Providence Bruins

Apr 6, 2018


Providence, RI – The Providence Bruins defeated the Hartford Wolf Pack Friday night 6-3, lowering their magic number to clinch a playoff berth to two. The P-Bruins got two goals from Ryan Fitzgerald along with goals from Anton Blidh, Jordan Szwarz, Trent Frederic and Austin Czarnik while Zane McIntyre made his 42nd start of the season in net.

Providence dominated the zone time in the opening period and it showed on the scoreboard. After being held scoreless despite an 8-1 shots edge through six minutes, Blidh gave the P-Bruins a 1-0 lead at 7:59. Taking a pass from Cameron Hughes, Blidh started a 2-on-1 break with Jack Studnicka up the right side. Rather than pass, Blidh surprised Hartford goalie Alexander Georgiev with a wrister from inside the right circle for his 11th goal of the season. Just 1:11 later, Szwarz doubled that lead with his 21st goal of the season. At the bottom of the left circle, he blasted a one-timer in off a pass from Fitzgerald to give Providence a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.

That domination continued into period number two with Providence tacking on a trio of goals. Fitzgerald found the back of the net on the power play at 2:58, tapping a beautiful feed from Czarnik in from the crease to make things 3-0 Providence. He struck again at 8:37, taking advantage of a poor Hartford clearing attempt. With the puck bouncing around between the hashes, he fired a spin-around shot in for his 19th of the season and second of the night to extend the lead to 4-0. Two minutes later, Frederic ended Georgiev’s night early on his third goal of the season. With Colton Hargrove and Adam Payerl creating traffic in front, Frederic had a clean look at a wrister in front. His goal forced the Wolf Pack to put Marek Mazanec between the pipes and sent the P-Bruins into the locker room up 5-0.

Chris Bigras and Ryan Gropp tried to inch Hartford back into it in the third period, each scoring goals less than a minute apart. However, Czarnik cemented the P-Bruins victory at 15:53 with a snipe to the top left corner. Studnicka earned his second assist of the game on the play in his AHL debut as Providence took a 6-2 lead. Ryan Lindgren scored for Hartford with under two minutes to play, but the P-Bruins still went on to a 6-3 win.

McIntyre stopped 37 of 40 shots in his 24th win of the season. Georgiev stopped 20 of 25 shots before being pulled while Mazanec stopped 13 of 14 after entering in the second. Providence was 1-2 on the power play and 3-4 on the penalty kill. The P-Bruins can clinch a playoff berth tomorrow night in Bridgeport when they take on the Sound Tigers at 7:05pm. A win of any kind over the Sound Tigers would secure a place in the Calder Cup Playoffs for a sixth consecutive season.

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The Providence Bruins are the American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Boston Bruins, playing their home games at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, RI. Spanning more than 25 years, the Boston/Providence affiliation is one of the longest and most successful player development partnerships in professional hockey history.

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