The red-hot Providence Bruins extended their winning streak to eight games over the weekend, taking to the road for both contests and coming away with a 3-1 victory at the Springfield Thunderbirds on Saturday and hanging on for a 3-2 win in Hartford the following day.
Jack Studnicka recorded two goals and a pair of assists to pull ahead as the team leader in goals (22), extend his team-leader points (46) and settle into a tie for the P-Bruins lead in assists with Trent Frederic with 24. Studnicka also increased his AHL lead with his seventh shorthanded goal of the year in the win over the T-Birds.
Brendan Gaunce also extended his point streak to nine games with a goal and an assist during the weekend. Oskar Steen had an impressive weekend of his own collecting a goal and two assists.
Studnicka, Steen Record Two Points, Vladar Stops 31 in Win Over Springfield
On Saturday, the P-Bruins celebrated leap year looking to extend their winning streak to a season-best seven games in Western Massachusetts.
Providence and Springfield each had 11 shots on goal along with one power-play opportunity as neither team could find the back of the net in an even opening 20 minutes of play.
The teams remained deadlocked until Springfield’s Ethan Prows tipped Rodrigo Abols’ shot from the point past Dan Vladar at 9:32 of the middle stanza. Providence responded a mere two minutes later as Peter Cehlarik’s wrap-around power-play tally past T-Birds netminder Phillipe Desrosiers evened things up at 1-1 with 8:17 left in the second.
The teams remained tied at 1-1 until the 9:11 mark of the third when Studnicka struck with his AHL-leading seventh shorthanded goal of the season. With Ryan Fitzgerald in the box, Oskar Steen sprung Studnicka for a breakaway attempt ono a beautiful feed. Studnicka did the rest to put Providence ahead 2-1 on his team-tying 21st goal of the season.
Vladar and the P-Bruins shut down the Springfield offense, allowing only seven shots in the final period. Urho Vaakanainen added an insurance tally with 3:45 left on another stellar setup from Steen to secure the 3-1 victory and Providence’s seventh straight win
P-Bruins fend off rallying Wolfpack for eighth straight win
Providence entered its Sunday matinee in Hartford just one point behind the Wolfpack for second place in the Atlantic Division.
The P-Bruins struck twice within a three-minute span in a dominant opening stanza. Oskar Steen scored his seventh of the season from Trent Frederic and Josiah Didier at 8:19. Just over three minutes later, Studnicka added his team-leading 22nd of the season — on a feed from Cameron Hughes — to increase the lead to 2-0.
Providence dominated the first-period shot category by a 10-3 margin and entered the intermission with a 2-0 lead to show for it. But the second period belonged to the hometown Wolfpack.
Libor Hajek cut into the Providence lead to one with his first of the season at 8:04 with Vinni Lettieri getting credit with the helper. About six minutes later, Tim Gettinger tied things up with his 16th of the year from Patrick Lewell and Vincent LoVerde.
Providence regrouped during the intermission with a strong third period, eventually earning themselves a power-play just over two minutes into the stanza when Steven Fogarty committed a tripping penalty. The P-Bruins took the lead just 17 seconds into the power play as Gaunce extended his point streak to nine games with the go-ahead tally and his 17th of the season from Cehlarik and Studnicka.
Max Legace turned away all 13 Hartford shots he faced in the final frame, finishing the night with 21 saves as the Baby B’s won their eighth consecutive game to jump past Hartford into second place in the Atlantic. The win also moved Providence within two points of the first-place Hershey Bears with a game in hand.
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