The Providence Bruins opened up the 2015-2016 season on Friday against the Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins. With Malcolm Subban day to day with an injury, it was first year pro Zane McIntyre who got the start in net. McIntyre was solid through the first half of the game, not looking fazed at all by his first pro start. He stopped the first nine shots that he faced, but early in the second period Scott Wilson capitalized on a Bruins miscue to score the game’s first goal. After that it was McIntyre who shut the door for the Bruins, stopping 38 of the 40 shots that he faced. Unfortunately they came up short in overtime allowing Scott Wilson to score again just 1:18 in the extra time.
The Bruins overall looked very good in the game, on Thursday Coach Bruce Cassidy stressed the need for leadership on their young team. It looked like they have found that leadership in their newly appointed captain Tommy Cross, Cross and the assistant captains seemed to keep the emotions of the young team down. Frank Vatrano continued to show why he is a threat offensively, scoring the only Bruins goal on a pass from Alexander Khokhlachev. The Bruins offense peppered Penguins goalie Matt Murray with 41 shots in the game. Mirroring the big club, the Providence Bruins played a physical style game through all three zones of the ice. Overall for the first game the baby Bruins offense looked like they could be a force to be reckoned down the stretch of the season.
Defensively the Bruins looked solid, each pair looked like they had complete confidence and looked like they had been playing together for a while. The defense built on a solid week of practice, by being able to shut down many odd man rushes through the neutral zone. They did however give up a few little chances but McIntyre was able to shut the door. The Bruins had three chances on the power play in the first period but failed to capitalize on all their chances. The loss snapped a two season home opener win streak for the Providence Bruins. But it was their resiliency that showed through, being able to battle back late in the third period.
The Portland Pirates are the next to come to the Dunk on Sunday to take on the Bruins. The baby B’s will look to build off the toughness that they showed against the Penguins on Sunday. They will also look to get Malcolm Subban back in net, but if he is unable to go, look for Zane McIntyre to step up in a big way for the Bruins.