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P-Bruins start weekend with overtime victory against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

Dan Vladar made 27 saves and Ryan Fitzgerald scored the game winner on Friday.

Matt McGuirk

The Providence Bruins battled against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday, and their hard work paid off in a 2-1 overtime victory.

“I thought we played a pretty good game for the most part,” said Head Coach Jay Leach. “The first was a good period, the second I don’t think we skated as well as we should have, and then in the third we pushed back a bit. Obviously, we gave up a late goal but I liked our response afterward.”

The P-Bruins took a 1-0 lead on the power-play at 11:26 of the first, with Martin Bakos finishing off a nice pass play from Ryan Fitzgerald and Jan Kovar. Fitzgerald picked up the puck in the slot, dished it to Kovar in the right circle, and Kovar fed Bakos in front for the tally.

There was no scoring in the second period, but it was a strong period for both teams overall. At one point the Penguins spent a good chunk of time cycling the puck in the Providence zone, but were unable to find the back of the net. Providence answered with an extended shift of its own, spending nearly a minute and a half in the Penguins’ end. If not for a hit post and a mass of bodies in front of the net, the P-Bruins could very well have gone up 2-0 during that possession.

The intensity also ramped up in the middle frame and tempers flared when Trent Frederic dropped the gloves with Ryan Horvat. Frederic stepped in after Horvat boarded Emil Johansson and earned the takedown after landing a few punches. Frederic was given a two-minute instigating penalty, a five-minute major for fighting, and a ten-minute game misconduct.

The P-Bruins looked like they were on their way to a victory in the third, but a bad play led to the tying goal from Sam Lafferty. Lafferty batted a bobbling puck through the legs of Wiley Sherman and cruised down the right wing before firing it into the back of the net.

“We dove in at the blue line, which I don’t think we should do at that time in the period,” Leach said. “We got beat, but credit to them, it was a nice shot.”

The P-Bruins did not take their foot off the gas pedal after the tying goal and carried that momentum into the overtime period. The teams exchanged some rushes back and forth, but Providence took control on the power-play after Tobias Lindberg cross-checked Ryan Donato.

Despite having several good looks on the power-play, the P-Bruins were unable to beat Tristan Jarry, and it looked like they were running out of time. They were finally able to seal the win with five seconds left on the power-play after Fitzgerald deflected a slap pass from Cody Goloubef into the back of the net.

The special teams units were a big part of tonight’s game for the P-Bruins, as they converted on two out of five power-play opportunities and killed off five penalties.

“It won us the game, which is nice. It’s something we’ve been trying to work on,” said Leach of the power-play. “And for the penalty kill, you could say for the same thing. Special teams did us a nice job tonight.”

The P-Bruins hope to carry this momentum into tomorrow night’s game against Bridgeport before returning home to take on the Penguins again on Sunday.

Other notes:

  • Ryan Fitzgerald and Jan Kovar each finished the game with two points.
  • Don Sweeney was in attendance.
  • Scratches for the P-Bruins were: Chris Breen, David Broll, Mark McNeill, Tanner Pond, and Jordan Szwarz.

Friday’s lineup was:

Forward Lines:

Ryan Donato - Jan Kovar - Martin Bakos

Ryan Fitzgerald - Colby Cave - Anton Blidh

Peter Cehlarik - Trent Frederic - Karson Kuhlman

Austin Fyten - Cameron Hughes - Zach Senyshyn

Defense Pairs:

Jeremy Lauzon - Cody Goloubef

Emil Johansson - Jakub Zboril

Wiley Sherman - Connor Clifton


Dan Vladar

Zane McIntyre