Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

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It was a very productive weekend for the Providence Bruins as they earned five of six points. They came from two goals down to beat Hartford, 6-3, at home on Friday.  On a late goal, they beat Springfield, 4-3, on the road on Saturday. They grabbed a point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Thunderbirds on Sunday.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.

GOOD

*** Peter Cehlarik is on a hot streak with 5-2-7 in his last four games. He had a goal on Friday, two goals and an assist on Saturday and an assist on Sunday.  His pass to Paul Carey for the winning goal in Springfield was a beauty.

*** After being acquired in a trade on Friday, Carey had a goal and an assist in his first game on Saturday, including the game-winner with 61 seconds left.

*** Gemel Smith had a five-point weekend, including three assists on Saturday, one of them a nifty setup for a goal by Trent Frederic on the power play. He has 6-6-12 in 12 games.

*** Zane McIntyre is playing his best hockey of the season. He is 4-0 in his last four starts.

*** Cameron Hughes snapped a 12-game goal-less streak on Sunday.

*** Chris Breen’s shorthanded empty-netter on Friday was his first goal of the season.

*** Karson Kuhlman had a goal and an assist on Saturday. Frederic  had 1-1-2 on Saturday.

*** The P-Bruins roared back from a two-goal deficit on Friday with four straight goals.

*** Zach Senyshyn made a nice play off the rush to set up Anton Blidh’s goal against Hartford.

*** Urho Vaakanainen made a slick pass to set up a Cehlarik power-play goal in Springfield.

*** Dan Vladar’s 38 saves on Sunday was a career high.

*** With 42 points, Providence is one point behind Lehigh Valley, which holds the last playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. They are in much better position than they were a few weeks ago.

BAD

*** The P-Bruins let a 3-0 lead slip away on Saturday before pulling out the win.

*** They gave up another shorthanded goal on Friday. They’s allowed nine goals while on the power play, third-most in the AHL.

*** Springfield’s winning goal on Sunday came with one second left in overtime.

*** Providence took another delay-of-game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass on Sunday.

*** Very tough bounce over Chris Breen’s stick off a faceoff led to Springfield’s second goal on Saturday.

*** The P-Bruins gave up four power-play goals on 14 penalties in three games.

UGLY 

*** Injured: Ryan Fitzgerald, Anders Bjork, Jakub Zboril.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

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There was more good than bad for the Providence Bruins over the weekend as they earned four out of six points. They started with a very solid 4-2 win over Lehigh Valley at home on Friday. They lost at Springfield, 5-3, on Saturday. On Sunday, they dominated Hartford, 5-1, at home.

“We played really well (Sunday). We played pretty well on Friday. We had a good start (Saturday), then we didn’t manage pucks well. That’s really tough, especially in that building. If you don’t manage pucks, you’re screwed. Overall, it was a good weekend for us,’’ said coach Jay Leach.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.

GOOD

*** Gemel Smith had a fine weekend with two goals on Friday and single goals on Saturday and Sunday.

*** After coming up empty on eight shots in Springfield, Peter Cehlarik scored twice on Sunday.

*** With Providence up by two goals and only a couple of seconds left on the clock on Friday, Anton Blidh could have gotten out of the way of Lehigh Valley’s final shot. Instead, he sprawled out and blocked it.

*** Emil Johansson’s first goal of the season came while the P-Bruins were shorthanded on Sunday.

*** Kyle Cumiskey made a pretty pass on Peter Cehlarik’s first goal on Sunday.

*** Jordan Szwarz had a goal on Saturday and a goal and an assist on Sunday. He leads the team in goals with 12.

*** Trent Frederic had a goal and an assist on Friday. The Karson Kuhlman to Cameron Hughes to Frederic goal was a beauty. On his assist, Frederic won a draw clean to Smith, who hit the water bottle for a score.

*** Jeremy Lauzon got the better of T.J. Brennan of the Phantoms in a fight on Friday night.

*** Wiley Sherman stepped in and traded punches with Hartford’s Matt Beleskey after the ex-Bruins elbowed Connor Clifton on Sunday. Leach: “Great job by Sherm.”

