3 quick hits from Marlboro

Ian McKinnon of Providence and Mason Geertsen of Hartford traded haymakers in what coach Jay Leach called “a big-boy fight” on Monday. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)

The Providence Bruins lost to the Hartford Wolf Pack in overtime, 3-2, with Morgan Barron potting the GWG on Monday in Marlboro.

The P-Bruins had eight power plays and piled up 40 shots on Tyler Wall in the Wolf Pack net, but scored only once with the man advantage.

“I thought it was a fair result, to be honest with you,’’ said Providence coach Jay Leach. “I thought we were a little loose around our net from time to time. I thought we were a little light on pucks from time to time. I’ll give Hartford credit for that because they were coming at us and were very physical. They made it hard on our defensemen to make clean plays.’’

Here are three quick hits from the game:


The fourth-year right winger continues to play well.

He made a good play that led to Providence’s first goal, with his curl-and-drag move allowing him to get a shot past a defender and through to the net, where Cameron Hughes cashed in the rebound.

“I thought he was really good — again. Skating. He generated, especially with his speed,’’ said Leach. “He’s been very much a shot-first guy. That’s not to say he’s not setting up guys, but at the same time I like his mentality. He was good in pretty much all areas. Has consistently been that way really from the start of the season.’’


Now in his third full season in Providence, Hughes never seems to get the recognition he deserves.

He had a goal and an assist on Monday and played his usual solid all-around game.

“We anticipated Hughsy always being that guy that plays the full 200-foot game in all situations. I think he was snakebit a bit last year, production-wise, but it wasn’t for a lack of chances. Now you’re seeing things going in for him a little bit more, which makes his numbers look better,’’ said Leach, who deploys Hughes at center between Senyshyn and Jakub Lauko.

“I do think he’s picked up a step and his shot has actually improved, as well. Little increments here and there and then obviously just being the steady player that he is, he’s turned into a very effective player in the American League.’’


Honestly, the highlight of the game happened just 70 seconds in when Providence’s Ian McKinnon and Hartford’s Mason Geertsen dropped the gloves off a faceoff and engaged in one of the best AHL tilts I’ve seen in several years.

The two had talked a couple of times when the Bruins and Wolf Pack played last week, but nothing came of it. With Nick Wolff sitting out on Monday with an upper-body injury, McKinnon was in the lineup to provide exactly the kind of muscle that he displayed against a very tough opponent in Geertsen.

Both players connected with solid punches, with McKinnon landing a vicious uppercut just before the linesmen stepped in.

“That was a big-boy fight. That should be No. 1 on hockeyfights.com. (McKinnon) stood right in there against a real tough customer,’’ said Leach.

“Both of those guys probably came away with respect for one another. I haven’t seen many like that since I’ve been coaching. That was 20-years-ago-type stuff. Kudos to both of them. I hope they’re both OK. One heck of a fight.’’

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