Smith Powers P-Bruins to 4-2 Win
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins defeated the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Friday night 4-2 in their first game of the calendar year. The P-Bruins got two goals from Gemel Smith along with goals from Trent Frederic and Joona Koppanen while Zane McIntyre made his 20th start of the season in net.
The teams traded chances through the first seventeen minutes, but it wasn't until the end of the opening frame that the Providence offense exploded. The P-Bruins netted three goals in a span of 1:18, the fastest three tallies the team has had all year. The first came from Frederic at 17:32 as he cashed in on a 3-on-2 rush. Karson Kuhlman took a hit up the right boards to enter the attacking zone, but fed Cameron Hughes in the middle of the ice. Hughes quickly passed to a streaking Frederic up the left side, and from inside the circle he snapped one by Alex Lyon for his seventh goal of the season.
Gemel Smith took over after that, scoring 53 seconds later for his second goal as a Bruin. Alone inside the right circle on a power play, Smith snapped a shot that beat Lyon's glove and popped the water bottle from behind the net. Jakub Zboril and Frederic earned assists on the play and Providence took a 2-0 lead. Just 21 seconds later, Smith scored again to make it a three-goal game. Connor Clifton fired a shot off the end boards that ricocheted right behind Lyon. Poking away at it in the crease, Smith pushed it through traffic to light the lamp and give the P-Bruins a 3-0 lead into the first intermission.
Lehigh Valley cracked the scoreboard 8:29 into the second period, taking advantage of a Providence turnover. Chris Conner intercepted a pass and started a breakaway, beating McIntyre for his 11th goal of the season and making the score 3-1. Mikhail Vorobyev cut the Phantoms deficit to one at 13:22 as his passing attempt went off a P-Bruin and in for his fourth goal of the season to make it 3-2 after two. Providence regained a two-goal cushion 3:33 into the final period on a tipped shot by Koppanen. From the point, Clifton fired a slapper towards Lyon that Koppanen deflected in the high slot. His second goal of the season secured the victory as Providence held on for a 4-2 win.
McIntyre stopped 20 of 22 shots while Lyon stopped 30 of 34 shots. Providence was 1-3 on the power play and 2-2 on the penalty kill. The P-Bruins are back in action tomorrow night when they travel to Springfield for a 7:05pm face-off with the Thunderbirds.
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