PENGUINS PREVAIL AT THE DUNK
Providence Falls to Top-Ranked W-B/Scranton 2-0
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins fell to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2-0 on Friday evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in front of 9,249 fans.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton came out flying in the opening minutes of the first frame, dominating the offensive play and thwarting the P-Bruins' attempts. However, solid performances from the Providence blue-liners and veteran net-minder Nolan Schaefer kept the Penguins off the board. The P-Bruins started to pick up the offensive tempo halfway through the first with the combination of Jordan Smotherman, Kirk MacDonald and Trent Whitfield testing Penguins goalie Brad Thiessen. P-Bruins enforcer Nate McIver dropped the mits with Ryan Craig after a scuffle in front of Schaefer at 13:23 of the first.
The Penguins capitalized on their fourth power play of the night nearly nine minutes into the second frame. Sterling ripped a slap shot from the high slot to beat Schaefer and give the Penguins the 1-0 lead. Dustin Jeffrey assisted on the play. There was an onslaught of penalties to finish the period, with both Providence and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton getting two power play opportunities. Jeffrey singlehandedly shortened Providence's five-on-three opportunity, drawing two penalties off breakaway attempts. Schaefer finished the period strong with a couple of key saves as the P-Bruins' defense tested Thiessen from the point.
The P-Bruins continued to drill Thiessen with shots in the third period, but couldn't connect on the rebounds to even the score. The Penguins struck for the second time of the night off an odd-angle shot. Geoff Walker threw the puck at the net from the goal line and it took a strange bounce off of Schaefer's pads to give the Penguins the two-goal advantage. Zach Sill notched the helper of the play. Schaefer shined throughout the rest of the period, making key saves to keep the deficit at two and earning him the third star of the game.
Schaefer suffered the loss, blocking 29 of 31 attempts, while Thiessen earned the win, blocking 20 shots for his third shutout and league-high 18th win. The P-Bruins went 7-for-8 on the penalty kill and 0-for-5 on the power play.
The P-Bruins are next in action on Saturday when the club travels to Connecticut for a 7 p.m. tilt with the Whale. Providence then wraps up the weekend on Sunday at The Dunk versus Worcester at 4:05 p.m. for Silly Band Night with silly band packages free to the first 1,000 kids age 12 and under. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the P-Bruins ticket office at 401-273-5000 or log on to the team website at providencebruins.com.
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