BAD

*** The P-Bruins started the weekend with a too-many-men penalty 1:53 into Friday’s game.

*** Lehigh Valley scored two goals on its only two shots in the second period. Neither was Zane McIntyre’s fault.

*** It appeared that Hughes had put the P-Bruins ahead by two goals in the first period against Springfield, but the score was washed out because of goalie interference. It was a head-scratcher of a call as there didn’t appear to be any contact with the goalie.

*** Providence gave up 39 shots overall and four goals in the second period in Springfield.

UGLY

*** Injured: Anders Bjork, Ryan Fitzgerald.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

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The goal-starved Providence Bruins came home from a three-game weekend in Pennsylvania with just two out of six points. They dropped a 2-1 decision against Lehigh Valley on Friday;  scored four times in the third period for a come-from-behind 4-1 win in Hershey on Saturday; and lost 2-1 in Hershey on Sunday.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.

GOOD

*** The P-Bruins have 8 games at home in January and only 3 on the road, none outside New England. Time to get their playoff push going.

*** In the next couple of weeks, Providence with 33 points has a good chance to gain ground on Springfield, which holds the last Atlantic Division playoff slot with 37 points. Four of the P-Bruins’ next 7 games are against the Thunderbirds.

*** In his first game back after missing several weeks with an injury, Cody Goloubef scored twice on Saturday against the Bears.

*** Mark McNeill  has 2-5-7 in his last 5 games, including 1-2-3 on Saturday night.

*** Karson Kuhlman has goals in two straight games.

*** Anton Blidh didn’t have a point over the weekend, but left it all out there in every game, blocking shots, getting in fast and physical on the forecheck and getting under the skin of opponents.

*** Zane McIntyre played a strong game in Saturday’s win, stopping 23 of 24 shots.

*** Chris Breen and Blidh had huge shot blocks with the P-Bruins on the penalty kill while guarding a one-goal lead late in the game on Saturday.

*** Joona Koppanen scored his first goal of the season against the Phantoms.

BAD

*** The P-Bruins scored just six goals – including two empty-netters – in three games.

*** Some of Providence’s top scorers have hit a dry spell. Ryan Fitzgerald has gone 13 straight games without a goal. Anders Bjork has none in 9 games. Cameron Hughes has 1 goal in 16 games.

*** Providence received delay of game penalties for shooting the puck over the glass in both games in Hershey. Don’t know if they lead the AHL in those calls, but it feels like it.

UGLY

*** Injured:  Zach Senyshyn, Jakub Zboril, Kyle Cumiskey.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

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It wasn’t an especially good week for the Providence Bruins. After a pair of disappointing losses, they salvaged two points with a win in their final game before the holiday break.

The P-Bruins were beaten in Hartford, 3-0, on Wednesday, then lost in Binghamton, 6-3, on Friday, before hanging on for a 5-4 win in Springfield on Saturday.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.

GOOD

*** The P-Bruins went 3 for 6 on the power play in the win in Springfield. Their PP is now seventh in the league at 22 percent.

*** Mark McNeill set up a goal in Binghamton, then scored once and assisted on two other goals in Springfield in his best game of the season.

*** Jordan Szwarz scored his 100th goal in the AHL and added two helpers in Springfield. One of the assists was a perfect pass to Peter Cehlarik for a goal.

*** Anton Blidh forced a turnover and then scored on a nice shot in Binghamton. He followed that up with a very strong game at both ends of the ice in Springfield. He was especially good when Providence was protecting its one-goal lead late in the third period.

*** Cehlarik has put together a good stretch with six points in the last six games, including 1-1-2 on Saturday. He is now second on the team in scoring with 5-15-20 in 28 games.

*** Connor Clifton scored a goal 16 seconds into the game in Binghamton, then scored again the next night in Springfield.

*** New addition Gemel Smith scored his first Providence goal in Binghamton.

*** Chris Breen cold-cocked Hartford rookie Tim Gettinger in a fight.

BAD

*** In Hartford, Providence was shut out  for the first time this season.

*** They gave up shorthanded goals in Hartford and Binghamton for a total of seven this season. Only three teams have allowed more.

*** The P-Bruins are seventh in the Atlantic Division with 31 points in 31 games. They are going to have to pick up the pace in order to make the playoffs.

