Providence Bruins Fall In Season Opener To Wilkes-Barre/Scranton In Overtime

Providence Bruins Press Release

PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – The Providence Bruins kicked off the 2015-2016 campaign with a 2-1 defeat in overtime against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the Dunkin Donuts Center on Friday night. The loss snapped a two-year season opener win streak for Providence, while it was the fourth year in a row that the Pens won their first road game of the year.

In the opening period, Providence had three power plays, but neither team could light the lamp. The Bruins poured a large volume of shots on early, eventually outshooting the Pens 17-9. The Pittsburgh affiliate didn’t get its first shot on goal until almost six minutes in. Halfway through the period, Anthony Camara dropped the gloves with Steve Oleksy, and it gave the home team a brief jump. Alexander Khokhlachev got a good chance in front shortly thereafter, but Matt Murray made the save.

The teams combined for 25 shots in the middle frame— 13 for the Bruins and 12 for the Penguins— and the visitors got on the board first. Scott Wilson broke the scoreless tie with a turn-around slap shot from the right edge of the slot at 6:44. Conor Sheary had the primary assist on the play, and Kael Mouillierat had the secondary helper. Less than a minute later, Sheary had a chance of his own on a mini-breakaway, but Providence goalie Zane McIntyre made the stop. Dominik Uher generated a rush with a swift move through the neutral zone, passed into the slot, and two Wilkes-Barre volleys were blocked by McIntyre, including a leaping glove save at the top of the crease on a rebound.

At 13:16 of the third, the Penguins finally caught up in shots on goal (34 apiece), but neither team had any high-quality scoring chances that far into the stanza. With 3:10 left in regulation, Providence Head Coach Bruce Cassidy tried to get his team going by calling a timeout. With 1:49 remaining, the team got the crowd going with a game-tying goal. Frank Vatrano slipped a writer past Murray from the left wing circle at 18:11. Khokhlachev had the only helper.

In sudden-death hockey, Wilson scored his second goal of the night with a turn-around top-shelf backhander at 1:18 to send the fans home.

The defeat was the third straight season opener that went past 60 minutes for Providence, after a 2-1 overtime win last year and a 4-3 victory two years ago, both against the St. John’s IceCaps.

The Bruins play next on Sunday at 3:05pm at the Dunk against the Portland Pirates, who switched their affiliation from the Arizona Coyotes to the Florida Panthers in the off-season.

#49 Frank Vatrano (#13 Alexander Khokhlachev), 18:11 3rd PROVIDENCE GOALTENDING
#31 Zane McIntyre (38 saves on 40 shots)