Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

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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.

GOOD

*** 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.

BAD

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

UGLY

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

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

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Since a 1-5-1 stretch in mid-December, the Providence Bruins have been one of the hottest teams in the American Hockey League. They’ve gone 10-3-1-1 since then. They were a smoking 8-1-1-1 in January and haven’t lost a game in regulation time since Jan. 5.

Over the weekend, the P-Bruins won their final two games before the AHL All-Star break, coming from two goals down to beat Charlotte, 5-3, on Friday, and erasing a one-goal deficit in the third period to defeat Springfield, 3-2, on Saturday.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.

GOOD

*** The win over Springfield lifted Providence into fourth place, the last playoff slot in the Atlantic Division.

*** With two more victories over the weekend, Zane McIntyre has won eight straight starts and 10 of his last 12.

*** Trent Frederic scored twice and added an assist against Charlotte.

*** Paul Carey undressed Charlotte defenders and the goalie on his pretty shorthanded goal on Friday.

*** Zach Senyshyn scored the game-winner and set up another goal against Springfield.

*** Gemel Smith has been a key addition with 16 points in 17 games. He scored a goal on Friday and had 1-2-3 on Saturday.

*** The P-Bruins outshot Springfield, 23-3, in the second period. At one point in the second period, they worked the puck around the Thunderbirds’ zone for two straight minutes without giving up possession.

*** Jakub Zboril had two assists on Saturday, including a very nice cross-seam pass to Smith for a power–play goal.

*** Jordan Szwarz, Providence’s representative in the All-Star Classic, made a gorgeous pass to Kuhlman for a goal on Friday. He won a couple important defensive zone draws while the P-Bruins were protecting a one-goal lead in the final minutes on Saturday.

*** Jay Leach used his timeout after the P-Bruins fell behind by two early against Charlotte. As Leach noted afterward, the team played two awful shifts coming out of the timeout. But then the tide turned  and Providence rallied to beat the AHL’s top team.

*** Special teams shone. The power play went 3 for 6. The penalty kill went 7 for 7, including 4 for 4 against Springfield’s best-in-the-league PP.

BAD

*** The P-Bruins took two more delay of game penalties for shooting the puck over the glass, one on Friday and another on Saturday.

*** Providence is in for a test next weekend: Two road games against Charlotte.

UGLY

*** Injured: Jeremy Lauzon, Ryan Fitzgerald, Anders Bjork.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

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The Providence Bruins continue to play well as January winds down. They won twice on the weekend, sandwiched around a shootout loss.  They beat Springfield, 2-1, in a shootout at home on Friday; lost in a shootout in Bridgeport, 4-3, on Saturday; and won 5-2 over Hartford at home on Monday.

“Anytime we get five out of six points with the way the schedule works out in our division is terrific. Obviously we’re a desperate team trying to climb the standings,’’ said coach Jay Leach.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.

GOOD

*** Zane McIntyre was brilliant in the shootout  win against Springfield on Friday, shutting down all six Thunderbirds shooters. He made one of his better saves of the season on Monday, sliding across to stop Hartford’s Ville Meskanen. McIntyre has won his last six starts and eight of his last 10. “The last month he’s given us a chance to win every night, which is all we can ask for,’’ said Leach.

*** Paul Carey had a strong weekend, finishing with a hat trick on four shots on Monday. He had six shots on both Friday and Saturday. Carey made a good pass to Mark McNeill for a power-play goal in Bridgeport.

*** Karson Kuhlman scored a goal on Friday, an assist on Saturday and had 1-1-2 on Monday. He has 13 points in his last 13 games. He had seven shots in Bridgeport.

*** The P-Bruins finished the weekend in fifth place in the Atlantic Division with a winning percentage of .547. They are only a few percentage points behind fourth-place Springfield (.558) and third-place Lehigh Valley (.583). Second-place Bridgeport (.591) is within reach, too. The top four teams in the division make the playoffs.

*** Connor Clifton made a perfect pass to Carey for a goal on Monday, and added an empty-net goal with 1:40 to go.

*** Trent Frederic scored the winner on Friday in Providence’s first shootout of the season.

*** Kyle Cumiskey sent a gorgeous, long-distance breakaway pass to Zach Senyshyn, who finished with a nifty snipe in Bridgeport.

*** With a team-high 14 goals, Jordan Szwarz is on pace for the third straight season of at least 20 goals with the P-Bruins. He played his 400th AHL game on Monday.

*** It’s been a strong January for the P-Bruins. They are 6-1-1-1 for 14 out of 18 points, with two games left.

BAD

*** Up 3-1, the P-Bruins gave up two goals in 2:45 in the opening minutes of the third period and went on to lose in the shootout in Bridgeport. Providence outshot the Sound Tigers, 32-16.

*** They piled up eight shots during a power play in overtime but couldn’t score.

*** Even though Hartford’s John Gilmour lost an edge and fell down on his own while rushing the puck in the third period on Monday, Referee Beaudry Halkidis sent Chris Breen to the box for tripping.

*** Dan Vladar has won just one of his last eight starts.

*** Tanner Pond took a five-minute major for checking from behind and a game misconduct on Friday night.

*** On Friday, Providence took yet another delay of game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass.

UGLY 

*** Injured: Ryan Fitzgerald, Jeremy Lauzon. And Anders Bjork is finished for the season after undergoing another shoulder surgery last week. It’s a tough break for the young winger.

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.