Tl;Dr Recap for those who just want the stats:
11/3/17 Providence (6-2-0) vs. Bridgeport (3-5-0) 7:05PM
Goalies: Dan Vladar, 32 of 33 shots, 0.969 SV%; Christopher Gibson, 27 of 27 saves, shutout.
|Providence||1st: 0 goals for||2nd: 0 goals for||3rd: 0 goals for|
|Bridgeport||1st: 1 goal for||2nd: 0 goals for||3rd: 0 goals for|
Scoring Summary: BRI: S. Aho, assisted by: C. Bailey
Bridgeport W, improve to (4-5-0), PVD drops to (6-3-0)
11/4/17 Providence (6-3-0) @ Hartford (4-6-0) 7:30 PM
Goalies: Jordan Binnington, 33 of 33 shots, shutout; Chris Nell, 16 of 20 shots, 0.800 SV%, in relief: Alexandar Georgiev, 8 of 9 shots, 0.888 SV%
|Hartford||1st: 0 goals for||2nd: 0 goals for||3rd: 0 goals for|
|Providence||1st: 2 goals for||2nd: 2 goals for||3rd: 1 goal for|
Scoring Summary: PVD, Z. Senyshyn, Assist: C. Hargrove; PVD, J. Forsbacka-Karlsson Assists: K. Agostino, M. Grzelcyk; J. Hennessey, Assist: S. Acolatse; K. Agostino, Assists: R. Fitzgerald, J. Forsbacka-Karlsson; C. Hargrove, unassisted.
Providence W, improve to (7-3-0), Hartford drops to (4-7-0)
11/5/17 Providence (6-3-0) vs. Bridgeport (5-5-0)
Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 31 of 37 shots, 0.837 SV%; Kristers Gudlevskis, 31 of 31 shots, shutout.
|Providence||1st: 0 goals for||2nd: 0 goals for||3rd: 0 goals for|
|Bridgeport||1st: 2 goals for||2nd: 2 goals for||3rd: 2 goals for|
Scoring Summary: BRI: S. Aho, assists: J. Ho-Sang, T. Fritz; BRI: S. Bernier, assists: D. Toews, R Borque; BRI: J. Stevens, assist: J. Ho-Sang; BRI: M. Vande-Sompel, assist: C. Bailey; BRI: S. Aho, assist: C. Jones; BRI: S. Aho.
Bridgeport W, improve to (6-5-0), Providence drops to (6-4-0)
X’s and O’s: A Tale of Two Teams
PVD vs. Bridgeport (11/3)
In Providence Captain Tommy Cross’s 300th AHL game, the Bruins were held scoreless while surrendering a lone goal to Sebastian Aho. During an even strength play at 9:47 of the first period, Casey Bailey passed out at the point to Aho who fired a slap shot that was deflected past netminder Dan Vladar. To his credit, Vladar looked sharp throughout the game and was a bright spot on an otherwise frustrating night. He stopped 32 of 33 shots and his technique in net looked explosive. Vladar seems to be an athletic goalie with impressive limb speed, getting his blocker, glove, and pads out in every direction to stop pucks. On 4 powerplay attempts, Providence failed to convert, however strong on the penalty kill going 6-for-6. Despite chances in the 2nd and 3rd from Fitzgerald and Cross respectively, the Sound Tigers held the Bruins off the scoreboard and handed the latter their first shutout loss of the season.
