P-BRUINS FALL TO WHALE 4-1
Hamill Scores Shorthanded Goal
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins fell to the Connecticut Whale 4-1 Friday evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The P-Bruins' lone goal came from Zach Hamill in the third period.
After a hard week of practice, the P-Bruins took the ice for their first game back at the Dunkin' Donuts Center after a three-game road trip over the Thanksgiving holiday. Providence took control of the momentum early in the frame, seeing an immediate impact from the return of captain Trent Whitfield, as well as Boston recalls Jordan Caron and Steve Kampfer. Despite crashing Connecticut's Chad Johnson with 11 shots, the Whale took the first lead at 6:13 when a shot from Scott Tanski trickled through Anton Khudobin's pads and over the goal line. Following the Whale's goal, Providence continued to play a heavy offensive game and their hard forecheck forced three Connecticut penalties in the final six minutes of the frame. The P-Bruins power play unit set up a lot of scoring opportunities, but they couldn't finish the play and went into the first intermission trailing 1-0.
The P-Bruins opened up the second frame on the power play after Connecticut's Stu Bickel was assessed with a cross-checking penalty with 23 seconds to play in the first period. Providence saw chances from Carter Camper and Jamie Tardif, but the power play unit couldn't break through Connecticut's box and couldn't finish on lose pucks in the slot and around the crease. Again, it was the Whale that found the back of the net first. Tommy Grant made gave the Whale a 2-0 after the puck got lost in traffic in front and found the back of the net at 5:02. Never short of opportunities, even strength or on the man-advantage, Providence couldn't finish the play and struggled with bad bounces and went into the dressing room for the second intermission trailing 2-0.
Providence's frustrations came to a boil in the third frame with Kevan Miller dropping the gloves with Andre Deveaux just 51 seconds into the period. The Whale got on the board at 5:23 to take a 3-0 lead. Two consecutive Providence penalties gave the Whale a 5-on-3, but the P-Bruins penalty kill unit held strong. On the penalty kill, Andrew Bodnarchuk broke the puck out of the zone and rushed the puck into the Whale's zone where he sent a slap shot at Johnson from the left half wall. Jordan Caron found the rebound, but it was Hamill who jammed the puck home for his seventh goal of the year and to cut the Whale's lead to two. At 15:11 Providence found themselves on another 5-on-3 penalty kill, during which the Whale's Mats Zuccarello scored his fifth goal of the year to give the Whale a 4-1 lead. Connecticut held on the last four minutes to take the 4-1 win.
Khudobin suffered the loss, stopping 22 of 26 Whale attempts, while Johnson's 28 saves earned him the win. Providence went 0-for-7 on the power play, but recorded a shorthanded goal.