UGLY

*** The P-Bruins blew a 2-0 lead in Binghamton, but led 3-2 at the end of the second period. Then the final period was a disaster. Providence outshot the Devils, 17-7, but were outscored, 4-0.

*** Cruising along with a 5-1 third period lead in Springfield, the P-Bruins gave up three goals in 1:50 and had to hang on for the win.

*** Injured: Zach Senyshyn, Jakub Zboril, Kyle Cumiskey, Cody Goloubef.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

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The Providence Bruins kept their heads above water by earning three out of six points last week. They had a hard time solving Thatcher Demko (31 saves) in a 5-2 loss in Utica on Wednesday. They rallied late to come away with a point before losing in overtime at home against Bridgeport on Friday. They followed that up with a very solid 6-2 win over Hershey at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Saturday.

“As far as the week is concerned, it was fine, with the schedule and the travel and all that. We’ll take those points, but we’re going to have to make some headway here. A lot of that might be in the second half when we’re home a little bit more. We have six (straight) games on the road. We have to learn how to win on the road,” said coach Jay Leach.

“As someone used to say to me, good enough isn’t. If you want to make the playoffs, good enough isn’t.”

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.

GOOD

*** The P-Bruins were eight seconds away from a loss on Friday night before Ryan Fitzgerald swatted in a Kyle Cumiskey rebound and sent the game to overtime.

*** Fitzgerald made two absolutely gorgeous, high-end passes to Jordan Szwarz for goals on Saturday.

*** Defenseman Cumiskey had 1-3-4 in the week’s 3 games. He had been on a PTO, but the P-Bruins smartly signed him to an AHL deal on Friday.

*** With the victory on Saturday, Zane McIntyre set the all-time regular-season record for wins with 68, overtaking John Grahame.

*** Tanner Pond had a strong game against Hershey, getting under the skin of the Bears  with some hard hits and scoring his first AHL goal. Unfortunately, he was victimized by a couple of not-great penalty calls.

*** Peter Cehlarik put together a good week with 1-3-4 in 3 games.

*** Trent Frederic  added some extra finish when he ran Bridgeport’s Steve Bernier hard into the boards in the third period on Friday. On Nov. 10, the Sound Tigers’ winger received a five-minute major and a two-game suspension for charging Frederic. That hit knocked the Providence rookie out of the lineup for three weeks.

BAD

*** Providence’s next six games are on the road, where they are 5-8-3.

*** The P-Bruins took delay-of-game penalties for shooting the puck over the glass on both Friday and Saturday nights.

*** Austin Fyten was suspended for one game for a slash in the Bridgeport game that earned him a five-minute major. The Sound Tigers scored once on the power play.

*** Mark McNeill hasn’t scored in 14 games.

UGLY

*** Injured: Jakub, Zboril, Cody Goloubef.

A good week for Zach Senyshyn

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PROVIDENCE – So far, so good for Zach Senyshyn in his second season with the Providence Bruins.

After going eight games without a goal, Senyshyn broke out with four goals in three games last week, the best stretch of his young pro career. Heading into Wednesday’s game at Utica, he leads the P-Bruins with nine goals and is skating with a lot of confidence at right wing alongside center Cameron Hughes and left wing Peter Cehlarik.

“I feel good with the puck right now and definitely playing with Hughesy and Cehlarik has been awesome, two terrific players. They really help me play well and use my strengths. It’s been nice to string a couple of games together where I’ve been able to help out,’’ Senyshyn said after practice on Tuesday.

After posting a shooting percentage of 10.5 while scoring 12 goals as a rookie, Senyshyn’s shooting percentage to this point this season is 20.5.

“His quality of shot is probably better because he’s getting to the paint, he’s getting inside,’’ said coach Jay Leach.

That fits with the four goals Senyshyn scored last week, which were all from close range.

“I’d definitely like that to be a staple of my game. Using my speed and going to the net is what I do well. Again, when you are playing with Hughes and Cehlarik, they’re going to put pucks there and be able to make plays to get in that area. I’m happy that I’m able to capitalize,’’ Senyshyn said.

There haven’t been many dekes and dangles in his game and that’s not a bad thing.

“He’s (keeping it) simple. He’s skating. He’s got a good stick. He’s starting to break up plays with his stick. He’s become a bit more physical in finishing his checks. Obviously, he’s getting to the paint, which is where he can score, with his speed,’’ said Leach.

