P-Bruins Gameday — First game in Belleville

The Providence Bruins close out the 2017 calendar on the road tonight, paying their first visit to Belleville to play the Senators.

Zane McIntyre starts in net.

It will be the last of eight straight on the road for the P-Bruins, who have gone 5-2 to this point.

Providence starts the night in first place in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference with a .710 points percentage. Belleville is sixth in the North Division at .422.

On a shootout goal by Jordan Szwarz, Providence won the first meeting between the teams on Oct. 21 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

The P-Bruins won, 3-1, in Utica last night, while the Senators were idle.

Ben Marshall, Sena Acolatse and Jesse Gabrielle draw into the lineup tonight, replacing Emil Johansson, Chris Porter and Justin Hickman.










Binnington is the backup.

INJURED: Lauzon (upper body)

SCRATCHES: Hennessy, Hickman, Porter, Johansson

P-Bruins Gameday — Back to work in Utica

The Providence Bruins will be without injured forward Jordan Szwarz for the third straight game when they face the Utica Comets on the road tonight.

The P-Bruins beat the Comets in overtime at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Dec. 9 and 10. Szwarz and Kenny Agostino — with a highlight reel move — scored the game-winners.

Providence starts the night in first place in the Atlantic Division with a .690 points percentage. Utica is fourth in the North Division at .517.

The Comets will be without Reid Boucher, their top scorer with 25 points in 25 games. He is on recall with Vancouver.

Zane McIntyre will start in goal for Providence.










Binnington will be the backup.

INJURED: Szwarz, Lauzon (upper body), Fitzgerald (knee)

HEALTHY SCRATCHES: Acolatse, Gabrielle, Marshall

The P-Bruins play the Comets again in Utica on Friday night.


Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend


The Providence Bruins split their only two games over the weekend. They lost in Hartford, 6-4, on Friday, then won in a shootout in Springfield, 2-1, on Saturday, sending them into the brief Christmas break on a positive note.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


*** After another strong performance in Saturday’s shootout win, Jordan Binnington is 8-1-1. His .936 save percentage is third in the AHL and his 1.65 goals against average is second.

*** In Springfield, Jacob Forsbacka Karlsson scored the only goal for the P-Bruins in regulation, then tucked the shootout winner.

*** They are 4-0 in shootouts, the best record in the AHL.

*** Providence is first in the Atlantic Division with a .690 points percentage.  That’s good for third in the Eastern Conference and fourth in the league.

*** Justin Hickman scored twice in Hartford.

***Matt Beleskey notched his first goal for Providence against the Wolf Pack.

*** Josh Hennessy set a perfect screen on Beleskey’s goal on Friday and buried one in the shootout on Saturday.

*** Colby Cave played his first NHL game for Boston on Dec. 21 against Winnipeg.


*** Zane McIntyre was beaten by Peter Holland from a sharp angle in the first minute of the loss at Hartford. Since shutting out Hershey on Dec. 13, his save percentage is .855 in two starts plus a 33-minute relief stint.

*** Holding a one-goal lead going into the third period in Hartford, the P-Bruins gave up four straight goals.

*** After a 0-for-7 weekend, Providence’s power play is 25th in the league at 14.3 percent. On the PK, they gave up a power play goal in each game, leaving the kill at 21st in the AHL at 81 percent.


*** Injured: Jordan Szwarz, Ryan Fitzgerald, Jeremy Lauzon.

P-Bruins Gameday — Much-improved Wolf Pack up next

The Providence Bruins’ late December road odyssey continues tonight with a trip to Hartford to face the Wolf Pack at the XL Center at 7:15.

Zane McIntyre will start in goal for the P-Bruins, who will be without two of their top players in Jordan Szwarz, who is day to day with an injury, and Colby Cave.

Cave, who played a very solid 11:15 in his NHL debut with Boston against Winnipeg last night, was returned to the P-Bruins this morning. It stands to reason he is being held out tonight just in case Boston needs him again on Saturday against Detroit.

Matt Beleskey will play right wing with Kenny Agostino and Austin Czarnik tonight after skating with Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Chris Porter in his Providence debut last Saturday.

After a slow start, Hartford has been much improved lately, going 5-0-1-2 in its last 8 games. The Wolf Pack are in sixth place in the Atlantic Division with a .500 winning percentage.

They are coming off a 5-4 OT win at Lehigh Valley on Wednesday. Defenseman Tony DeAngelo scored the winner on a setup from Peter Holland.

