PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Providence Bruins could not record a point at home for the first time in more than two months in a 5-2 loss to the Manchester Monarchs Friday at the Dunkin Donuts Center. Providence’s last regulation defeat at the Dunk came on January 11 versus the Portland Pirates.
The Monarchs tested Malcolm Subban (and Jeremy Smith) early and often, including the first shot of the game hitting the left post as part of a three-shot barrage. The P-Bruins had a couple of great chances on the following rush, but Jean-Francois Berbue made consecutive diving saves. Rob Flick helped generate the first goal of the game with a pass threaded through the left wing circle to Andrew Cherniwchan, who tipped it in at 10:33. Less than a minute later, the visiting team tied it up. Scott Sabourin notched an assist on a Josh Gratton tip in front that went five-hole on Subban. The Monarchs took the lead with a shot from the slot that bounced off of Subban’s skate, courtesy of Kevin Gravel.
In the middle frame, Seth Griffith tied it back up at 2-2 with a power play goal. While it looked as if his bid would bounce wide of the net, it took a Providence carom and ended up in the cage past Berube for the last goal the home team would score. Zach O’Brien scored the game winner on a cross-ice tip in front of the Providence goalie, and Subban was pulled as a result at 3:54 of the second. It is only the second time a P-Bruins goalie has been pulled this year. The other occasion came on November 7, another home loss to Portland.
In the third, Smith made two impressive falling saves against Michael Mersch on the far side of the crease, but Mersch’s third effort lit the lamp with Smith on his back. Andrew Crescenzi capped the night off with an empty-net hustle goal. He tied the puck up behind the Bruins’ cage, worked it back toward the goal line, then fell over it as he deposited the puck.
The Bruins play at Webster Bank Arena on Saturday night against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at 7:00pm.
##39 Andrew Cherniwchan (#10 Rob Flick, #38 Cory Kane)
#17 Seth Griffith (#13 Alexander Khokhlachev, #7 Joe Morrow)
#47 Malcolm Subban (12 saves on 15 shots)
#30 Jeremy Smith (15 saves on 16 shots)
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The Providence Bruins are an American Hockey League franchise and the top affiliate of the NHL’s Boston Bruins. Since moving to Providence in 1992 the P-Bruins have been among the league leaders in regular season attendance. On the ice the team has enjoyed similar success, having won five division titles, three regular season titles and the Calder Cup in 1999.