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.