Talking Points from the P-Bruins’ loss in the playoffs…
GOLD STAR: Jake Guentzel finished with two goals, four points and a plus-2 rating for Wilkes-Barre Scranton, and both opened up and closed the scoring parade for the Penguins in the marathon playoff hockey game. Guentzel scored on a rebound just 35 seconds into the first period, and then snapped a wrist shot past Jeremy Smith with just a few minutes remaining in double overtime after a stumbling P-Bruins D-man opened things up on the play for an offensive chance for the Penguins. Guentzel also helped supply some juice to the Penguins power play with shots from the point in an impressive offensive performance during an AHL playoff elimination game that really wasn’t made easy for either team.
BLACK EYE: The Providence Bruins coaching staff gave young goaltender Zane McIntyre a chance to perform in a pressure spot between the pipes in Game 3, and the rookie netminder did not perform well in the big spot. Instead, McIntyre was bounced after the second period following four goals allowed on 13 shots, and a really soft goal allowed from long distance in the second period that gave Scranton a 4-1 lead. It was a killer at the time as Providence had closed it to a two-goal lead and had all of the momentum until McIntyre couldn’t make the stop on a shot from the high point area. Combine that with the rebound goal allowed just seconds into the first period, and it wasn’t a good night for Providence goaltenders until Jeremy Smith stepped in for McIntyre.
TURNING POINT: The P-Bruins outshot the Penguins by a 20-6 margin in the third period, and scored three unanswered goals to tie things up while forcing overtime. It didn’t allow the Bruins to win the game or prolong a series sweep by Wilkes-Barre Scranton, but it gave them a chance to win in both the overtime and double-overtime session. Frank Vatrano alone had a handful of scoring chances in the final 20 minutes of regulation to help close things out as Austin Czarnik tied things up in the third period with just four minutes to go in regulation. But the Bruins weren’t able to capitalize on any additional offensive chances above and beyond the three goals scored in the second, and simply couldn’t do enough to overcome such a huge deficit to start the game after spotting three goals to the AHL Penguins club.
HONORABLE MENTION: Austin Czarnik finished with two goals, three points, a plus-1 rating and five shots on net while serving as Providence’s best player from beginning to end. Czarnik scored one big goal to open up things offensively for the P-Bruins in the second period when just about everybody else was struggling, and then he scorched one from the high slot later in the third period to things up. While it was a heartbreaking loss for the entire team, it was a confidence booster for Czarnik going into an offseason where he’ll be expected to compete for a job in Boston next season.
BY THE NUMBERS: 12 – the whopping number of shots on net for Frank Vatrano in the loss with the Bruins winger somehow failing to crack the score sheet being a goal-per-game performer for the P-Bruins through most of the season.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Most of the talking was done after the first period. You’re just trying to get the guys going, and get the guys that we really rely on to get going. I’m not sure they were really invested early on, but then they got going.” –Providence coach Bruce Cassidy, on the mentality change in the middle of the game that improved things for the Bruins.