“It wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination,” said coach Ray Edwards of the game. “But it was a game that at this time of the year, you bank your points and you move on.”
The teams entered the third knotted at 1-1. The period looked like it was going to be the Bruins to take as Portland was slammed with two minor penalties at 2:53 and 3:02 to begin the frame.
Visentin, who finished with the game with 48 saves, and the penalty killers were able to stifle the Bruins power play to keep the tie intact. The Bruins only mustered four shots on the power play and their best chance was stopped with a quick flash of Visentin’s glove.
“You have to give huge credit to our penalty killers; they’ve been great all year out there,” said Visentin. “It was a huge team effort, battling against those five guys out there. I can’t say how much I appreciate their hard work out there in front of me.”
At 16:13, Jordan Szwarz was able to capitalize on one of the few chances that the Pirates were able to muster against the heavy Bruins. Szwarz buried an across the slot, tape-to-tape pass from Rob Klinkhammer to secure the win for the Pirates.
“(Brandon) Gormley made a great play to get the puck up to Klinkhammer,” said Szwarz. “Klink gave me an absolute perfect pass on my tape and I was fortunate enough to get a good shot and put it in.”
The fireworks started early as Portland’s Joel Rechlicz and Providence’s Bobby Robins dropped the gloves at the start of the game. Rechlicz notched the take down in the bout. Portland may have won the fight, but Providence drew first blood when Ryan Spooner scored a beautiful unassisted goal after he danced past two Portland defenders and slipped the puck under Visentin in the first period.
Andy Miele tied the game in the second after skating down the slot and snapping the puck past goalie Niklas Svedberg with assists coming from Szwarz and David Rundblad.
With the first win against Providence in the books this season, Portland looks to take two more points from the Bruins and widen that gap that’s between them in the standings when they visit them in Rhode Island Friday night.
“There’s some good, there’s some bad; you learn from the bad and take the good, “ said Edwards. “We’ll go in there Friday night and try to win a road game.”
NOTES: Portland’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Maxim Goncharov were both scratched for the third straight game… Boston and Phoenix both had assistant general managers in attendance… This was Providence forward Trent Whitfield’s first game since October 26…