Providence returns to winning ways, despite offensive drought (Weekend recap, 1/19-21/18)
Tl;Dr Recap for those who just want the stats:
1/19/18 Providence (22-11-3) vs. WBS Penguins (24-10-3) 7:05 PM
Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 28 of 28 shots, Shutout; Anthony Peters, 42 of 43 shots, 0.976 SV%
Box Score W/Scoring Summary:
|PRO||3rd||T. Cross (PP)||A. Czarnik, P. Cehlarik|
PVD 1-0 Regulation W, improves to (23-11-3); WBS drops to (24-11-3)
1/20/18 Providence (23-11-3) @ Bridgeport (18-15-6) 7:05 PM
Goalies: Jordan Binnington, 27 of 30 shots, 0.900 SV%; Christopher Gibson, 25 of 27 shots, 0.925 SV%
Box Score W/ Scoring Summary:
|BRI||2nd||K. Schempp||K. Burroughs, B. Holmstrom|
|PRO||2nd||J. Forsbacka Karlsson (PP)||R. O’Gara, K. Agostino|
|BRI||2nd||C. Bailey||J. Ho-Sang, P. Wotherspoon|
|PRO||3rd||C. Cave||J. Hickman, R. Fitzgerald|
PVD 3-2 Regulation L, drops to (23-12-3); BRI improves to (19-15-6)
1/21/18 Providence (23-12-3) vs. Springfield (19-22-2) 3:05 PM
Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 27 of 27 shots, Shutout; Sam Montembault, 47 of 48 shots, 0.979 SV%
Box Score W/ Scoring Summary:
|PRO||3rd||R. Fitzgerald||P. Cehlarik, J. Szwarz|
|PRO||3rd||J. Szwarz||A. Czarnik, K. Agostino|
PVD 2-0 Regulation W, improves to (24-12-3), Springfield drops to (19-23-2).
Providence Bruins vs. Wilkes Barre-Scranton Penguins (1/19/18)
Coming off their worst weekend 3-in-3 this season, the Providence Bruins skated against formidable opponent Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. In their last 10, the Penguins have surged with a 8-2-0 record and overtook Providence for 1st in the Atlantic. Despite the low score of the game, the entertainment value was immense; the game was reminiscent of game 7 of the 2011 Eastern Conference finals between the Bruins and Lightning. Providence goaltender Zane McIntyre had one of his best games of the year, turning away all 28 of the Penguins shots for a shutout. Both goaltenders had to deal with their fair share of odd man-rushes, man-advantage, and scrambling save situations, however during a Providence powerplay, Penguins goaltender Anthony Peters buckled once, giving up the game’s only goal. In the 3rd period, Austin Czarnik, Tommy Cross, and Peter Cehlarik had been working the puck between the boards and the Penguins blue line, trying to split the Penguins defense. Finally, Austin Czarnik saw the seam, fed Cross, who fired the shot glove side on Peters for the game-winning goal. With the net empty, Providence almost had a chance at the empty net; JFK rang a puck off the left goal post, and the clock expired before the Bruins could put the puck into the yawning cage.
Providence Bruins @ Bridgeport Sound Tigers (1/20/18)
After breaking his orbital bone last weekend, Matt Beleskey returned to the ice for the first time in Bridgeport. Unsurprisingly, he donned what looked like a full fishbowl-style shield for the game. Unfortunately, 17 seconds into the game, he hoisted the puck from the defensive zone into the penalty box for a delay of game penalty. Fortunately, the Providence penalty kill succeeded. Bridgeport would strike first, however, as Josh Ho-Sang sprinted for a loose puck and sped by Providence D-man Jakub Zboril at the Bridgeport blue line. Ho-Sang continued almost unopposed up the ice, tucking the puck past netminder Jordan Binnington. Bridgeport opened a winder lead 3 minutes and change into the 2nd period. As the Tigers worked the puck around the boards, sloppy play in the Bruins defensive end opened up a pocket in the slot for Kyle Schempp to set up in front of the Providence netminder Binnington. A few seconds later, the Tigers’ Kyle Burroughs fired a shot from the left faceoff dot in the Providence end that was initially blocked in front, however Schempp picked up the loose change and stuffed it into the net for a 2 goal lead. The Bruins would not end the 2nd scoreless, as JFK beat the Sound Tigers’ Chris Gibson on a powerplay. Prior to the goal, Rob O’Gara took a quick shot intentionally wide right of the net, where Colby Cave recovered, worked it along the board to Kenny Agostino, back to O’Gara, and after a cross-ice feed, JFK wired a shot into the back of the Bridgeport net. The momentum wasn’t long lived, as Bridgeport scored again to restore their 2 goal lead. During a powerplay for Bridgeport, the Sound Tigers worked the puck along the blue line, where Josh Ho-Sang fired a rising shot toward the slot. Casey Bailey was standing in the middle of the Providence Penalty Kill box and managed to tip the puck down out of mid-air past Binnington; More sloppy defensive play gave Bailey the game winning goal. To their credit, Providence played much better in the third period, mustering a goal past Gibson off Colby Cave’s stick set up by some heads-up play by Ryan Fitzgerald below the goal line. The comeback would fall short, and the Sound Tigers skated away with a win in regulation.
