Bruins killed off 9 straight penalties this weekend with strong special teams play.
– Jordan Szwarz was injured in Bridgeport Friday night. He was run into the boards and did not get up for several minutes. Chris Breen is on IR with an illness, and Emil Johansson has an upper body injury.
– Providence let a win in regulation slip away Friday night. After scoring two goals back to back, they could not hold the lead not once, but twice. The second cost them the game, as they let Bridgeport tie the game with under a minute in regulation.
– Providence went 0-for-6 on the powerplay this week. With a pedestrian 15.4% conversion rate, their powerplay percentage is 23rd in the league.
– Zach Senyshyn was on the ice for two goals against Friday night, ending the game with a -2. Despite the Providence Bruins’s 5 goals the following night, Senyshyn ended up a -1 Saturday.