Checkers Sweep P-Bruins in Charlotte

The Providence Bruins fell to the Charlotte Checkers at Bojangles’ Coliseum Saturday night 3-2 in game two of their two-game road trip. The P-Bruins got goals from Peter Cehlarik and Ryan Fitzgerald while Zane McIntyre made his sixth start of the season in net.

Ryan Donato had a chance to give Providence an early lead, as he was awarded a penalty shot after a Checkers defender tripped him. Alex Nedeljkovic stood his ground and poked the puck away from Donato on the attempt, keeping the P-Bruins off the scoreboard. Charlotte grabbed a 1-0 lead on the power play at 8:55 as Trevor Carrick beat McIntyre on a shot he never saw. Carrick ripped a snapshot with space to shoot from the point, and with Morgan Geekie screening the puck hit the back of the net for his second goal of the season. With six minutes to play in the first, the P-Bruins had a chance to tie things up on the power play, but again were their own worst enemy. Saku Maenalanen stole the puck at the blueline and started a 3-on-2 shorthanded rush. The puck went from Maenalanen to Patrick Brown to Michal Cajkovsky, who went five-hole on McIntyre for a shorthanded goal that gave the Checkers a 2-0 lead after one.

The P-Bruins capitalized on their fourth power play of the night, as a nice stretch pass from Jakub Zboril created a breakaway for Cehlarik. In alone, Cehlarik whiffed on his first shot attempt, which got Nedeljkovic to commit and be out of position. A sharp angle shot from the goalline somehow went in for Cehlarik’s first goal of the season, trimming the Providence deficit to one. The Checkers had plenty of chances to score, but the P-Bruins penalty kill stopped five Charlotte power plays in the period and kept it a 2-1 Checkers lead into the second intermission.

Charlotte regained a two-goal lead 7:51 into the final period on a breakaway from Andrew Poturalski. Martin Necas chipped the puck out of his own zone from the right wing corner, and Poturalski used his speed to beat a Bruins defender to the puck and create the chance. He beat McIntyre’s glove for his third goal of the season to make it 3-1 Checkers. Fitzgerald made it a one-goal game again at 11:14, showing off soft hands in the crease. Colby Cave brought the puck around the net and sent the puck to Cody Goloubef in the right slot. He quickly found Fitzgerald in the crease, who notched his second goal of the season. That would be as close as Providence could make it, however, as Charlotte walked away with a 3-2 win.

McIntyre stopped 17-20 shots while Nedeljkovic stopped 26-28. Providence was 1-9 on the power play and 8-9 on the penalty kill. The P-Bruins are back in action at the Dunk Friday at 7:05pm against the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins as they begin a three-in-three weekend.

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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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