Providence, RI, April 1, 2011 – Jamie Arniel scored two goals, including the third-period, shorthanded game-winner, to lead the Providence Bruins to a 3-2 win over the Connecticut Whale Friday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Providence.
With the Worcester Sharks winning 2-0 at home over the Manchester Monarchs, the Whale’s loss, their third straight, cut their lead over Worcester to two points for the fourth-place spot in the Atlantic Division.
Trent Whitfield also scored for Providence, and Michael Hutchinson made 29 saves to get the win in net. Brodie Dupont and Kris Newbury scored Connecticut goals, and Dov Grumet-Morris suffered his second straight loss in goal after seven consecutive wins, stopping 26 shots.
The first period was scoreless, and after Providence had five of the first six shots of the game, the shots on goal ended up even at eight by the end of the period.
An apparent Providence goal, scored by Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman at 1:17 of the second period, was disallowed when referee David Banfield ruled that Kirk MacDonald had made incidental contact with Grumet-Morris.
Just 1:05 later at 2:22, though, the Bruins would break the scoreless tie on a power play, on Arniel’s 21st goal of the season. Maxime Sauve moved down left wing and centered the puck to Arniel, who redirected it past Grumet-Morris.
To continue reading, click on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.
Grumet-Morris prevented Providence from increasing the lead with three sharp saves, including a pair on Sauve, during another Bruin man advantage shortly thereafter, and the score remained 1-0 until the 18:51 mark, when Providence was able to double the lead.
An attempted drop pass by Dale Weise was broken up just inside the Providence line, leading to a three-on-two the other way. MacDonald unloaded a shot from the right side of the slot that Grumet-Morris was able to stop, but Grumet-Morris was bowled over by one of his own defenders, Pavel Valentenko. That allowed Whitfield, named earlier in the day the Reebok/AHL Player of the Month for March, to jam the rebound into the net.
The goal, Whitfield’s 18th of the year, was his seventh in his last eight games and 13th in his last 14.
The Whale finally solved Hutchinson at 4:21 of the third period, as Hutchinson couldn’t completely stop a shot from the left point by Valentenko, and the puck came to through to the opposite side of the goalmouth to Dupont, who knocked it into the net.
The Bruins got that one back only 2:25 thereafter, with six seconds left on a hooking penalty to Kyle MacKinnon. Arniel, the Bruins’ leading scorer (22-25-47 in 74 games), got what would turn out to be the game-winner when he worked his way to the right faceoff dot and uncorked a shot that beat Grumet-Morris high to the glove side at 6:46.
Only 2:14 after giving up the shorthander, the Whale cut it back to a one-goal margin at 9:00, on Newbury’s 16th goal of the season. The Whale’s leading point-scorer (16-41-57 in 65 games) was left alone in front of the goal and put the puck in off of Hutchinson’s pads, after the Whale were just able to keep it in at the blue line.
Connecticut (38-29-2-6, 84 pts.) could get no closer, however, and they finished the ten-game season series against their arch-rivals the Bruins with back-to-back road losses. The Whale’s last action before Friday had been a 4-2 defeat to the Bruins in Providence on Sunday.
The Whale will try to break their losing streak with a trip to Springfield for a Saturday-night get-together with the Falcons (7:00 PM faceoff, WTIC HD-2, www.ctwhale.com, www.wtic.com), before returning home to the XL Center on Sunday afternoon to host Head Coach Kevin Dineen and the Portland Pirates in a 3:00 game. There will be a giveaway of Whale team posters to 3,000 fans that day, courtesy of Supercuts, and it’s a Guida’s Family Value game. Family Value packages start as low as $48 and include three tickets, three hot dogs or pizza slices, three sodas and a Whale souvenir. Guida’s Family Value packs are available at the XL Center ticket office and on-line at www.CTwhale.com. Also, fans are encouraged to bring their skates to Sunday’s game, as there will be a free post-game skate on the XL Center ice, presented by Stone Academy.
Connecticut Whale 2 at Providence Bruins 3
Friday, April 1, 2011 – Dunkin’ Donuts Center
Connecticut 0 0 2 – 2
Providence 0 2 1 – 3
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Redden Ct (tripping), 6:53; Dupont Ct (tripping), 15:34.
2nd Period-1, Providence, Arniel 21 (Sauve, Warsofsky), 2:22 (PP). 2, Providence, Whitfield 18 (MacDonald, LaVallee-Smotherman), 18:51. Penalties-Garlock Ct (interference), 1:45; Bickel Ct (roughing), 3:01; Bodnarchuk Pro (roughing), 3:01; served by Soryal Ct (bench minor – too many men), 5:13; Bickel Ct (fighting), 5:13; MacDermid Pro (fighting), 5:13; Hamill Pro (holding the stick), 6:31; Grachev Ct (boarding), 13:03; MacDermid Pro (boarding), 15:26.
3rd Period-3, Connecticut, Dupont 15 (Valentenko), 4:21. 4, Providence, Arniel 22 (Chaput), 6:46 (SH). 5, Connecticut, Newbury 16 (Zuccarello, Weise), 9:00. Penalties-MacKinnon Pro (hooking), 4:52.
Shots on Goal-Connecticut 8-14-7-29. Providence 8-14-7-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Connecticut 0 / 3; Providence 1 / 5.
Goalies-Connecticut, Grumet-Morris 11-5-1 (29 shots-26 saves). Providence, Hutchinson 11-10-1 (29 shots-27 saves).
Referees-David Banfield (44).
Linesmen-Scott Whittemore (96), Todd Whittemore (70).