Providence Bruins vs. Springfield Falcons (1/21/18)
Coming off a tough loss to Bridgeport the night before, the Providence Bruins skated against the Springfield Thunderbirds to close out this weekend’s 3-in-3. Much like Friday, the story of the game was the goaltenders who were perfect until the third period. In another spectacular performance, Zane McIntyre stopped all his shots, while the Springfield goalie Sam Montembault was beaten only once. As a penalty kill for Springfield came to an end, the Bruins were pressuring in the offensive zone. Austin Czarnik had just rang a dangerous shot off the goalpost and the puck skittered out to Cehlarik, who shot from the left faceoff dot. Montembault made the initial save but the rebound was scooped up by Szwarz who shoveled a short pass to Ryan Fitzgerald who quite literally tucked the puck between the Springfield goalie’s pads and the goal posts. Springfield pulled their goaltender looking for the equalizer; however Jordan Szwarz provided the insurance goal, hitting the empty net.
Plus / Minus
Plus: + After 2 of their worst 3-in-3s of the season, the Bruins took a respectable 4 of 6 points this weekend, both against division opponents.
+ Providence’s powerplay has found some life, again scoring twice this weekend; both were game winning goals.
+ Zane McIntyre’s apparent deal with the devil has paid off: since January 13th, he has a .977 SV%, an insane 0.33 GAA (if my math is correct) bolstered by 2 shutouts.
+ With 2 wins this weekend, Providence recovered in the standings to 2nd in their division (behind the WBS Penguins). Providence has a game in hand over 3rd place Lehigh Valley and 4th place Charlotte. WBS, however, has 2 games in hand on Providence.
+ After suffering a broken orbital bone last week, Matt Beleskey made his return to the ice Saturday night.
+ Jeremy Lauzon returned to the lineup Friday night, after a concussion held him out since November 22nd.
+ Despite their lack of goals, Providence is absolutely relentless on the forecheck. It seems they won this week by grinding down opponents, giving little scoring opportunities, and flawless goaltending.
Minus: – Rookie defenseman Jakub Zboril took two big steps back Saturday night vs. Bridgeport. Twice he was beaten by a speedy Ho-Sang who froze Zboril at the Bridgeport blue line and raced past him. (Both times on the same side)
– Despite their arsenal of offensive talent (Czarnik, Szwarz, JFK, Cehlarik etc.) the Bruins couldn’t manage more than 2 goals all weekend.
– Providence peppered the WBS goalie with 43 shots, and Springfield with a shocking 48 shots but only managed one and two goals respectively. On the bright side, this seems to be mostly bad puck luck, not just lazy players taking low-danger shots.
– With 61 seconds of 5v3 powerplay time, Providence couldn’t score on Springfield’s Sam Monetembault
– Providence still cannot solve the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who they have beaten only once in six contests this season.
-Jordan Binnington has been slipping recently, losing his last 3 contests. His biggest issue seems to be shots taken at seemingly impossible sharp angles.
– Austin Czarnik was a precautionary scratch against Bridgeport on Saturday after a high hit Friday night shook him up a bit.
– Rookie Zach Senyshyn has gone ice cold, and was a healthy scratch on Sunday.