P-Bruins Lose to Phantoms in Overtime

P-Bruins news release…

Providence, RI – The Providence Bruins fell to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 4-3 in overtime tonight at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Lehigh Valley scored 2 goals in the third period to send the game to overtime, collecting the game-winner at 2:41 in the period to complete the comeback. Tommy Cross, Wayne Simpson and Colby Cave scored for Providence. Malcolm Subban started in goal and secured 35 saves in the loss.

Providence got off to a hot start against the top offensive team in the league, turning in a dominant first half of the opening period. Tommy Cross kicked off the scoring on the Bruins first power play opportunity of the night. After Maxim Lamarch was whistled for Hooking at 2:32, Cross took a feed from Matt Grzelcyk and powered a shot past goaltender Alex Lyon to give Providence a 1-0 lead.

The goal was his second of the season, with assists credited to Grzelcyk and Colby Cave. The P-Bruins continued to pressure Lehigh Valley in the minutes that followed, controlling play and keeping the puck in the offensive zone. At 5:17 Lehigh Valley’s Cole Bardreau was called for Slashing, giving the P-Bruins their second power play of the night. After trouble getting organized and into the zone, Wayne Simpson took a pass from Jordan Szwarz into the zone and around the net for wrap around attempt. The puck deflected in off of Goaltender Alex Lyon’s pads to give Simpson his third goal of the season, assisted by Szwarz and Cross.

After killing off a penalty on Will O’Neill at 9:22 in the period, Lehigh Valley began to pick up their pace of play in the second half of the period, applying more pressure to the P-Bruins defense and Goaltender Malcolm Subban. Their first opportunity to cut the lead came at 16:06 when Jordan Szwarz was called for Hooking to give the Phantoms a man-advantage try.

Despite some solid defensive play by the Bruins, Lehigh Valley was able to break through thanks to a beautiful shot by Phantoms forward Maxim Lamarche, who took a pass across the slot from Danick Martel and powered a shot top-corner to cut the Providence lead to 2-1. The Phantoms continued to pressure Providence for the remainder of the period but couldn’t find the equalizing goal, and the game went to intermission still 2-1 Bruins. Providence registered 15 shots in the period, with Lehigh Valley totaling 8 shots on goal.

Just :43 seconds into the second period Lehigh Valley found themselves killing another penalty, when defenseman Reece Willcox was called for Hooking. Providence failed to capitalize on the opportunity, and even play from both teams continued throughout the first half of the period. Providence looked to have added to their lead just before the halfway point in the period when Jordan Szwarz slapped a deflected puck out of the air and into the back of the net. The officials quickly waived off the goal however, indicating highsticking on the tip-in.

The disappointment didn’t last long however, as the Bruins were able to increase their lead just minutes later. Colby Cave redirected a shot into the crease through the legs of Phantoms goaltender Alex Lyon at 10:58 to give Providence a 3-1 advantage. The goal was Cave’s second of the season, assisted by Wayne Simpson and Matt Bartkowski. After several minutes of back and forth play, Lehigh Valley was given an opportunity to get back in the game when Matt Bartkowski was called for Hooking at 15:23.

The power play would prove unsuccessful thanks to some solid defensive zone play by the Bruins penalty kill unit. The period closed with a prime opportunity to increase the lead for Providence. Shortly after Phantoms forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel was whistled for Hooking at 17:47 to give the Bruins a power play, Lehigh Valley’s Travis Sanheim was called for Holding to give Providence a 5-on-3 advantage. Providence was unable to break through during the 5-on-3, and the period ended with :36 seconds remaining on the power play.

Lehigh Valley came out in the third period with renewed energy, looking to net an early goal and get back in the game. Providence held tough despite being outshot, maintaining their 2 goal lead into the second half of the period. At 10:49 Providence forward Jordan Szwarz was called for Hooking, his second of the game, to put Lehigh Valley on the power play.

Yet again the penalty kill unit played well until the final seconds of the penalty, when Phantoms forward Greg Carey registered his ninth goal of the season to cut the lead to 3-2. The goal was assisted by Chris Conner and Danick Martel. Down only a goal, Lehigh Valley continued to dominate play into the late stages of the period. At 16:36 they found themselves with yet another power play opportunity and a chance to tie up the game, when Rob O’Gara was whistled for Slashing.

It wasn’t long into the man-advantage opportunity that the Phantoms did just that, knotting the game at 3-3 off another goal by Greg Carey. The power play goal, his tenth of the season and second of the game, was assisted by Will O’Neill. Despite a last effort by the Bruins to net the game-winner, the period ended with the teams tied at 3-3. Lehigh Valley outshot Providence 18-5 in the period to spearhead the late comeback.

Looking to complete the comeback, Lehigh Valley continued their strong play into overtime. Providence stood tall but was unable to rediscover their scoring touch, despite several scoring opportunities.

After a turnover in the neutral zone Lehigh Valley was able to complete the frantic comeback, taking home the victory 4-3 when Scott Laughton scored his second of the season, assisted by Travis Sanheim and Taylor Leier. Lehigh Valley finished the game with 39 shots on goal, while Providence registered 36 saves in the OT loss.