We’re trying to bolster our P-Bruins coverage, and are trying out new writers in the process. This piece comes from Gary Azera.
The Providence Bruins played this season’s first full weekend of games last week and came up perfect, with three wins in three tries. The Bruins are now in 1st place in the Atlantic Division with five wins and a single loss, coming at the hands of the Toronto Marlies.
Friday, the team headed to the MassMutual Center to face the Springfield Thunderbirds, who started the season with two losses to the Bruins.
In the 1st period, there were very few chances for either team, with the score 0-0 after one. In the second period, the flood gates opened: Jordan Szwarz opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal with 12:21 left in the second period, then the shorthanded scoring continued with Danton Heinen cashing in on a breakaway with 6:22 left in the second period.
Austin Czarnik capped the middle period outburst with a goal scored with 2:54 left in the second period. Springfield showed signs of life with back to back goals in the third period, but an empty net goal by Czarnik sealed the deal and gave the Bruins a 5-2 win.
Saturday saw the Bruins head back to the Dunkin Donuts center to play the Belleville Senators. Providence started the game with eight minutes of good pressure in the offensive zone, but couldn’t cash in. The momentum shifted after a power play goal by Belleville with 7:27 left in the 1st period.
Belleville doubled its lead with a goal 13 seconds into the second period. Overall, Providence had a terrible second period, with Belleville spending most of the time in Providence's zone. The Bruins also failed to convert on a 5 on 3 power play, failing to create any real chances.
Providence’s struggles continued in the third period until a power play 5 minutes in turned the momentum toward the Bruins.
The Bruins peppered Hammond with shots, keeping the puck in the zone for a good 90 seconds. The momentum was increased when goaltender Dan Vladar, taking over for Zane McIntrye, who was called up for Boston, made an amazing save on a Belleville breakaway to hold the Senators to a 2-0 lead.
Finally, Providence through against Hammond with a goal by Jordan Szwarz with 6:15 left in the 3rd period after a great drop pass by Peter Cehlarik.
Cehlarik would add the tying goal with 2:18 left in the third to level the score at 2-2, which is how regulation ended.
During the overtime period, spent a lot of time in the Belleville zone but didn’t get many grade-A chances. The biggest play of OT was made by Vladar, who made another big breakaway save to help get Providence into the shootout.
After Providence elected to shoot second, Jordan Szwarz scored the game-winning goal in the last round of the shootout giving Providence the win.
In the final match of the weekend, the Laval Rocket came to Providence to play a Sunday matinee. Providence opened the scoring with a power play goal by Jordan Szwarz with 11:53 left in the 1st period. Anton Blidh added another goal with 9:32 left in the first period.
The second period saw lots of chippy play with some pushing and shoving between stoppages. Jesse Gabrielle had a breakaway out of the penalty box that was saved by Charlie Lindgren, keeping the score 2-0 Providence.
The returning-from-Boston Zane McIntyre performed well after backing up Anton Khudobin in the NHL the night before. In the third period, another goal scored by Jordan Szwarz, who had a big weekend after returning from injury, put the Bruins up 3-0 with 12:08 left in the third.
Anton Blidh added insult to injury with an empty-net goal to give the Bruins a 4-0 win against the Canadiens affiliate and end the weekend perfect.
Overall, a very strong weekend for the Providence Bruins with excellent performances from Jordan Szwarz.
This weekend, Providence will be heading to Binghamton to play the Devils on Friday and then heading to Pennsylvania to play the Hershey Bears on Saturday night.
For more information regarding game previews and recaps from last week’s games, make sure to follow @BruinsInPVDPod on twitter, and listen to the Something Bruin in PVD podcast available on iTunes.