Providence Bruins Take 4 of 8 Points in Second to Last Week of the Regular Season
Bridgeport, CT., before the Providence Bruins took the ice at Webster Bank Arena April 7th.
Tl;Dr Recap for those who just want the stats:
4/3/18 Providence (41-23-5) @ Bridgeport (34-27-8) 10:30 AM
Goalies: Dan Vladar, 31 of 34 shots, 0.911 SV%; Eamon McAdam 23 of 25 shots, 0.920 SV%
Box Score W/Scoring Summary:
PVD 3-2 regulation loss, drops to (41-24-5); BRI improves to (35-27-8)
4/6/18 Providence (41-24-5) vs. Hartford (31-31-9) 7:05 PM
Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 37 of 40 shots, 0.925 SV%; Alexandar Georgiev 20 of 25 shots, 0.800 SV%, replaced by: Marek Mazanec 13 of 14 shots, 0.928 SV%.
Box Score W/ Scoring Summary:
PVD 6-3 regulation win, improves to (42-24-5); HFD drops to (31-32-9)
4/7/18 Providence (41-24-5) @ Bridgeport (36-27-8) 7:05 PM
Goalies: Jordan Binnington 23 of 25 shots, 0.920 SV%; Christopher Gibson 19 of 23 shots, 0.826 SV%
Box Score W/ Scoring Summary:
PVD 4-2 regulation win, improves to (42-24-5), BPT drops to (36-27-8)
4/8/18 Providence (42-24-5) vs. Lehigh Valley (43-19-10) 3:05 PM
Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 32 of 37 shots, 0.864 SV%; John Muse 32 of 35 shots, 0.914 SV%
Box Score W/ Scoring Summary:
PVD regulation loss, drops to (42-25-5), LV improves to (44-19-10)
Providence Bruins @ Bridgeport Sound Tigers (4/3/18)
Providence opened their only 4-game week with their only Tuesday game at an unusual 1030 AM puck drop. A hungry Bridgeport Sound Tigers team came out a little sluggish in the first 40 seconds, but an early powerplay energized the home team. From that moment on, the momentum seemed to be in the Tigers’ favor till the final horn. Providence goaltender Dan Vladar would fight Bridgeport tooth and nail for every goal against. After getting badly outshot in the first period, Providence managed to strike first. As Providence skaters Adam Payerl and Colton Hargrove broke up 2-on-2 up ice, Payerl dumped the puck into the Bridgeport zone and the Tigers’ goaltender misplayed the puck back into the reach of a charging Adam Payerl who wasted no time chipping the puck past the sprawled goalie. Providence didn’t hold the lead very long: On a cross-checking minor to Payerl, the home team evened the score. In an overload powerplay formation, Casey Bailey, Sebastian Aho, and Josh Ho-Sang worked the puck along the left-wing boards. The puck was fed back out to Aho at the blue line who had his stick cocked in a shooting position, but instead he passed back to Bailey just inside the left faceoff circle and the one time beat Vladar glove side.
Early in the third period, Bridgeport struck again off the stick of Kellen Jones at even strength. In the midst of a Providence line change, Jones charged up the ice, and cucked a backhand shot at the Providence net, and it bounced off Paul Postma’s skate past Vladar. Colton Hargrove, who was injured in the game earlier but returned, equalized the score later in the third. Right off the draw, left winger Hargrove maneuvered to the hashmarks on the right-wing boards by the faceoff dot and wired the puck five-hole on Bridgeport goaltender Eamon McAdam. Rookie mistakes and bad penalties would sink the Bruins late in the third, however. Cameron Hughes was caught out of position in an odd man rush midway through the third period, and reached out with his stick, tripping up a Bridgeport skater. The Bruins successfully killed off the penalty, but as it expired, Trent Frederic incurred a delay of game penalty the Bridgeport power play capitalized on. Off a pretty passing play similar to their first powerplay goal, Travis St. Denis scored to edge the Bridgeport squad up one. Providence Swiss army knife Sena Acolatse took a 5 minute major and game misconduct with 4 minutes left in the game, snuffing out any hope at a Bruins counterattack.
