The latest from der Eishockeyzuschauer:
For the second time in less than twenty-four hours, our Hamilton Street Heroes will face off on Sunday afternoon against an American Hockey League club that has just stopped a seven-game losing streak. This because the visiting Providence Bruins clipped the wings of their hosts, the Springfield Falcons, 4-1 on Saturday night in western Massachusetts thanks to goals from new arrival Rob Bordson (the former Adirondack Phantom), captain Tommy Cross, rookie Noel Acciari and an empty netter from veteran free agent signing Brandon DeFazio. And so we prepare for another exciting Battle Of The Basement, a head-to-head clash for control of the cellar in the Atlantic Division of the AHL’s Eastern Conference.
One major development since Lehigh Valley and Providence last met on Friday evening is another apparent injury to the P-Bruins’ number one goaltender, Malcolm Subban (6 ga, 3.81 avg, .847 svpct), the 1st round pick of the Boston Bruins at the 2012 NHL Draft. Early on Saturday morning, it was announced that the Rhode Island club had recalled rookie Matt Ginn from the Greenville Swamp Rabbits of the East Coast Hockey League and, indeed, it was the 24-year-old rookie from the College of the Holy Cross who served as the backup netminder for the P-Bruins on Saturday night. Although Ginn has already made one AHL appearance (nineteen saves and two goals conceded in 59 minutes versus the Bridgeport Sound Tigers) earlier this season, it is unlikely that the drafted free agent will play against the Phantoms on Sunday.
Zane McIntyre (9 ga, 3.00 avg, .883 svpct), the 23-year-old rookie from the University of North Dakota who was the 6th round pick of the Boston Bruins at the 2010 NHL Draft and the winner of the Mike Richter Award as the best goaltender in U.S. college hockey last season, is all but certain to face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Sunday afternoon for the third time this season.
The other major piece of news for Providence on Saturday was the recall of Max Talbot, the highly experienced 31-year-old veteran who has nearly seven hundred NHL games under his belt and an invaluable Stanley Cup ring on his finger, by the Boston Bruins; rookie Swedish defenseman Linus Andersson (15 ga, 0 go, 0 as, 0 pen, – 1 def), the 2nd round pick of the Boston Bruins at the 2013 NHL Draft who had four points (one goal) in 11 AHL games for the P-Bruins last spring after arriving from IF Djurgarden Stockholm, was reportedly injured against Lehigh Valley on Friday night and also did not play versus Springfield on Saturday evening.
Anton Blidh and Colton Hargrove, the two rookie wingers who each had a goal in the Providence Bruins’ 3-2 shootout loss to the Portland Pirates last Sunday, both have not appeared in either of the P-Bruins’ two games this weekend and are apparently injured, as well.
So far as I could ascertain from Rotruck’s radio broadcast, the Providence Bruins’ line-up on Friday night was as follows :
Seth Griffith – Austin Czarnik – Brandon DeFazio
Ben Sexton – Max Talbot – Noel Acciari
Zack Phillips – Colby Cave – Garry Nunn
Justin Hickman – Rob Bordson – Andrew Cherniwchan
Tommy Cross – Chris Casto
Matt Irwin – Brett Bellemore
Linus Andersson – Chris Breen
Ben Youds (5’11” 180 lbs), the 27-year-old undersized and undrafted veteran defenseman from Mankato State University in Minnesota who divided last season (65 ga, 8 go, 32 pts, 35 pen, + 3 def) between the P-Bruins and Lake Erie Monsters, took Arnesson’s place on Saturday night.
Dalton Smith (6’2″ 215 lbs), the stocky 23-year-old who was the 2nd round pick (# 34 overall) of the Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2010 NHL and signed as a free agent this summer after spending all of last season with the Syracuse Crunch (62 ga, 11 go, 17 pts, 79 pen, – 13 def), finished his questionable three-game suspension “for leaving the bench on a legal line change for the purposes of starting an altercation” (or so said the American Hockey League) and was also in the line-up for the Providence Bruins on Saturday evening.