Providence Bruins Salvage 2 out of 4 Points Headed into Christmas Break (Weekend Wrap Up)
Tl;Dr Recap for those who just want the stats:
12/22/17 Providence (18-7-2) @ Hartford (12-12-6) 7:15 PM
Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 34 of 39 shots, 0.871 SV%; Marek Mazanec, 32 of 36 shots 0.888 SV%
Box Score w/ Scoring Summary:
|HFD||1st||P. Holland||S. Kosmachuk, C. Schneider|
|PRO||1st||M. Beleskey||B. Marshall, J. Hennessey|
|HFD||1st||R. Graves||A. DeAngelo, P. Holland|
|PRO||2nd||K. Agostino||C. Hargrove, A. Czarnik|
|HFD||3rd||S. Kosmachuk (PPG)||S. Fogarty, R. Sproul|
|HFD||3rd||E. Selleck||G. Fontaine|
|HFD||3rd||G. Fontaine (SHG)||D. Leedahl|
|HFD||3rd||V. Lettieri (ENG)||S. Fogarty|
|PRO||3rd||J. Hickman||E. Johansson, J. Gabrielle|
PVD 6-4 regulation L, Drops to (18-8-2); HFD improves to (13-12-6)
12/15/17 Providence (18-8-2) @ Springfield (13-18-1) 7:05 PM
Goalies: Jordan Binnington, 23 of 24 shots, 0.958 SV% ; Samuel Montembault, 21 of 22 shots 0.954 SV%
Box Score w/ Scoring Summary:
|PVD||1st||J. Forsbacka-Karlsson||K. Agostino|
|SPR||1st||A. Grenier||R. Hamilton, D. Hunt|
Shootout: Providence 2 (Hennessey, Forsbacka-Karlsson); Springfield 1 (Byron)
PVD 2-1 Shootout W, improves to (19-8-2), SPR drops to (13-18-2)
X’s and O’s:
Providence Bruins @ Hartford Wolf Pack 12/22/17
In the middle game of the longest road trip of the Providence Bruins’ 2017-2018 season, the Bruins suffered a harsh, self-inflicted loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack. On the Pack’s initial shot from Peter Holland 47 seconds into the game, Zane McIntyre looked dazzled and ill-prepared for the shot. Holland was rewarded with a goal that opened a 4 goal period. Providence answered back with a hard forecheck and smart plays through the neutral zone. As a result, they scored the next two, with Justin Hickman capitalizing on a turnover after a faceoff, and Matt Beleskey scoring from the blueline off a laser beam that fooled Pack goaltender Marek Manazec. The Wolfpack would not let the period end quietly, as Ryan Graves picked the corner from the right faceoff dot with 1:59 left in the period. Providence continued its hard forecheck into the middle frame, and Kenny Agostino tallied his 8th goal of the season off a setup from Colton Hargrove and Austin Czarnik. This would be the only goal for either side in the second period, and the score remained 3-2 heading into the third. Providence lost the momentum heading into the third, and Hartford jumped all over the coasting Bruins. 7 minutes into the third, Hartford buried a powerplay goal as the time was about to expire. Several minutes later, Eric Selleck scored his first of the season unassisted to give Hartford the lead back. The Bruins were later awarded a powerplay, however off a terrible pass by Kenny Agostino, the Wolfpack picked the puck and skated 2 on 1.Gabriele Fontaine beat McIntyre shorthanded to give Hartford a comfortable lead, and Vinni Lettieri cashed in on a yawning net to bring the Wolfpack to a 6-3 lead over Providence. To his credit, Justin Hickman refused to let the Wolfpack get the final word in, and scored his second of the night with under a minute to go.
Providence Bruins @ Springfield Thunderbirds 12/23/17
Providence rolled into Springfield, Massachusetts early Saturday morning to skate in one final match before the holiday break. Both teams came out with a jump in their step, scoring early. JFK and Kenny Agostino combined for an early tally a minute and change into the first, as the latter picked a puck that bounced out in front to JFK who efficiently tapped it home. However, during a Sena Acolatse penalty, the Springfield Thunderbirds cashed in as the penalty was about to expire. The teams played a tug of war game through the next two periods, and overtime with chances and clutch saves at both end. After the 5 minute overtime ended, the 1-1 tie would be decided by a shootout. Josh Hennessey was a surprising first choice for the Bruins, however he froze the Springfield goaltender for just long enough to roof a backhand. Jordan Binnington stopped all but the last of the first three shooters, as Blaine Byron faked him hard out of his net and tapped the puck into the goal. JFK would again prove to be the difference maker, as he went top shelf millimeters under the crossbar, while at the other end Binnington halted the final Springfield shooter to elevate the Bruins to a win.
Plus / Minus
Plus: + Bruins followed up an ugly loss to the Wolf Pack with a win against Springfield. They are 3-2-0 on the road trip thus far with 3 games remaining (6pts. of 10 total).
+ Jakub Zboril has impressed lately, logging a lot of ice time as he earns the coach’s trust. Throwing big, timely hits, pinching at the right times, more consistent, effective play. Looks much improved physically and mentally since the season opener.
+ Since being waived, Matt Beleskey has his first P-Bruins goal and has been playing well for the Baby B’s, looking to earn a call back up to the big club.
+ In the win over Springfield, JFK had the only PBruins goal in regulation and then scored the GWG in the shootout. His first of the night came off a bounce he capitalized on to score. He’s extremely effective at creating scoring off nothing-doing plays.
+ Providence enters the holiday break/freeze still 1st in the Atlantic Division; the Charlotte Checkers follow close behind by a game or so, however the PBs have 2 games in hand.
+ Jordan Binnington continues to be a brick wall for the PB’s posting a 0.957 SV% in the SOW vs. Springfield
+ Skaters in the parent club NHL Bruins organization Emil Johansson, Jessie Gabrielle, Justin Hickman, Austin Czarnik, and Matt Beleskey all factored into points for the PBs in their eventual loss to Hartford Friday night.
Minus: – Kenny Agostino, despite his two points this weekend, has looked shaky with his puck management. Biggest error came against Hartford with an awful intercepted pass that turned into a shorthanded goal against.
– Zane McIntyre has also been a shell of his former AHL all-star self again, getting beat on the very first shot on goal of the Hartford game. A few of the other goals, he looked frozen, out of position, and less than confident.
– Providence’s special teams continue to handicap them. Their penalty kill wasn’t up to par, only killing 5 of 7 powerplays against. Their powerplay looks worse, going 0 for 7 this weekend.
– Despite forechecking hard and playing the Wolfpack well for the first 40 min, the Bruins took their foot off the gas pedal and coasted Friday night in the third period. They tried forcing passes and plays, resulting in ugly turnovers and costly goals against.
– Jeremy Lauzon and Ryan Fitzgerald are both still out with injuries. Beginning to question Lauzon’s durability, though time will tell.