Instead of “Two U’s, Two K’s, Two Points”, the Providence Bruins came up with their own saying last week:
“Three Days, Three Games, Three Wins”.
Those three wins, all on home ice, vaulted the P-Bruins to first place in the Atlantic Division with a 16-6-2 record. They are in the midst of a seven-game winning streak, and have the third-highest point percentage (0.708) in the 30-team AHL.
The B’s are also finding different ways to win games during this streak of tremendous hockey. In each of Providence’s three contests last week, they trailed deep into the third period, yet somehow found a way to force overtime and claim all six possible points.
The week started with a last-minute game-tying goal followed by a thrilling shootout, and ended on Sunday evening with what could be the goal of the year for not only the P-Bruins but for the entire AHL.
— Providence Bruins (@AHLBruins) December 10, 2017
Friday night seemed to be the night that would end the B’s winning ways, as an early third period goal from the Wolf Pack gave Hartford a 3-2 lead. That lead remained until the final minute of regulation, as Jordan Szwarz tallied a 6-on-5 goal with just 40 seconds left to tie the contest at 3-3. After a scoreless overtime, the Bruins were down to their last chance in the shootout. Kenny Agostino scored in the third round to tie the shootout at 1-1, and after goalie Zane McIntyre stopped Hartford’s Scott Kosmachuk, Austin Czarnik sent the 7,202 fans home happy with the game-winner for a 4-3 shootout victory. Colby Cave and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson each scored in the second period for Providence, with the two tallies just 1:08 apart, and each player factored in on Szwarz’ game-tying goal.
The P-Bruins trailed late in the third period yet again on Saturday night against the Utica Comets, then tied it up on a shorthanded goal with three and a half minutes remaining before notching the game-winner in OT on the power play for consecutive win number six. After a scoreless first, JFK struck for his second goal in as many nights early in the second, but Utica tied it up four minutes later and took the lead on an unassisted goal five minutes into the third. With fellow defenseman Ben Marshall in the sin bin, Connor Clifton scored his first goal of the season to tie the game at 2-2. Providence took full advantage of a 4-on-3 in the overtime period, as they needed just 19 seconds of power play time before ending it on Szwarz’ ninth goal of the season. Jordan Binnington continued his amazing 2017 season with the B’s, stopping 34 of the 36 shots he faced to move his record to 6-1-1.
Stop me if you read this before, but the Bruins were down in the third period on Sunday, and still continued their winning ways with another OT victory. Utica led 3-1 halfway through the third, as Comets’ winger Reid Boucher beat McIntyre for goals in the second and third periods. Providence center Josh Hennessy notched his third goal of the year with 9:07 left in regulation to cut the B’s deficit to 3-2, and defenseman Rob O’Gara tied the game two minutes later with his second tally of the season. Just 26 seconds into the overtime period, Agostino put a buzz into the home crowd with his ridiculous goal for the 4-3 victory.
Providence begins a brutal and strange stretch where they won’t play on home ice until the new calendar year. They’ll begin a season-high eight-game road trip on Wednesday night, when they face the Hershey Bears (12-12-3). On Friday night they will work their way up the East Coast to visit the Syracuse Crunch (great name for a hockey team by the way), and on Saturday night they will return to Pennsylvania for another game with the Bears. The P-Bruins are 1-2-0 against the Bears this season, and have yet to deal with the Crunch. Friday’s contest will showcase the two hottest teams in the Eastern Conference, as Syracuse (13-9-3) has won nine games in a row to move from the cellar to third place in the North Division.