A resilient Providence Bruins bunch wouldn’t be denied in Game 2 on Easter Sunday.
The P-Bruins regrouped from their Game 1 loss to the Charlotte Checkers one night prior and earned a hard-fought 4-2 series equalizing win at Dunkin Donuts Center
Providence, one night removed from spotting Charlotte with two goals in the first 3:30, got off to the quick start. On the heels of Daniel Renouf’s tripping penalty just 58 seconds in, the P-Bruins power play converted on their first chance. Jordan Szwarz’s connection on a cross-ice pass to Cooper Zech — for his second power play goal in as many nights — gave the Baby B’s the early 1-0 lead.
The teams traded scoring chances until Providence struck again late in the opening frame. Newcomer Jack Studnicka notched the first goal of his professional career with 1:18 left in the second — on a feed from Lee Stempniak following a rebound Urho Vaakanien’s shot — to give the P-Bruins the two-goal cushion.
Providence, fresh off outshooting Charlotte 9-6 in the opening frame, came out flying to start the second period, eventually drawing a tripping penalty on Alex Nedeljkovic. The Baby B’s didn’t score on the ensuing power play but increased their shot advantage to 16-9.
Dan Vladar, who earned the start with Zane McIntyre serving as the emergency goalie in Boston, stopped Charlotte on consecutive scoring chances midway through the second to keep Providence’s two-goal cushion intact.
But for the second straight night, Charlotte seized momentum late in the second. With Jeremy Lauzon in the box for holding at 16:02, Andrew Poturalski cut the Providence lead at 2-1 late in the second. Then, with less than a minute left in the middle stanza, Renouf streaked behind the Providence goal for a wraparound goal past an out of position Vladar to even things up.
Charlotte entered the intermission with momentum after tying things up while outshooting Providence, 14-11. But, unlike Game 1, the P-Bruins regained the lead on Peter Cehlarik’s near-empty net go-ahead tally at 9:41 of the third.
Vladar (25 saves) and the Providence defense stood tall as Charlotte ferociously searched for the equalizer. Chris Breen sealed the deal with the empty netter.
A scuffle featuring all 10 skaters on the ice preceded Breen’s tally. Szwarz, Stempniak and Charlotte’s Tomas Jurco and Bobby Sanguinetti each received 10-minute misconducts. Checkers defenseman Trevor Carrick, meanwhile, may not play the rest of the series — pending league review — after earning a game misconduct for leaving the bench during the late-game brawl.
The two teams renew acquaintances at 7:05 Wednesday night in Charlotte.
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