Providence Bruins vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (4/6/18)
Providence was out to prove their last game was a fluke, scoring 2 early first period goals against the visiting Hartford Wolf Pack in their Friday night matchup. After heavily outshooting the Hartford Wolf Pack 8-2 midway through the first period, Providence finally broke the scoreless tie almost 8 minutes into the first frame. Off a broken pass initially intended for a Providence defenseman, Cameron Hughes instead sprung Anton Blidh at the Hartford blue line and Blidh walked in, and sniped over the blocker side shoulder of Alexandar Georgiev. Newcomer Jack Studnika picked up his first of two assists on this goal. A couple minutes later, Jordan Szwarz doubled the Providence score from the left faceoff dot off a pretty passing play from Ryan Fitzgerald and Austin Czarnik. Harford was whistled for high-sticking early in the second period, and Providence went on the first of 4 powerplay attempts. Off a faceoff in the attacking zone, Providence cycled the puck all around the Hartford zone until Paul Postma fed Austin Czarnik for a shot, and Ryan Fitzgerald picked up the rebound and trickled it through a sprawling Hartford goaltender for his first of two goals.
Later in the period, Fitzgerald struck again off a terrific individual effort: Off a blocked Conor Clifton shot, Fitzgerald picked up the loose puck in the slot, turned, and wired it into the back of the Hartford net. Providence scored their fifth goal of the game midway through the second period during a delayed penalty to Hartford. Paul Postma began the sequence after collecting a shovel pass from McIntyre deep in the Providence end. With a long stretch pass to Colton Hargrove, Providence gained zone entry. Hargrove shoveled a short pass to Adam Payerl who took a monster hit to make a play, dropping the puck back for Hargrove again. Hargrove made another short shovel pass to ex-Badger Trent Frederic who wasted no time with a quick shot that beat Georgiev, chasing the visiting goaltender. Harford scored two early goals in the third period to spoil McIntyre’s bid for a shutout, but Providence scored the touchdown off the stick of Austin Czarnik soon after the second Hartford goal. E-Bruins prospect Ryan Lindgren beat McIntyre from the blue line to close the score to 6-3, but by then it was too little, too late. The Bruins had done their damage early through two periods, and skated away with a commanding win.
Providence Bruins @ Bridgeport Sound Tigers (4/7/18)
Providence traveled to nearby Bridgeport (along with yours truly) to take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the second time this week. The Sound Tigers were skating for their playoff hopes, while Providence played for clinching a playoff berth. As was Tuesday morning, Providence struck first while activating their defense corps to join the attack. Cam Hughes, Trent Frederic, and a trailing Jeremy Lauzon raced into the zone with Hughes feeding Frederic who shoveled to Lauzon on the left wing. Lauzon beat Gibson short-side high for Jeremy’s first professional goal and a 1-0 Providence lead. Bridgeport answered back on an early powerplay opportunity with Providence’s Colby Cave in the box. Bridgeport’s Mitch Vande-Sompel won a board battle against the Providence PK, kicking the puck back to teammate Ryan Borque. Borque made a quick turnaround cross-crease feed to Ryan Hitchcock in the right-wing circle and the latter beat Jordan Binnington glove side.
Providence took the game to Bridgeport at this point, two minutes later off the stick of Colton Hargrove on the Powerplay. Providence continued to activate their D throughout the game, and was rewarded with another goal from defenseman Paul Postma who took a silky feed and rifled a heavy slap shot into the back of the Bridgeport net. Halfway through the third, Austin Czarnik’s earlier hard work was rewarded with a powerplay goal from Tommy Cross and Paul Postma feeds. Till this point, Czarnik had been tracking pucks well, making hits, hunting rebounds and loose pucks, and his goal on the powerplay validated his efforts. Before the final buzzer sounded, Bridgeport took advantage of a mental lapse in Providence’s powerplay unit: rookie Jeff Kubiak pounced on a loose puck while his team was killing off a penalty and skated into the Providence zone almost unopposed. Kubiak scored his first professional goal off a sharp angle shot far side on Binnington, but the damage had already been done. Providence won 4-2, and clinched a playoff berth in doing so.
