Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend


The Providence Bruins kept their heads above water by earning three of six points over the weekend.

They lost in overtime to Bridgeport, 5-4, at home on Friday; beat Hartford in overtime, 3-2, on the road on Saturday; and lost to the Wolf Pack, 4-1, at home on Sunday.

Coach Jay Leach didn’t sugarcoat Sunday’s game, which was his team’s worst of the season on home ice.

“It wasn’t good. We were terrible. Power play was obviously terrible. Our execution was terrible. Even when we made some plays, the boards were terrible. It was not a good game for us. It was frustrating and disappointing,’’ he said.

Despite that bad game, the P-Bruins finished the weekend in playoff position. They are in fourth place, four points ahead of Lehigh Valley and a point behind Hershey.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


*** Gemel Smith continues to be a standout. He had 1-1-2 on Friday and goals on Saturday and Sunday. His goal in Hartford was a beauty. He danced a defender and then picked a corner from the faceoff dot. Smith has 27 points in 28 games for the P-Bruins.

*** Connor Clifton had a strong weekend. On Saturday, he made a nice play to set up the winning goal in OT and was on the ice for all three Providence goals. On Sunday, he had an assist and six shots.

*** Jordan Szwarz scored in overtime for the win in Hartford. With a team-leading 18 goals, he is closing in on his third straight 20-goal season.

*** Ryan Fitzgerald made a gorgeous pass to Lee Stempniak for a breakaway goal on Saturday.

*** Paul Carey scored twice against Bridgeport.

*** Michael Doherty decisioned Hartford’s Ryan Lindgren in a fight on Saturday.


*** Providence had only eight shots halfway through Sunday’s game.

*** From the Department of Bad Officiating: Referees Jason Faist and Michael Markovic had a tough night on Friday. Lee Stempniak was victimized twice. He was sent to the box in the first minute for goalie interference after a Bridgeport defenseman knocked over goalie Christopher Gibson. If you are rating bad calls on a scale of 1-10, this one was an 11. In the second period, he received four minutes for checking to the head after a collision with Connor Jones. It’s debatable whether it merited even a two-minute penalty, never mind four minutes.

*** Urho Vaakanainen had a rough day on Sunday.


*** Providence was outscored, 3-1, on the power play, which went 1 for 16 in the three games. It’s 22nd in the AHL at 17.2 percent. The P-Bruins gave up a shorthanded goal on Saturday and two more on Sunday.  Their total for the season is 13. Only Stockton with 15 has given up more.

*** Injured: Jeremy Lauzon, Cameron Hughes, Kyle Cumiskey, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Austin Fyten, Anders Bjork.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend


It’s been a while since the Providence Bruins had a weekend like this one, losing two out of three. They beat Toronto, 3-1, on Friday, then lost to Charlotte, 3-2, on Saturday, and to Springfield, 5-1, on Sunday. All the games were at home. It was the first time they’ve lost back-to-back games in regulation time since Dec. 19 and 21. The P-Bruins finished the weekend in fourth place in the Atlantic Division.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


*** Lee Stempniak made an impact in his first game with the P-Bruins as he scored the game-winner and set up Steve Kampfer’s shorthanded goal against Toronto.

*** Down by three, the P-Bruins showed good resiliency with two goals in 43 seconds in the third period to make a game of it on Saturday.

*** Paul Carey scored a goal and had five shots in his first game back from injury on Friday.

*** Zane McIntyre had a fine save on Colin Greening’s shorthanded bid in the second period on Friday.


*** No doubt it qualified as a bad goal, but I’m not about to criticize McIntyre for the crazy bounce that got past him on Chris Wideman’s score on Sunday. No goalie could have been prepared for that.

*** The P-Bruins power play went 0 for 8 for the weekend.

*** Providence has the best penalty kill in the AHL at 86.3 percent, but gave up three power play goals to Springfield on Sunday.

*** Providence gave up its 10th shorthanded goal of the season on Sunday after a Jakub Zboril misplay in the neutral zone. Only Stockton and Utica have allowed more.

*** The P-Bruins were whistled for too many men on the ice while on a power play in the first period.

*** With the P-Bruins breaking through center ice on a two on one on Sunday, Connor Clifton took a cross-checking penalty way behind the play.

*** They didn’t mount much of an attack against Charlotte on Saturday with only 13 shots in the first two periods before coming on strong in the third.

*** Referee Brandon Schrader seemed a bit sensitive late in Sunday’s game. After making a marginal elbowing call on Clifton, he slapped captain Jordan Szwarz with a minor for unsportsmanlike conduct and a misconduct.