“I’m a big kid and I like to use my size,’’ Senyshyn said. “Definitely use it more now that I’m feeling more confident. With my speed I like to be able to get in hard on the forecheck and when I’m able to finish a couple of guys it feels nice, gets some confidence going.’’

Leach noticed an uptick in Senyshyn’s game in practice a couple of weeks ago. It continued into the games that weekend.

“The Charlotte-Bridgeport-Charlotte weekend, I don’t think he had any points, but he played well all three games. Then (last) week, obviously, he was able to cash in,’’ Leach said.

“He is feeling it. Now when I watch him play, he does have an air of ‘I know what I’m doing. I’ve found something.’ I would always kind of get on him, he’d look at me like he wanted me to tell him what to do. I don’t find him doing that as much any more, which is nice. I don’t have to tell him what to do, he’s going to do it himself.’’

Senyshyn, 21, is one of just two players picked in the first round in the 2015 NHL Draft who hasn’t played an NHL game. However, he is making strides and his recent strong play suggests that it’s much too soon to write him off as a prospect.

It remains to be seen if Senyshyn can keep up his current pace. But if he does, he’ll end up with 27 goals. Only 12 players scored that many in the AHL in 2017-18.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

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The Providence Bruins continued to play well in their three games last week – all on the road — but came away with only two of six possible points.

In their only win, the P-Bruins dismantled the Toronto Marlies, 5-0, on Wednesday. They just missed earning a point in Rochester, losing to the Americans, 2-1, on Friday. Then they dropped another one-goal decision on Saturday in Belleville, 3-2, despite outplaying the Senators for long stretches.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.

GOOD

*** Zach Senyshyn had the best week of his Providence career by scoring 4 times in 3 games. He leads the team with 9 goals. All 4 goals last week were scored from within a couple of feet of the blue paint. After scoring on 10.5 percent of his shots last season, he is connecting on 20.5 percent so far this year. There’s a long way to go, but he is on pace for a 27-goal season. Only 12 AHL players scored that many last season.

*** Cameron Hughes made a fine play on Senyshyn’s power play goal in Belleville, winning a faceoff in the neutral zone and then dishing to Senyshyn at the goal mouth.

*** The Peter Cehlarik to Mark McNeill to Senyshyn power play goal in Rochester was a beauty.

*** Jordan Szwarz put the P-Bruins on the board just 16 seconds into the game in Toronto, converting a smart setup by Ryan Fitzgerald.

*** Dan Vladar stopped 35 shots for his first shutout of the season in Toronto.

*** Anders Bjork had a highlight-reel snipe against the Marlies.

*** Connor Clifton’s first goal of the season was a top-shelf shot in Belleville. Kyle Cumiskey made a good play to win a race to the puck and get the puck to Fitzgerald, who fed it to Clifton.

*** The P-Bruins went 4 for 10 on the power play, which is now up to ninth in the league at 21.4 percent.

*** Fitzgerald has 17 points in his last 15 games.

*** Stick tap for Austin Fyten, who stepped up and fought Rochester’s Dalton Smith after Smith’s hit injured Jakub Zboril.

*** Every player in the Providence lineup had at least one shot on goal in Belleville.

BAD

*** The P-Bruins’ 8-game point streak ended in Rochester. Providence was one second away from tying the game and earning at least a point. Cehlarik fed a perfect pass to Szwarz, who one-timed the puck into the net, but it crossed the line just after time ran out. Seconds earlier, a Cehlarik shot hit the post and then the goalie’s back but somehow didn’t go in.

*** With Providence pressing for the tying goal in the final minute in Belleville, Cehlarik was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct —  playing without a helmet.

*** The P-Bruins have given up 5 shorthanded goals. Only 3 teams have yielded more.

UGLY

*** The P-Bruins’ bus didn’t get back to Providence from Belleville until 6:45 a.m.. on Sunday.

*** Injured: Anders Bjork, Jakub Zboril, Chris Breen, Cody Goloubef.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

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The Providence Bruins continued their hot streak over the weekend when — callups and injuries be damned — they earned 5 out of 6 points. They beat the Charlotte Checkers, the top team in the AHL, 2-1, on Friday night. They won a 2-1 overtime decision in Bridgeport on Saturday. Then they lost to Charlotte in overtime, 3-2, on Sunday

“We will take it. Overall, if you would have asked me if we’d take 5 out of 6 points on the weekend, I’ll take that all day long,’’ said coach Jay Leach.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.