Former Providence College defenseman John Gilmour has been red-hot for the Pack with 3-5-8 in his last 4 games.

Providence lines





D pairs




Binnington is the backup

Injured: Szwarz, Fitzgerald (knee), Lauzon (upper body)

Healthy scratches: Cave, Clifton, Acolatse

The P-Bruins will bus to Springfield after the game. They’ll face the Thunderbirds on Saturday night.

Beleskey: ‘I’m just looking to play hockey’

PROVIDENCE — Two days after playing his first game for the Providence Bruins, Matt Beleskey got his first practice under his belt on Monday at Providence College’s Schneider Arena.

Beleskey, 29, continues to take an optimistic approach as he looks to get his game on track after playing 14 scoreless games in Boston and not dressing for 15 others.

“I’m just looking to play hockey, get an opportunity to get back out on the ice. It’s no fun sitting in the stands, especially doing it for an extended period of time. I’m trying to get back to where I want to be. Hopefully, they’ll want me contributing up in Boston if I’m playing the way I’m capable,” he said.

P-Bruins coach Jay Leach is glad to have Beleskey, who played an estimated 14-to-15 minutes with two shots on net while skating alongside Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Chris Porter in Hershey on Saturday night.

“It’s a great opportunity for our young guys to see a guy that’s played in the league for a long time. He’s got some intangibles on the wall, some stuff that (the young players) will really benefit from. And he’s a really good guy,” said Leach.

“Most importantly, for him, it’s an opportunity to get playing, play some minutes, get some practices in. I said to him today, this is a terrific opportunity to play and get back to where he was.”

Beleskey got his first look at Providence’s team in Saturday’s 6-2 road win and he was impressed.

“It’s a good, skilled team. Young guys. Excited group. I think if you watch the way we played in that game, it’s going to be a tough team to beat if we move the puck around like we did. Going forward, it’s only going to get stronger,” he said.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

The Providence Bruins started and finished strong on their three-game road trip last week, earning four of six points.  They won 3-0 and 6-2 in Hershey – historically one of the league’s tougher buildings – sandwiched around a 5-3 loss in Syracuse that snapped the P-Bruins’ 8-game winning streak.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


*** Austin Czarnik (1-2-3) and linemates Kenny Agostino and Jordan Szwarz (both with 1-1-2) were dazzling on Saturday night, whipping the puck around like they had it on a string. Said Hershey coach Troy Mann: “I saw a Szwarz line that was men against boys. Agostino-Szwarz-Czarnik put on a clinic.’’

*** Who doesn’t enjoy a goalie fight? By now everyone has seen the video of Providence’s Jordan Binnington and Hershey’s Pheonix Copley dropping the gloves and taking off the masks on Saturday night. After they were thrown out, the two former teammates then watched the rest of the game together in the media room. The fight capped an eventful week for Binnington, who spent a couple of days on NHL recall with St. Louis.

*** Binnington got credit for the win, even though he made just 4 saves before being ejected.

*** Providence is 8-1 so far in December. They finished the weekend in first place in the Atlantic Division, second in the Eastern Conference and third in the AHL.

*** Zane McIntyre pitched his first shutout of the season on Wednesday.

*** Emil Johansson came to the aid of Agostino on Saturday night and earned his first fighting major.

*** After scoring a power play goal early in the game on Wednesday, Colton Hargrove made a beautiful pass to Anton Blidh for an insurance goal in the third period.

*** Blidh had a great week with 2-3-5 in 3 games.

*** Szwarz’ plus-19 is third in the league.

*** Jakob Zboril leads all AHL rookies with plus-16.

*** Zach Senyshyn has scored goals in three straight games.

***Adam Payerl scored his first goal of the season on Saturday.


*** Hershey captain Garrett Mitchell’s charge/head shot on Agostino on Saturday was cheap.

*** The Bears’ Liam O’Brien cut Zach Senyshyn near the eye in the final seconds of the first period on Saturday. Providence believes it was a butt-end. Refs Peter Schlittenhardt and Chris Pontes didn’t call anything.

*** Providence still has five games left on the road before their next game at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in January.

