P-BRUINS ROB PIRATES 4-1
Hennessy Tallies Three Points in Win
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins took an easy 4-1 decision over the Portland Pirates this evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. Josh Hennessy and Carter Camper scored on the power play for Providence, while Kyle MacKinnon added an even-strength bid of his own. Jordan Caron sealed the win with an empty-netter.
Looking to put the struggles of 2011 behind them, the P-Bruins dominated every aspect of play in the opening period, delivering hard hits and showering Portland's goaltender Curtis McElhinney with shots. McElhinney struggled to handle the shots and gave up several juicy rebounds. The pressure finally collapsed Portland as they were assessed with two penalties within a minute of each other. Providence didn't waste the power play opportunity. Faceoff connoisseur Trent Whitfield easily stripped Ryan Hollweg of the puck at the faceoff, winning the biscuit back to David Warsofsky at the point. He fed Hennessy at the far half-wall and the grizzled veteran used his soft hands to easily dance around the flat-looted Portland defense along the goal line and snuck a wrister top shelf on McEllhinney at 17:22. Caron also assisted on the play. Despite a late hooking penalty on Colby Cohen, solid play from the P-Bruins defensive corps and acrobatic saves from Anton Khudobin kept the Pirates off the board and the P-Bruins went into the first intermission leading 1-0.
The P-Bruins didn't let up in the second frame as they continued to pressure the Pirates' defense and throw the puck at McElhinney. The Pirates frustrations cost them another goal at 7:43. Awarded their fourth power play of the game, it only took Camper 22 seconds to bury the biscuit for his ninth goal of the season. Hennessy's shot from the high slot was deflected off of the back of McElhinney's pads and Camper easily found the back of the empty net from the low left circle. Caron picked up his second assist of the night on the play. Not satisfied with a two-goal lead, the P-Bruins pressured the Pirates both while at even strength and shorthanded, including when Kirk MacDonald nearly buried a shorthanded goal as McElhinney fumbled trying to clear the puck. Just over two minutes later, Providence extended their lead to three with a strike from MacKinnon. Going D-to-D with Kevan Miller, Matt Bartkowski fed MacKinnon at the top of the right circle. His snap shot cleanly found its way through traffic at 15:36. The Pirates couldn't generate any offensive momentum in the final minutes, sending the P-Bruins into the final frame sitting on a 3-0 lead.
Providence was assessed with a penalty with just a second to play in the second period and the Pirates didn't waste the man-advantage opportunity, scoring just 1:37 into the final frame. The teams exchanged scoring opportunities as well as time in the penalty box as the minutes as the minutes wound down. Khudobin continued to impress, getting the crowd on their feet with multiple impressive saves to keep the P-Bruins up by two. The Pirates tried to cut the deficit to one in the last two minutes, pulling McElhinney, but Providence bore down and denied any opportunity to score. Caron sealed the win with an empty net goal with 15 seconds to play. Hennessy assisted on the play, bringing his point total to three for the night.
Khudobin's 27 saves earned him the win, his 12th of the season, while McElhinney fell short with 33 saves on 36 P-Bruins attempts. Providence went 2-for-5 on the power play and was nearly flawless on the penalty kill, going 4-for-5.
The P-Bruins meet their Route 146 rival the Worcester Sharks on Saturday at the DCU Center before returning to The Dunk on Sunday to face the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The puck drops at 4:05 p.m. for Kids Thundersticks Night, which are free to the first 1,000 kids 12 and under. To purchase our special ticket offers or for more information, call the Providence Bruins ticket office at (401) 273-5000 or log on to the team website at www.providencebruins.com.