GOOD

*** The P-Bruins are 7-1-3 in their last 11 games. They’ve moved from 28th in the league to 16th in a month.

*** Ryan Fitzgerald had a nifty assist on Jordan Szwarz’ goal on Friday, scored the game-winner on a penalty shot in overtime on Saturday and had the primary assist on Szwarz’ goal on Sunday. He has points in six straight games, with 4-5-9.

*** In addition to his two goals this weekend, Szwarz continues to provide terrific leadership for a young team.

*** The P-Bruins received first-rate goaltending all weekend from Zane McIntyre and Dan Vladar. McIntyre stopped 25 of 26 shots on Friday and 44 of 47 on Sunday, and added an assist. On Friday, he tied John Grahame for the franchise record in wins with 67. Vladar made 30 saves in Bridgeport, including several big stops during a third-period 5-on-3 power play for the Sound Tigers.

*** Cameron Hughes made a smart pass and Peter Cehlarik a nice shot on the winning goal on Friday night.

*** Because he stopped when he got to the net, Karson Kuhlman was in position to regain possession of the puck and pass to Trent Frederic for a slam-dunk goal in the third period on Sunday.

*** Wiley Sherman scored his second goal of the season on Saturday and had some big shot blocks on Sunday.

*** The penalty kill remains the best in the league at 89 percent. They killed 14 of 15 over the weekend.

BAD

*** Providence plays its next four games on the road.

*** The P-Bruins gave up 47 shots and let a 2-0 lead get away in the third period on Sunday.

UGLY

*** Injured: Chris Breen, Cody Goloubef, David Broll.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

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Despite a load of callups and injuries, the Providence Bruins are playing their best hockey of the season. A very productive and encouraging Thanksgiving week on the road started with the P-Bruins coming from a goal down to earn a point in Hartford, losing 4-3 in overtime, on Wednesday. On Saturday they showed great heart by rallying from two goals down to beat Lehigh Valley, 6-3. On Sunday, they finished off their Pennsylvania sweep with a solid 4-2 win at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.

GOOD

*** The P-Bruins have gone 5-1-2 in their last 8 games, taking 12 of 16 points.

*** Ryan Fitzgerald is smoking hot. He had 1-1-2 in all 3 games this week and now leads the team in scoring with 6-10-16 in 19 games.

*** Cameron Hughes had 2 goals at Lehigh Valley and now leads the team with 8. He dusted Phantoms’ all-star defenseman T.J. Brennan on one of the goals.

*** Austin Fyten scored twice and handed out some punishing hits against the Phantoms.

*** The Ryan Donato to Jan Kovar to Fitzgerald tic-tac-toe play for Providence’s first goal on Sunday was a thing of beauty.

*** New arrival Kyle Cumiskey got involved right away with a goal and an assist in his first game on Wednesday against the Wolf Pack.

*** Stick tap for Tanner Pond for not allowing Taylor Leier to goad him into a fight in the third period on Saturday. No need for it with the P-Bruins up by three goals.

*** Down by a goal, the P-Bruins were absolutely dominant on the power play before Cumiskey tied the game, with assists to Fitzgerald and Donato, in the third period in Hartford.

*** Zane McIntyre was sharp in stopping 31 shots in Sunday’s win.

*** After giving up 3 goals on the first 8 shots against Lehigh Valley, Dan Vladar was strong the rest of the way.

*** Providence is 3-0 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

BAD

*** The P-Bruins dug themselves an early 0-2 hole against Lehigh Valley, giving up a goal 38 seconds in (after a Cumiskey turnover) and another 29 seconds later.

*** McIntyre was caught out of his net when the puck took a bad bounce off a stanchion on Matt Beleskey’s second goal in Hartford.

*** The December schedule is a doozy with 11 of 14 games on the road.

UGLY

*** Injured: Trent Frederic, Cody Goloubef, David Broll.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

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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.

GOOD

*** 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.

BAD

*** 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.

UGLY

*** 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.