PROVIDENCE, RI. – Sometimes in hockey, it’s not how many goals one may score but when they’re scored that makes all the difference. Going into Friday night’s highly anticipated clash between the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and the Providence Bruins, Isaac Ratcliffe had not yet chipped in a single point in ten games so far this season. Even though the billing for the matchup featured the likes of NHL veterans like Artem Anisimov and the recently assigned Tanner Laczynski, Ratcliffe’s second goal of the game stood out as the game-winner just over eight minutes into the third as the Phantoms downed the league’s best by a 4-2 final score. Samuel Ersson made 25 saves in the win while Keith Kinkaid suffered the loss in goal with 31 stops.
Oskar Steen gets the @AHLBruins on the board first on a nice feed from Mike Reilly. #PROvsLV pic.twitter.com/P4XtvLqAAw
— American Hockey League (@TheAHL) November 19, 2022
The Bruins got the party started late in the first period when Oskar Steen scored his fourth goal of the season on a slick pass from Mike Reilly. His saucer pass made it through two Lehigh Valley defenders and right onto the tape of Steen sneaking in on the back side for the tap-in to open the scoring. In the second period, the Phantoms broke through with Tyson Foerster’s third goal of the season by taking a pass in the slot on the rush and beating Kinkaid to even the score at one. Ratcliffe broke through with a power play goal late in the second period to give the Phantoms their first lead of the game.
Tyson Foerster (3) making us feel things pic.twitter.com/BRuby3wasg
— TLY (@TheLibertyYell) November 19, 2022
With such a back-and-forth contest, it was to be expected for the momentum to swing at times throughout the game and it swung back into a tie at two with Reilly’s first goal in Providence. The goal capped off a big performance for Reilly in his first game with the P-Bruins this season after a brief stint in the NHL with the Boston Bruins after spending time with the Iowa Wild in years past. The third period belonged to the Phantoms as Ratcliffe struck for his second goal of the game that would stand up as the eventual game-winner, and Elliot Desnoyers would cap off the game with a late goal to make the lead stand up. The Phantoms outshot the Bruins by a 35-27 margin for the game and at the time of the Desnoyers goal led by a 12-1 count in the third period in a rare loss in the final stanza for the Bruins.
Both teams tallied on the power play, with the Phantoms getting a goal on six tries to the Bruins’ single strike on four tries. The two teams are set to rematch on Saturday at the same time and venue as the Phantoms look to take a sweep of the two games against the league’s best club in the early going of the season. The Bruins will try to get back on track after seeing their longest point streak of eight games with seven wins in that span coming to a conclusion with the loss, their first in regulation since October 28.
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