PROVIDENCE, R.I.— Scoring was plentiful on Friday night as the Providence Bruins defeated the Charlotte Checkers 4–3 at the Dunkin Donuts Center.
Neither team was able to grab a lead for the majority of the first period, but the pressure was significant from both sides nonetheless. Charlotte struck first when forward Grigori Denisenko received a cross-zone pass from forward Maxim Mamim and fired it past P-Bruins goaltender Kyle Keyser for the games’ opening goal with under four minutes remaining in the period.
Providence was able to strike back shortly after defenseman Jack Ahcan fed forward Jesper Froden. He saw an opening in Checkers goaltender Christopher Gibson’s five-hole and utilized the opening for the game-tying goal. Froden’s tally came within the last minute and led the teams into the intermission with a tied-up score. Providence held a 16–14 shot advantage after the first frame.
The offensive push that came towards the end of the first period carried into the second. Ahcan picked off a dump in and rushed towards the red line before hitting forward Joona Koppanen in stride and sending the winger towards the net with an open lane. Koppanen ripped a shot in stride that screamed over Gibson’s shoulder and into the back of the net for a quick 2–1 lead for Providence.
This lead would only last for 81 seconds as Mamin collected an excellent stretch pass from Checkers defenseman Matt Kiersted and flipped the puck past Keyser for the tying goal.
The score remained tied for much of the second period, but this was eventually broken when forward Cameron Hughes sent a stretch board pass towards forward Jakub Lauko, who out hustled the defenseman and slipped it past Gibson for the tie-breaking goal.
This lead would remain for the rest of the period, and Providence held a 12–10 shot advantage in the period and a 28–24 overall edge in that department through two periods.
It would not take long for the P-Bruins to add another goal in the 3rd period as Froden picked up a loose puck in the slot and buried it only 61 seconds into the period, giving Providence a 4–2 lead. This lead would carry for much of the period, and this is certainly due to the excellent play of Keyser, who notably made two desperation saves to preserve the two-goal lead.
Charlotte would eventually breakthrough when defenseman Lucas Carlson sent a booming slap shot towards forward Henry Bowlby who redirected the shot into the back of the net and cut the lead to 4–3.
The Checkers would continue to push, but Keyser would not back down, leading to the game’s final score of 4–3. In this period, Charlotte held a 10–7 shot advantage and cut the overall deficit to 35–34 in favor of the P-Bruins.
Keyser and Gibson each stopped 31 pucks in the effort, and the P-Bruins secured its first regulation win of the season.
Providence (2-2-1-1) is back in action on Saturday in Bridgeport to face the Islanders.
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