Saturday, October 10, 2009

Providence Off To Offensive Start

Providence Bruins Score Two Victories
by T. Chace Jr.
October 10, 2009

Last year the Providence Bruins lost to the eventual Calder Cup Champion, the Hershey Bears in the Conference Finals. The Bears were bigger, stronger, faster and had a veteran presence, which combined made them champions. During this past off-season the Bruins made several changes to get bigger, stronger and add some age to go with their plethora of young talent. So far, in just two games it seems to be working just as management had hoped.

Starting the season 2-0, the Bruins have scored 11 goals on 82 shots. They have allowed 5 goals with new netminder, Dany Sabourin, taking over between the pipes for young Tuukka Rask who has made the big club in Boston. Sabourin, 29, has played 57 NHL games in his career and looks to backbone a very good Providence team. Veterans, Trent Whitfield, Andy Wozniewski, Guillaume Lefebvre, and enforcer Brett Clouthier join a young nucleus of Bruins to form a well rounded team.

The team can roll out three solid lines and the fourth line provides great energy when called upon. Left wing Jeff LoVecchio, injured all of last year, was named the first star in the opening game for Providence, a 6-2 victory over Springfield. LoVecchio and Brad Marchand scored two goals apiece; Whitfield and Wozniewski added the others in their debut with Providence. Shots in that game at one point were 37-12 favoring the Bruins. There were also two scuffles in the game in which Lefebvre and Adam McQuaid showed that the team will not be pushed around this season.

On Friday night, in a game against the Hartford Wolfpack, the B's won again by a 5-3 score. They led 4-1 before Hartford made a late third period rally. There were three more fights in this one, as McQuaid and Dane Byers squared off twice. Newcomer Drew Fata, another new defenseman for Providence also scrapped with Brodie Dupont. Sabourin made 34 saves in net for the Bruins in a game head coach Rob Murray referred to as sloppy for both teams. "We played a lot cleaner game last Sunday; tonight both teams were sloppy and just trading chances out there. We had alot of give-a ways which added to the opportunities for them, but Sabourin played very well."

Next up for Providence is their first road game against their arguably biggest rival, the Portland Pirates. Hartford returns to Providence on Sunday to try and split the weekend series. The Bruins look like a real contender this year, with all the pieces in place to make a strong run at the Calder Cup in 2009-10.

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