Providence Bruins vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms (4/8/18)
In the final game of the unusual 4-game week format, Providence came out flat against an aggressive Lehigh Valley Phantoms team eager to finally best the Bruins on the latter’s home ice. A rested Zane McIntyre (who remained in Providence while his team travelled to Bridgeport) was no match for the firepower of a Phantoms team who had just lost in Hartford the night before. The bleeding began 7 minutes into the first period, after Zane made the initial save on Nick Aube-Kubel, he couldn’t make the follow up save on Carson Twarynski’s first professional goal. On a questionable high-sticking call to Jakub Zboril, Greg Carey scored on a cross-crease shovel pass. Providence’s PK overcommitted to the left side of the ice and left Carey alone by the right post for an easy goal over McIntyre’s glove. At this point, Providence was heated and pushed back on a powerplay of their own where Trent Frederic scored. Jakub Zboril fired a shot intentionally wide of the Phantoms net, and it caromed out to Colton Hargrove on left wing who passed to Frederic. The latter walked in looking to shoot high, but instead snuck the puck five-hole to bring the Bruins back within one. This would be the closest the Bruins would get to tying the game, as the Phantoms struck back with a goal each from T.J. Brennan and Colin McDonald in quick succession to end the first period.
In the second period, McIntyre’s goaltending was sharper, but the Phantoms walked all over the Bruins again. The lone goal of the period was scored by league-leading scorer Phil Varone who picked up a rebound off McIntyre and backhanded it blocker side and it broke through McIntyre. To open the 3rd period, youngster Zach Senyshyn was rewarded for his hard work earlier in the game causing havoc amongst the Phantoms with a true goal-scorer’s goal 34 seconds in. Off a faceoff in the neutral zone, veteran Chris Porter shoveled a small backhand pass to Senyshyn who charged in with his dazzling speed. Senyshyn then cut around the left faceoff circle, skated right in front of the crease where the Phantoms goaltender over-committed to a deke. Zach had no trouble firing the puck over the sprawled, baited goaltender for his 10th of the season. Jakub Zboril’s 4th of the season came 13 minutes later, but the comeback fell silent after that. Lehigh Valley managed to score a last-second empty netter for a final score of 6-3.
Plus / Minus
Plus: + Goaltender Dan Vladar up from Atlanta played in Bridgeport Tuesday morning and though he took the L, acquitted himself well despite poor defense in front of him (0.911 SV%)
+ Bruins 2017 2nd rounder Jack Studnika joined Providence on an ATO and picked up 2 assists that night, then an assist the two following nights. Jay Leach on Studnika: “He’s a playmaker, He’s always skating with his head up with the puck. Always.”
+ Jeremy Lauzon scored his first professional goal Saturday night. Ryan Fitzgerald scored his 18th and 19th goals of the season Friday night. Rookie Trent Frederic scored 2G, one Friday and one Sunday along with an assist Saturday. Zach Senyshyn’s goal Sunday afternoon sparked a small rally for the Bruins in the third period. Jakub Zboril scored 1G, 2A through four games this week.
+ Providence’s powerplay was coached well this week: one goal in 2 of 4 games played, and two goals Saturday night in Bridgeport.
+ While his team’s play was lackluster, Zach Senyshyn displayed his substantial talent Sunday night, with speed, tenacity on the puck, tough forechecking, and was rewarded with a goal in the third period.
Minus: – Providence’s PK was terrible this week, surrendering a goal on 6 of 14 PK situations.
– Providence gave up a shorthanded goal Saturday night with about 30 seconds left in the game.
– Newcomers Cam Hughes and Trent Frederic made rookie mistakes that directly led to the game winning Powerplay goal for Bridgeport on Tuesday.
– Sena Acolatse received a 5 minute boarding major Tuesday morning for a late-game hit on Ryan McKinnon.
– Providence had a weak start Tuesday morning, getting outshot 15 to their 7. Dan Vladar’s steady goaltending was the only reason they weren’t blown out. Providence came out with another anemic effort Sunday afternoon, outshot 33-12 through 2 periods.
– Zane McIntyre let up 4 goals on 20 shots in the first period of Sunday’s game.
– Despite points on the score sheet, Jakub Zboril has been committing a worrisome number of rookie errors of late. Questionable judgment and passes have led to egregious turnovers.
– Providence could not score on a late powerplay nor a minute of 6-on-5 with the goalie pulled, or even a minute of 6-on-4 to end the game against Lehigh Valley.