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.