P-Bruins Week in Review
The Providence Bruins collected three of a possible six points this weekend, and with a jam-packed race from the third to seventh spot in the Atlantic Division, every point is crucial. With a win, a loss and a shootout defeat during their slate of action, the P-Bruins are holding onto fourth place with 67 points and a 29-21-7-2 record. They are just one point behind Hershey for the three seed and have a five-point cushion over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the final postseason berth. With three more matchups against the Bears and two more on the road against the Penguins, the final weeks of the season should prove to be exciting and meaningful.
The P-Bruins and Penguins opened the weekend at the Dunk in a closely contested battle that needed a shootout to decide a winner after Chris Breen tied the score 1-1 early in the third period. Despite a 39 save performance from Zane McIntyre, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton beat him twice in the shootout to take the 2-1 victory. The team hit the road Saturday for the start of a home-and-home series with the Springfield Thunderbirds, falling to the host T-Birds 4-2. Providence came back strong Sunday at the Dunk in an exciting, hard-hitting game against Springfield. The P-Bruins never trailed, getting two goals from Paul Carey and the first two goals of Urho Vaakanainen's pro career to secure two big points and a 5-2 victory.
Vaakanainen scores first career goal
Urho Vaakanainen posted arguably his best game of the season Sunday. He assisted on the opening score of the game and potted his first professional goal to put the P-Bruins ahead early in the second period. He sealed the win with a shorthanded, empty net goal and was on the ice for all five Providence tallies. This was his second career multipoint game and first three-point game. Still just 20 years old, the defenseman showed why he is Boston's top prospect at the position and is continuing to grow in all aspects of his game. The team plays him in all situations, and if Sunday was any indication it looks like he is finding a good balance between his offensive and defensive game.
Paul Carey continues to prove his worth after coming over in a midseason trade, posting a pair of multipoint games Saturday and Sunday. He led the team with three goals and four points while posting a plus-four rating over the weekend skating on the team's top line. His line mate Jordan Szwarz, along with Connor Clifton and Vaakanainen, had the team's other multipoint performances for the week, each coming against the T-Birds Sunday at the Dunk. Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson returned from an upper body injury Saturday, centering the team's third line in both games against Springfield. He made plenty of plays throughout the weekend and posted two assists, but did have to leave Sunday's game early due to injury. Zane McIntyre continues to shine between the pipes for Providence and was responsible for all three points the team earned. Overall, he stopped 66-69 shots in his two weekend starts, posting a save percentage of 95.7%.
AHL Trade Deadline
Although the NHL trade deadline passed last week, the AHL trade deadline was Monday and the P-Bruins made a deal. With so many injuries to their defense, the team traded forward Austin Fyten to the Belleville Senators in exchange for defenseman Stuart Percy. Percy, a 2011 first round pick by Toronto, is a veteran of over 300 AHL games and 12 NHL games. He has bounced around over the last three seasons between Belleville, Rochester and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after starting his career with the Marlies. He should bring stability and some offensive production to a defensive core that needs it. Fyten has not suited up for the P-Bruins since February 10 due to injury but had been a solid center and winger on the team's fourth line. He scored three goals and six assists for nine points in 45 games with Providence this season and has played 274 career games with Providence, Texas, Hershey, Lehigh Valley and Oklahoma City.
The P-Bruins have three home games this weekend, all with playoff implications. On Friday and Saturday, the team welcomes Hershey to the Dunk for a pair of 7:05pm face offs that could determine who gets the number three seed in the Atlantic Division. Sunday, Providence welcomes Springfield back to the Dunk for a 3:05pm matinee looking to bury any playoff hopes the T-Birds have.
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American Hockey League Stories from March 6, 2019
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- Jordan Binnington Named AHL Graduate of the Month - San Antonio Rampage
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- San Diego Gulls Sign Steve McParland and Ryan Tesink to Professional Tryouts - San Diego Gulls
- Heat, Gulls Wrap Three-Game Set Wednesday in San Diego - Stockton Heat
- P-Bruins Week in Review - Providence Bruins
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