ALBANY, NY – The Providence Bruins started their post-Christmas schedule Saturday night, by traveling to Albany to take on the Devils.
The start of the game was delayed from its scheduled start time of 5 pm after a suspicious package was spotted underneath a car outside Times Union Center. The building was evacuated and players, staff and fans waited outside until the New York State Troopers and Albany Police Department determined there was no threat. The game began at 6:25 pm and both teams seem to struggle to find rhythm.
“We just got out of the building,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “Most of our guys were ready, actually most of our guys had their skates on and they were either half dressed or fully dressed. We came in, gave them 20 minutes and then warmups.It was a pretty quick turnaround. We managed to get out there and win a hockey game. “
Once the game started, Malcolm Subban started in net for the Bruins, opposed by Scott Wedgewood for the Devils.
Early on, both teams were working to find their legs after having a few days off for the holiday break and the delay from the suspicious package. As the period wore on the chances started to get better and better for both teams. But both goalies stood on their heads. At 19:13 of the first, Andrew Cherniwchan went off for tripping sending the Devils to the power play. The Devils scored 22 seconds later off the stick of Matt Lorito assisted by Joseph Blandisi and Mike Sislo. The first period ended with the Bruins trailing 1-0 and the shots 9 to 8 for the Devils.
The Bruins looked to even the game as they came out for the second period, but the middle frame was just like the first; as the teams went back and forth trading chances, forcing Subban and Wedgewood to make some huge saves to keep their teams in it. The second period ended with the Bruins still trailing 1-0 and the shots 17 a piece.
The Bruins came out for the third looking to solve Wedgewood and even the game up. Just 13 seconds into the third, Brian O’Neill scored the goal assisted by Jim O’Brien and Ben Thompson. A few minutes later, the Devils struck again. This time it was Graham Black scoring assisted by Corbin McPherson and Dan Kelly at 5:49.
The Bruins were battling, but couldn’t solve Wedgewood. That was until Austin Czarnik scored at 9:20 of the third. Czarnik’s ninth goal of the season was assisted by Seth Griffith and Ben Youds. For Czarnik, it was his seventh goal and eleventh point this month. He has collected points in six of the Bruins’ 10 games this month.
Albany added an empty net goal in the waning moments of the game to give them a 4-1 win. The final shots 28 to 27 for the Bruins.
Third star Austin Czarnik, who scored the only goal for the Bruins and kept his hot streak going by doing so. Second star Brian O’Neill, who scored the game winner for the Devils. First star honors went to Scott Wedgewood, who stopped 27 Providence shots enroute to the victory.
The Bruins will look to get in the win column when they take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Sunday in Connecticut.