The Providence Bruins rolled to a 6-1 victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack on the road on Saturday.
Kyle Keyser made 27 saves in his first start of the season in the AHL.
Alex-Olivier Voyer scored twice. Paul Carey, Sammy Asselin, Jakub Lauko and Joel Messner had the other goals.
It was Providence’s fourth win in a row. They now lead the second-place Wolf Pack by 16 points in the Atlantic Division.
Here are three quick hits from the game:
The last time the 22-year-old goalie started for Providence was in a 5-2 loss in Hartford in November 2019.
His return to the XL Center on Saturday had a much happier ending.
Keyser was beaten only once, in the third period, and the P-Bruins had the game well in hand by that point.
“He was very good, and he had to be. They came at us hard and he made a couple of really nice saves in the slot early. We knew they’d come with a lot of shots. We gave up a couple of high Grade A’s in the slot there that he kicked away nicely and was good throughout, he really was,’’ said coach Jay Leach.
“It’s nice to see. This was the last game he played for us, like a year and a half ago, in this building, so I’m sure it was good for him to get the win and to play the way he did.’’
Pucks hadn’t been going in the net for Providence’s captain before Saturday, when his wrister beat Tyler Wall with 1:15 left in the first period. It was Carey’s first goal of the season – he has 10 assists and is third on the team in scoring with 11 points – and it gave Providence a 1-0 lead.
“Goal-scorers – and I can’t relate cause I never was one – but I’m sure it’s something that really does weigh on them when they don’t (score). I mean the guy had 22 in 30 (games) for us that year he came here and he had 22 last year, I think, as well, or close to that,’’ said Leach.
“He was battling something early. He won’t say that, he’ll probably get mad at me for saying that. But, regardless, he never changed. He came to work every day.’’
His goal on Saturday was “a high-end play. Usually those goals that snap a streak, a lot of them are off a skate or off a guy’s back or whatever it might be. He goes through a triangle, top shelf, on a partial breakaway, the way Paul Carey can. It was really nice to see.
“The boys were happy. I’m sure he was happy. I’m sure his play will be the same but he doesn’t have that big bagel next to his name. He’s going to sleep a little bit better tonight, I’m sure.’’
Curtis Hall played a few shifts in the first period of the season opener in early February and then left with a lower-body injury.
He was back on Saturday and played a solid, up-and-down game at right wing with Pavel Shen and Joona Koppanen.
“I liked him. I thought that line was pretty effective. Him and Pavs and Koppie was real strong. Hallsy was good, I mean that’s his second professional game and probably his second game since lord knows when, combined with the rehab,’’ said Leach.
For the record, Hall’s last game with Yale was on March 8, 2020 against Union.
“That all being said, I thought he was good. He was up and down the walls, made a couple of plays off the walls, had some O-zone time and was solid defensively. Got a little penalty kill there as well. He was good,’’ said Leach.