A pair of road losses to the Charlotte Checkers closed the book on the 2018-19 Calder Cup playoffs and the season for the Providence Bruins.
The P-Bruins tested the favored Checkers in earning a split in the first two games in Providence, but they were overpowered by Charlotte’s deep, skilled lineup in the final two games.
The P-Bruins were beaten in Game Three, 3-0, and in Game Four, 4-1, as Charlotte took the series, three games to one.
“We didn’t play our best. Unfortunate circumstances. (Dan Vladar) goes down in warmups (before Game Three), which is never the way you draw it up,’’ said coach Jay Leach. “(Charlotte was) good. They were all on the same page. They were really tough. They didn’t give us much room out there.
“They found a higher gear. I can’t say that we as a team, collectively, were able to match that gear. When (Charlotte) pushed, I don’t think everyone was able to get up to that level.’’
Summing up the season, Leach said the good outweighed the bad.
“It was a positive year in that we obviously had to scratch and claw to get in (the playoffs). We had a crazy amount of turnover, with callups and injuries. We had to learn how to make it work with a lot of different combinations, so it was a good year in that regard. We had a lot of players play in a lot of situations that we might not have forecast happening. It was great experience. Overall, it was a positive year and I hope we can build off it,’’ he said.
Here’s the good, bad and ugly.
*** In his first start as a pro, 20-year-old Kyle Keyser played well in Game 4, making 26 saves.
*** Jeremy Lauzon, who hadn’t scored an AHL goal since the second game of the regular season in October, netted Providence’s only goal in Charlotte.
*** Jakub Zboril played two strong games in Charlotte. Cooper Zech continued to play well.
*** Jordan Szwarz led the P-Bruins in scoring in the playoffs with 2-2-4 in 4 games.
*** With their season on the line and trailing by two goals, Providence pushed hard in the third period of Game 4. It didn’t pay off, but they deserve credit for the effort, which was there all season.
*** Dan Vladar was scheduled to start Game 3, but was injured in warmups.
*** The power play went 0 for 10 in Charlotte.
*** Zane McIntyre’s save percentage in his two playoff starts was .855.
*** Providence’s forwards scored only five goals in the four-game series.
*** The P-Bruins were outscored in Charlotte, 7-1.
*** Injured: Gemel Smith, Dan Vladar, Anders Bjork.