*** Tough night for Hargrove – minus-4 – in Syracuse on Friday.


*** Injured: Ryan Fitzgerald (knee), Jeremy Lauzon (upper body).

*** The P-Bruins gave up 3 goals in 4:07 in the first period in the loss to the Crunch.

P-Bruins Gameday — Beleskey debuts on line with JFK, Porter

After their eight-game winning streak was snapped by a 5-3 loss in Syracuse last night. the Providence Bruins will aim to get a new streak going tonight in Hershey.

Matt Beleskey will make his debut with the P-Bruins, skating at left wing with center Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and right wing Chris Porter. The last time Beleskey played in the AHL was during the 2013-14 season with the Norfolk Admirals.

Hershey — in sixth place in the Atlantic Division with a .482 win percentage — hasn’t played since a 3-0 home loss to Providence on Wednesday night. Providence is first in the Atlantic with a .692 win percentage.

Jordan Binnington, with a 6-1-1-1 record, will start in net for the P-Bruins. His only loss this season is a 3-2 decision in Hershey on Oct. 28.

Providence’s lines:





D pairs




McIntyre is the backup.

Injured: Fitzgerald (knee), Lauzon (upper body)

Scratches: Acolatse, Hennessy, Gabrielle, Marshall

P-Bruins Gameday — 8-game road stretch opens in Hershey

With Zane McIntyre starting in goal, the Providence Bruins will shoot for their eighth straight win tonight on the road against the Hershey Bears.

It will be the first of eight road games in a row for Providence.

The P-Bruins split a two-game set with the Bears at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Nov. 17 and 19.

Pheonix Copley started in net in both games for Hershey. He is off to a slow start with a .894 save percentage.

Future AHL Hall-of-Famer (and likely U.S. Olympian come February) Chris Bourque leads the AHL as well as the Bears in scoring with 11-21-32 in 27 games.

Providence starts the night in first place in the Atlantic Division with a .708 winning percentage. Hershey is sixth at .500.

After tonight, the P-Bruins move on to Syracuse for a Friday night game against the Crunch, winners of nine straight games. Providence will be back in Hershey for a Saturday night game.










With Jordan Binnington recalled by St. Louis this morning, Dan Vladar will be the backup goalie.

Healthy scratches: Acolatse, Johansson

Injured: Fitzgerald (knee), Lauzon (upper body)

Zach Senyshyn finding his way in first pro season

PROVIDENCE – Twenty-three games into his first season of pro hockey, Zach Senyshyn is earning solid if unspectacular grades with the Providence Bruins.

While his numbers – three goals and 11 points – are nothing to write home about, they are virtually identical to what Jake DeBrusk had a year ago in the same number of games.

DeBrusk improved steadily while spending all of last season in Providence before graduating to Boston this year. It’s much too early to predict that Senyshyn will do the same, but he is heading in the right direction.

There’s no question Senyshyn has been more noticeable and effective recently than he was during the first few weeks of the season.

The bursts of straight-line speed that demonstrate that he is almost always the fastest player on either team have become more frequent.

He looks to be gaining confidence when he has the puck. He dished a nice pass to Colby Cave for a goal on Friday night, handling a pass from Kenny Agostino in tight space on the rush and quickly making a backhand feed to Cave.

Senyshnyn scored a total of 87 goals in the OHL in the two seasons after Boston drafted him 15th overall in 2015, but his finish around the net and his play without the puck are a work in progress so far. And there are nights when he still spends too much time on the perimeter.

Jamie Langenbrunner, Boston’s player development coordinator, spent the weekend in Providence. I asked him for his thoughts on Senyshnyn to this point and on player development in general.

“It’s what a lot of kids have to go through that are scorers in junior: Things that allowed them to score in junior don’t happen at the pro level — National Hockey League or the American Hockey League. Zach’s learned that,’’ said Langenbrunner, who played 18 seasons in the NHL, won Stanley Cups with Dallas and New Jersey, and was captain of the 2010 U.S. Olympic team.

“The great thing about him is his willingness to learn. He wasn’t used on the penalty kill  in junior. Now he’s getting thrown into those opportunities. He’s buying into the fact that to play in the NHL, he’s going to have to penalty kill and know how to play in a bottom six role maybe to start and work your way up.

“That’s the mentality we’ve been pushing on him the last couple of years. Credit to him. He’s buying in and it’s starting to pay off,’’ he said.

Langenbrunner compares where Senyshyn is now to where fellow 2015 first-rounder DeBrusk was 12 months ago. After 23 games last season, DeBrusk had 4-6-10; Senyshyn has 3-8-11.

