The Providence Bruins earned two out of four points over the weekend. Considering the circumstances and the caliber of the opposition, they should feel pretty good about what they accomplished.
With Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Jeremy Lauzon, Jakub Zboril and Connor Clifton on recall with Boston and Trent Frederic, Mark McNeill and Chris Breen out with injuries, Providence dropped a 5-4 decision to a stacked Lehigh Valley Phantoms team on Friday and then beat the Rochester Americans, the first-place team in the North Division, 3-2 in overtime, on Saturday.
The Providence defense against Rochester consisted of four ECHL callups, first-year pro Wiley Sherman and second-year North American pro Emil Johansson. After falling behind 2-0, the P-Bruins rallied and Ryan Donato’s strike in OT gave them a feel-good victory.
“To our guys’ credit, they stuck with it. They were really persistent down the stretch, really all four lines. Our defensemen that don’t really have a lot of experience, with our team anyway, were pretty good. And (Zane McIntyre) was good,’’ said coach Jay Leach.
Here’s the good, bad and ugly.
*** Stay-at-home defenseman Sherman scored his first pro goal on Friday, joining the rush and converting a Colby Cave pass at the edge of the crease. On Saturday, he took one for the team, going down to block a slapper on the penalty kill and then hobbling around for well over a minute in the D zone before Providence could get a clear.
*** Donato had the game-winner and an assist on Saturday.
*** Cameron Hughes scored goals in both games.
*** Karson Kuhlman and Peter Cehlarik made good plays leading up to the tying goal by Hughes vs. Rochester.
*** Providence has won eight straight and 11 of 12 vs. the Americans.
*** Three-in-threes are a regular occurence in the AHL. Desmond Bergin of the P-Bruins finished up a four-in-four over the weekend. He played for Adirondack in the ECHL on Wednesday and Thursday, then Friday and Saturday for Providence.
*** After jumping out to a three-goal lead in the first period against Lehigh Valley on Friday, the P-Bruins took bad penalties that allowed the Phantoms to rev up their very dangerous power play and get back in the game.
*** A poorly timed pinch by Olivier Galipeau led to Rochester’s first goal.
*** A horrendous change by Providence allowed Rochester to bust in on a 3 on 0 late in the second period, but McIntyre came up with a save.
*** The next three games for the P-Bruins are on the road, where they are 1-5-2.
*** It was a comedy of officiating errors on Friday night, but the P-Bruins didn’t see the humor. Referees Conor O’Donnell and Brandon Schrader thoroughly botched the play that resulted in a third-period goal by Carsen Twarynski of Lehigh Valley. Twarynski barged in on the Providence net and bowled over goalie Dan Vladar, with the puck ending up in the net. The refs allowed the goal and slapped Twarynski with a minor penalty for goalie interference, which was later changed to roughing. In real time, it was hard to tell if the puck entered the net before the collision. But watching the coaches’ video the next morning, it was clear the puck entered the net only after Twarynski made contact with Vladar. Obviously, the goal should not have counted. And it gets worse. The video also showed that the Phantoms had six skaters on the ice at the time, another reason the goal should not have counted.
*** Injured: Trent Frederic, Chris Breen, Cody Goloubef, Mark McNeill, David Broll.