The Providence Bruins fell to the Charlotte Checkers Friday night 5-3, dropping down to fourth place in the Atlantic Division. The P-Bruins got goals from Austin Czarnik, Ryan Fitzgerald and Zach Senyshyn while Jordan Binnington made his 27th start of the season in net.
Providence scored the first goal of the night, but Charlotte fired back with back-to-back goals. Czarnik opened the scoring on the power play with a wrist shot from the dot for his 24th goal of the season. Agostino earned the primary assist with a cross ice pass and Tommy Cross picked up the secondary helper at 13:54 to give the P-Bruins a 1-0 lead. Less than a minute after Cznarik’s goal, Charlotte’s Haydn Fleury answered with the game-tying tally by taking a feed from Andrew Miller and beating Binnington back door. Just 53 seconds later, the Checkers scored again to snag the lead. Nicolas Roy scored at 15:21, tipping home a shot from Josiah Didier to give Charlotte a two goal advantage heading into the first intermission.
Fitzgerald grabbed his 20th goal of the season just 36 seconds after the team hit the ice for the second period. Fitzgerald was assisted by both his linemates, Jordan Szwarz and Czarnik, catching the spin around pass from Szwarz and tying the game 2-2. Despite a strong effort, neither team was able to find the back of the net until the final five minutes. Charlotte’s Valentin Zykov got a shot past Binnington at 14:03, once again giving Charlotte a 3-2 lead entering the break.
Senyshyn scored Providence’s third goal of the night at 7:20, backhanding a shot through traffic for his 11th goal of the season. Anton Blidh and Chris Breen picked up assists on the play and Providence tied the game again 3-3. Providence fell short of their efforts to take back the lead, as Charlotte scored two more goals in the third. Trevor Carrick had a wrister off drag-and-shoot on the power play at 10:01 to give the Checkers a 4-3 lead. Lucas Wallmark sealed the deal for Charlotte with 48 seconds remaining, taking a centering pass from Greg McKegg and helping the Checkers leave town with a 5-3 win.
Binnington stopped 23 of 28 shots while Smith stopped 29 of 32. Providence was 1-5 on the power play and 3-5 on the penalty kill. The P-Bruins conclude their regular season road schedule tomorrow night in Springfield when they take on the Thunderbirds at 7:05pm.
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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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