PVD @ Hartford (11/4)
Coming off a frustrating loss, the Providence Bruins went on the road and took command of the game at the XL Center in Hartford. Despite an early push from the home team who held the Bruins to 0 shots through 6 minutes, Hartford was beat at 5:13 of the first period. Off a faceoff, Colton Hargove fed speedy winger Zach Senyshyn who stormed up the right-wing boards and snuck a shot five-hole on Hartford goalie Chris Nell. Two minutes later, during a powerplay chance, Matt Grzelcyk fed Kenny Agostino at the point who’s slap pass was deflected perfectly by center Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson. Providence carried a 2 goal lead into the 1st intermission. The second period heavily favored the Bruins. On another Powerplay, Josh Hennessey grabbed a juicy rebound off Sena Acolatse’s long shot and scored. The top line of Forsbacka-Karlsson, Fitzgerald, and Agostino all combined off a pretty passing play that was fired in from the latter who was left unguarded in the left slot. After the 4th goal, Hartford pulled Nell in favor of Alexandar Georgiev, however this wouldn’t stop Providence’s onslaught. A forechecking Hargrove stole the puck off a Hartford skater, and wrapped the puck around the right post for the 5th and final goal of the night for Providence. Jordan Binnington, on loan from the STL Blues organization was perfect, stopping all 33 shots. The bruins were 2 for 3 on the PP, and 5 for 5 on the PK. One would think this would erase the frustration of their previous blanking, and 2 game losing streak, however Sunday would feature another Jekel and Hyde scenario for the Bruins squad.
PVD vs. Bridgeport (11/5)
In Zane McIntyre’s first start since October 27th, the whole team suffered from a collective lack of effort and energy. After a few brilliant saves, McIntyre was beat cleanly off a Sebastian Aho one timer from Josh Ho-Sang during a Sound Tigers powerplay. Steve Bernier would tuck one through McIntyre’s pads a few minutes later to double the Sound Tigers’ lead. Through the first, Providence was outshot 18-5, and severely outmuscled, as the Sound Tigers would claw and fight for every puck. Quoting Jay Leach, Mark Divver of the Providence Journal reported: “(The Sound Tigers) clearly were ready to go and we were not. In three-in-threes, that is the cardinal sin. You get behind the eight ball early and it’s really, really hard to come back. That team over there played a real good, solid, hard game. We were not ready to match that,’’. Second period went from bad, to worse as 56 seconds into the 2nd, Josh Stevens ripped one past Zane for a 3-0 Bridgeport lead. Mitchell Vande-Sompel scored next, elevating Bridgeport by 4 goals midway through the 2nd. Despite almost evening the shot total during a series of powerplays, Providence continued to struggle generating quality scoring chances, with mediocre attempts at zone entries and poor forechecking. The Bruins’ lack of zone time, and Bridgeport’s relentless attack gave the latter a 5-0 lead off the stick of new Providence Bruins killer, Sebastian Aho. The third would add insult to injury as during a series of powerplays, the Bruins could not capitalize on another series of powerplays including some 5-on-3 situations. One of these 5-on-3 advantages was nullified on a questionable delay of game/faceoff violation penalty called by linseman Libor Suchanek reducing the Bruins advantage to an unusual 4-on-3 situation. Suffering from lack of finish, including a juicy rebound left adrift in the crease, Bridgeport goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis continued to stonewall the Bruins. The final dagger came as Sebastian Aho beat McIntyre for the third time, completing the hat trick. Unsurprisingly, few, if any, hats made their way onto the ice. Several Providence players attempted to spark their teammates with scraps, one of which sent Sena Acolatse to the dressing room early with a game misconduct, however nothing would come of them. For a complete rundown of the anemic effort by Providence through the first two periods, click here for a stat sheet I was handed. Head Coach Jay Leach will have his hands full righting all that went wrong over this weekend. Also of note, Rob O’Gara was a healthy scratch. This could suggest a possible trade in the works, or an imminent callup as journeyman Paul Postma’s play has left much to be desired with the NHL Bruins. On a more positive note, Providence coach Jay Leach was impressed with 2015 1st round pick Zach Senyshyn’s play of late: “Zach Senyshyn was good. His last three to five games, he’s doing a lot of little things that we’ve been talking about and he’s looked good. We’ve worked with him, trying to find that inside ice and use that speed in the right way. He’s coming along.’’
Sources include the official Providence Bruins’ website, Hartford Wolfpack’s website, AHL stats, and last but not least, Mark Divver’s keen eye. For his full rundown, click here.