*** Injured: Jeremy Lauzon, Kyle Cumiskey, Cameron Hughes, Austin Fyten, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Anders Bjork.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend


It was another strong weekend for the Providence Bruins as they earned four out of six points.

On Friday, the P-Bruins ground out a 2-1 home win against Bridgeport. Their six-game winning streak and 12-game point streak was snapped at Bridgeport on Saturday when they dropped a 4-2 decision. At home on Sunday against a rested Syracuse team that is one of the best in the AHL, the injury-riddled P-Bruins won, 4-0.

“Our guys showed a lot of courage to go out there and play that way. They had some excuses they could have leaned on, but they didn’t. They were pros,’’ said Leach after Sunday’s game.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


***  Zane McIntyre stopped 52 of 53 shots in his two starts. He has won 11 games in a row and is tied for second in the league with 19 wins. He posted his 10th career shutout with the P-Bruins on Sunday and now is one behind Tim Thomas and Hannu Toivanen, who hold the franchise record with 11.

*** Providence finished the weekend in third place in the Atlantic Division. With a .590 win percentage, the P-Bruins are just behind second-place Bridgeport (.595).

*** The P-Bruins are 16-3-3 at home. Their .795 win percentage is the best in the AHL.

*** Karson Kuhlman scored twice against Syracuse.  His plus-22 is tied for fifth in the league.

*** Zach Senyshyn made a nice play to set up Kuhlman for a shorthanded goal with 25 seconds left in the second period against Syracuse.

*** Cameron Hughes scored goals on Saturday and Sunday.

*** Gemel Smith continues to play well. He had four assists on the weekend.

*** In his first game with the P-Bruins since 2012, Steven Kampfer blew up Syracuse’s Taylor Raddysh with a clean check on Sunday. It was one of the hardest hits seen at The Dunk this season.


*** The P-Bruins blew a 2-0 lead on Saturday night.

*** Providence went 0 for 8 on the power play in Bridgeport. For the weekend, the PP was 0 for 15.

*** The holding call on Chris Breen in the second period on Sunday by referee Reid Anderson was weak.

*** The schedule will be a challenge, with five straight three-in-three weekends coming up.


Injured: Ryan Fitzgerald, Jeremy Lauzon, Jakub Zboril, Kyle Cumiskey, JFK, Austin Fyten, Paul Carey, Anders Bjork.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend


It was a great weekend for the sizzling Providence Bruins as they won both games in Charlotte against the top team in the American Hockey League.

On Friday, the P-Bruins earned a 2-1 victory on a goal by Cameron Hughes with eight seconds left in overtime. On Saturday, Gemel Smith scored in overtime for a 1-0 win.

Goalies Zane McIntyre and Dan Vladar were outstanding. “We needed timely saves multiple times on both nights,” said coach Jay Leach.

“Our kids are better after playing those two games against a team that’s that skilled, that makes plays. No matter what your approach is or what you say, like, put pucks deep, if the game dictates making plays, organically, it’s going to happen. Coaches can shut their mouths and just watch as the guys adjust.”

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


*** Since losing in Hartford on Dec. 19, the P-Bruins have gone 14-2-1-1 for 30 out of 36 points. They have an 11-game point streak and haven’t lost a game in regulation time since Jan. 5.

*** They finished the weekend one point behind second-place Bridgeport in the Atlantic Division.

*** Providence hung tough after Charlotte tied the game in the final minute on Friday, then won when Hughes nudged puck over the line in OT.

*** Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson made a perfect pass to Smith on a two-on-one and Smith fired kome the winning goal on Saturday.

*** In hist first start since Jan. 19, Dan Vladar stopped all 37 Charlotte shots, including one on a clean breakaway in overtime, in Saturday’s win.

*** Zane McIntyre was superb in making 28 saves on Friday. He has won nine starts in a row and 11 of 13. He is third in the AHL with 17 wins.

*** Ryan Donato had a goal, an assist and six shots on Friday.

*** The P-Bruins are giving up an average of 25.96 shots per game. That the second-lowest in the league.

*** Seven of Providence next nine games in February are at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, where they are 14-3-3.

*** The P-Bruins are 4-2-1-0 vs. Charlotte, the top team in the AHL.


*** After Smith took a tripping penalty 185 feet from the Providence net, Charlotte tied Friday’s game with 27 seconds left in regulation time.


*** Injured: Ryan Fitzgerald, Jeremy Lauzon, Zach Senyshyn, Emil Johansson.