The Providence Bruins kicked off their season in front of a capacity crowd of 10,665 fans, but came out on the losing end of a 3-1 game. The Manchester Monarchs spoiled the Baby B’s Opening Night coming from behind to shock the Providence faithful.
The Baby B’s got off to a fast start pacing much of the first period , but had nothing to show for it until Jamie Tardif lit the lamp with 4:22 seconds remaining in the first off a rebound from a shot from Baby B’s main man Ryan Spooner.
The line of Tardif-Spooner and Sauve had some great chemistry throughout the night and Spooner admitted it was great to play with his linemates.
“It was the first time I played with Sauve and I thought we had great chemistry,” Spooner said. “Tardif is a great player and great to play with.”
The Baby B’s went 0-5 on the power play on the night which proved to be costly and Spooner knows it must get better.
“Some nights it is difficult to get it going, and tonight we just did not keep it simple,” Spooner said. “We must keep it simple or else we will get ourselves in trouble like tonight. There were some growing pains, but it is opening night.”
The Baby B’s looked to have a 1-0 lead heading into the third period until Andrei Loktionov scored a short-handed goal with 17 seconds left to tie the game and silence “The Dunk”. The two teams were tied after two, but it seemed after this goal, the Monarchs never looked back. Andy Andreoff scored a power-play goal for the Monarchs to take the 2-1 lead 1:43 into the second period. The Baby B’s looked sluggish in the third period and it showed.
Goal Tender Mike Hutchinson did everything he could stopping 18 of 21 shots thrown on him by the Monarchs. Hutchinson was coming off a camp where he was limited in skating after recovering from two labrum surgeries.
“I felt better as the game went on,” Hutchinson said. “I had to calm down a little bit and get the timing back with my hands. I just have to get back to doing things like last season and make the most of my opportunities.”
Head Coach Bruce Cassidy was frustrated with the outcome of the game, but knows his team has plenty of time to turn it around.
“It was a key swing of the game when they scored that short-handed goal before the break,” Cassidy said. “The crowd has been great. We just have to get them something to cheer about. We have high expectations for Opening night and this season. We have to get better and we will, we have a great group of guys in there.”
“We didn’t meet the expectations tonight, but we will learn from it and hopefully have a .500 weekend,” Cassidy said.
Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones was superb on the night stopping 29 of the Providence Bruins 30 shots to earn the victory.