The steadily snowballing goal-scorers club of 2012-13 piloted the Providence Bruins out of the Atlantic Division basement Friday night with a 3-2 win over the Manchester Monarchs before 6,313 rooters at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
Second-year pro Kyle MacKinnon retorted each time Manchester’s Bryan Rodney cracked open a visitors’ lead before rookie blueliner Torey Krug nailed the go-ahead goal and decider with 13:58 to spare in the third period.
Both Providence strikers hatched the goose-egg in their respective goal columns in the process. MacKinnon is one of 13 Bruins with multiple firsthand tallies on the year.
With the win, the P-Bruins are now in a virtual tie for fourth place with the Portland Pirates and trail both the Monarchs and St. John’s IceCaps by a single point for second. They can lasso the top-seeded Worcester Sharks with a regulation win Saturday at the DCU Center.
Here is a deeper look at how they have set up that opportunity with a sample of key stats from Friday’s action.
Assists―one apiece―for the three P-Bruins skaters wearing a letter over their heart.
Linemates and fellow alternate captains Chris Bourque and Jamie Tardif collaborated to set up MacKinnon’s second equalizer with 3:42 left in the second period. Later, the third A-captain, Lane MacDermid, nabbed the lone helper on the clincher with his feed to Krug on the point.
Unanswered shots for the Bruins within the final two minutes of the opening frame, one of which MacKinnon tucked home on a feed from Justin Florek for the first equalizer at 19:18.
By the 18-minute mark, Niklas Svedberg had a little more than double the workload of Monarchs counterpart Martin Jones with a 13-6 shooting differential. Most of Svedberg’s early tests, including Rodney’s even-strength icebreaker, were a byproduct of three shorthanded segments spaced over a cumulative 5:23 of game action.
Providence whittled that difference down to 13-10 in the potentially momentum-shifting closing phases of the period, drawing a Manchester icing, a quick whistle summoned by Jones and then the goal on successive stoppages within a span of 23 seconds.
Individual P-Bruins who pitched in at least one of their 30 shots on goal. Ryan Spooner led that category with four, trailed immediately by MacKinnon, Max Sauve and Christian Hanson (three apiece).
Among the three who were left out, Alden Hirschfeld was on the ice for two Providence goals while MacDermid, as previously detailed, assisted on the third.
Penalty minutes for Bobby Robins, elevating his season total to 108, more than twice of any of his peers.
Robins had a couple―literally, as in two―of ill-advised confrontations with an opposing individual. He was first benched for unsportsmanlike conduct seven seconds after the opening draw and flew solo to the sin bin while Manchester’s Jordan Nolan kept his composure and himself out of the bin.
Exactly 27 minutes later, Robins scrapped with Marc-Andre Cliche in the wake of incurring a boarding minor. Once the brawlers were pried apart, Robins was slapped with an additional 10 penalty minutes and a game misconduct for a jersey tie-down violation.
Minutes and 50 seconds of five-on-five action.
There were three four-on-four segments, five power plays for each club and then a last-ditch six-on-five attack by Manchester in the final 88 seconds. But all five of Friday’s goals were scored during mutual full strength with a goalie on duty in each crease.
Days since Krug last lit a lamp.
After a slow and sloppy start that saw him log three points and a minus-10 rating in his first 16 AHL games, Krug has made good on a clean calendar slate in the young phases of December. His game-winning goal was his second point in the last three outings, during which he has gained a point in the plus/minus column.
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