P-Bruins Week in Review
The month of January has been kind to the Providence Bruins, and last weekend was no exception. The team took five of a possible six points in their three games and for the month have earned 14 of 18 points in the standings. Riding a seven-game point streak, the P-Bruins have jumped up to fifth place in the Atlantic Division with a record of 20-16-6-1 and 47 points. With the All-Star break fast-approaching and plenty of games within the division left, Providence will remain in the thick of things down to the final days of the year.
The P-Bruins began their week Friday night at the Dunk against the Springfield Thunderbirds in what turned out to be a goaltending duel between Zane McIntyre and Samuel Montembeault. Both goalies were sharp and made ridiculous saves throughout regulation and overtime, sending the game to a shootout. Neither side would blink as things headed to round six scoreless, but finally Trent Frederic went five-hole on Montembeault to give Providence a 2-1 win. The team traveled to Bridgeport on Saturday for a match-up against the Sound Tigers, and once again the game headed to a shootout. Despite another shootout tally from Frederic, Bridgeport eventually won 4-3. Due to the snow, the P-Bruins finished up the week Monday afternoon at the Dunk, taking on the Hartford Wolf Pack. The team scored the first three goals of the game while Paul Carey netted a hat-trick as the P-Bruins went on to a convincing 5-2 win.
Drinking the Kuhlman Kool-Aid
One of the major reasons Providence has picked things up recently is the play of rookie Karson Kuhlman. Kuhlman scored in each of Providence's three games this weekend, posting a pair of goals and a pair of assists for a team-best four points. Over his last 13 games, he has scored six goals and seven assists for 13 points with a plus-eight rating. Kuhlman has taken over as the top-line right wing, skating with Jordan Szwarz and Cameron Hughes.
Hats off to Carey
Paul Carey has been a nice pick-up for the Bruins since the organization traded for him in mid-January, and Monday he had his best game of the season. Carey, who tied Kuhlman for the team lead with four weekend points, netted his first hat-trick of the season and second by a Providence player. Carey lit the lamp once in each period, one of which was the game-winning goal. He will continue to be a great depth option on the wing for Boston while piling up points on the P-Bruin's second line.
Szwarz heads to the All-Star Game
The American Hockey League announced that forward Jordan Szwarz has been named to the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic roster. Szwarz will replace teammate Ryan Fitzgerald, who is out with an upper body injury, on the All-Star roster. Szwarz currently leads the team with 14 goals and will be making his first appearance at the AHL All-Star Classic. He has 23 points on the season, good for fourth on the team, and posted another strong weekend. He scored a goal and two assists, one of just three Providence players with three weekend points.
Zane is Insane
Zane McIntyre continues to give the Bruins a chance to win every night and has been on fire in January. He has six straight wins with a save percentage of 90.6%, including a pair of victories this weekend. In his two starts he stopped 46 of 49 shots (93.9%) and all six shootout attempts he faced. This is far closer to the goaltender the team expected after a slow start and he has reclaimed full control of the starting job. Should Tuukka Rask's injury extend past Boston's bye week, he would likely be in line to serve as the NHL backup behind Jaroslav Halak.
With Boston on a bye week, the team sent Peter Cehlarik back to Providence for this weekend's slate of games. Cehlarik played well in his three NHL games, posting two goals and three points on Boston's second line. It remains to be seen what forwards Boston will turn to after their bye is over, but for now the P-Bruins will enjoy having their leading scorer back in the fold.
The P-Bruins will look to extend their point streak to a season-high eight games, but that will be no easy task given their opponents. Providence opens the weekend Friday night at 7:05pm against the first-place Charlotte Checkers on their annual Military Appreciation night. The team then hosts Springfield Saturday night at 7:05pm as they take on a T-Birds team that is just ahead of them in the standings.
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American Hockey League Stories from January 24, 2019
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