“I see a lot of similarities in his trend as Jake last year. Jake came in and it was a little bit of a battle at first. The points didn’t really show up. He ended up having a pretty darn good year when it was all said and done. Hopefully, Zach can trend in that same direction,’’ Langenbrunner said.

Senyshyn’s speed is what makes him an intriguing prospect. In the OHL, he was able to use it to beat defensemen to the outside, something that rarely happens in the pro ranks.

“We’re trying to teach him to use it properly, by slashing through and putting D under pressure. Obviously, he has game-breaking speed with the ability to create a breakaway for himself. Not a lot of guys have that. For us, it’s harnessing it in the right spots,’’ Langenbrunner said.

“He’s buying into that. He’s getting way better at finding ways of slashing instead of drifting to the outside. In pro hockey that doesn’t work.’’

For Senyshyn and the many other youngsters in Providence, patience is the key.

“As far as setting timetables on all of them, we try not to. We project a little bit, but the word is patience – on our part and on theirs. I sometimes feel that it’s them more than us that are the impatient ones.

“They see certain situations, a guy in this organization or another organization gets an opportunity sooner, and they feel like, ‘What’s wrong with me?’ Nothing. It might just take a little bit longer,’’ said Langenbrunner.

“What I keep trying to stress to them is we’re not looking for you to play an NHL game at 19 or 20. I’m looking for you to still be playing at 34, to be a good pro. That’s what we’re trying to instill in these guys here, those details in their game, that if you want to break into the league as a fourth-liner, end up on the top line in the middle of your career and go back as a fourth liner (as an older player), that’s when you know you’re doing it right, so that you can play up and down that lineup.

“The more guys we can have with that type of mentality, and when the Charlie McAvoys of the world (who can step right into the NHL) come around, all the better for all of us.”


Good, bad and ugly from Providence Bruins weekend


It’s hard to imagine how things could be going any better for the Providence Bruins. At home all weekend, they started with a 4-3 shootout win over Hartford and then beat Utica twice in overtime, 3-2 and 4-3, extending their winning streak to seven games. In all three games, they came from behind in the third period.

“I don’t really like to talk much after the games, but I told them I really admire their perseverance. There’s just no quit in that room. That’s all on them. They don’t want to lose,’’ said coach Jay Leach after Sunday’s win.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


*** Kenny Agostino’s spectacular OT tally on Sunday is the standard that all other P-Bruins goals this season will be measured against.

*** Austin Czarnik scored the shootout winner on Friday, then assisted on the tying goals in the third period on both Saturday and Sunday. He has 2-6-8 in his last five games.

*** Jordan Szwarz tied the game with 40 seconds left on Saturday and won it in overtime on Saturday. He is tied for third in the AHL with plus-16 in 12 games.

*** The line of Agostino, Zach Senyshyn and Colby Cave made a pretty play on the rush that culminated in Cave’s goal on Friday.

*** Josh Hennessy’s goal in the third period on Sunday was a beauty. He just would not be denied.

*** Jakub Zboril is plus-6 in his last 5 games and is plus-13 in 21 games overall.

*** Since an 8-2 trouncing in Charlotte on Nov. 25, the P-Bruins have reeled off seven straight wins. They have won 9 of 10 since a four-game losing streak in mid-November.

*** With a .708 win percentage, they are first in the Atlantic Division, second in the Eastern Conference and third in the AHL.

*** Providence is one of the top teams in the league even with only one player in the AHL’s top 25 scorers – Czarnik at No. 25 with 8-17-25 in 21 games.

*** They are 3-0 in shootouts.

*** Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Ben Marshall had strong weekends.

*** Connor Clifton and Jesse Gabrielle scored their first pro goals.


*** The second-period boarding penalty against Chris Breen on Sunday was the worst call I’ve seen in any rink all season.

*** The next 8 P-Bruins’ games are on the road.

*** Providence went 1 for 16 on the power play over the weekend. (They made the 1 count, though, as Szwarz’ OT tally on Saturday was on the PP.) The P-Bruins’ PP is 22nd in the AHL at 15.3 percent.

*** The penalty kill gave up 3 goals on 14 shorthanded situations. The PK is 21st in the league at 80.8 percent.

*** The P-Bruins were caught napping for a moment on Friday, allowing Hartford’s Cole Schneider to sneak behind the D for a breakaway goal.


*** Injured: Ryan Fitzgerald (knee), Jeremy Lauzon and Emil Johansson (lower body).