Providence Bruins 3, Connecticut Whale 2
By Brian Ring
Providence, RI, December 11, 2011 – The Connecticut Whale were defeated by the Providence Bruins, 3-2, Sunday afternoon at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, RI. The Whale trailed 3-0, but two goals by Kelsey Tessier helped Connecticut to climb to within a goal by the third period. Craig Cunningham had the game-winning goal and an assist for Providence, who scored all of their goals before the game was even three minutes into the second period.
“[Tessier] played a strong game, I think everyone pulled their weight,” said Whale coach Ken Gernander.
The Bruins opened up a 1-0 lead over the Whale at 3:49 of the first period, as Kyle MacKinnon stuffed a rebound past Connecticut starting goaltender Cam Talbot (10 saves), who had shut out Providence Saturday night in Hartford. MacKinnon’s second of the season was assisted by Kirk MacDonald.
Providence scored again to push the lead to 2-0 at 11:59, when Carter Camper capitalized on the power-play. Camper’s goal was assisted on by Josh Hennessy and Jamie Tardif, Providence’s only conversion in five first period power-play opportunities. The Whale and Bruins combined for 70 penalty minutes in a scrappy opening frame. The Whale lost the services of first-line center Kris Newbury just 5:40 into the game, as he took a third-man-in penalty resulting in a game misconduct.
Cunningham extended the Bruins lead to 3-0 at 2:49 on a wrist shot from the slot, his goal sending Talbot to the bench in favor of Chad Johnson (15 saves).Tardif notched his second assist of the night on the goal.
The Whale broke through on a bad angle shot from Kelsey Tessier, whose shot from the far boards managed to sneak past Providence goaltender Anton Khudobin. Blake Parlett recorded the lone assist on the Connecticut score, which came at 10:49 of the second.
Andreas Thuresson appeared to get another for the Whale near the middle of the second, but the goal was waved off due to goaltender interference.
“To have that called back was unfortunate, and that may be the difference in a close game,” said Gernander.
The teams finished two periods of play nearly even in shots, with the Whale outshooting Providence, 22-21.
Tessier struck again for his second goal of the night at 1:17 of the third period, cutting across Khudobin’s crease and putting his fourth goal of the season past the Providence goaltender. Stu Bickel and Tim Erixon both assisted on the tally, which drew the Whale to within 3-2.
The Whale, however, could not complete their comeback attempt, despite being afforded three power-play opportunities in the final frame. The loss was the first in four games this season for the Whale against Providence.
The Whale will be back in home action twice next weekend, as they play host to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in GEICO Connecticut Cup action on Friday night (7:00), before facing the Providence Bruins yet again on Saturday (7:00).
Connecticut Whale 2 at Providence Bruins 3
Sunday, December 11, 2011 – Dunkin’ Donuts Center
Connecticut 0 1 1 – 2
Providence 2 1 0 – 3
1st Period-1, Providence, MacKinnon 2 (Cunningham, Ridderwall), 3:49. 2, Providence, Camper 6 (Hennessy, Tardif), 11:59 (PP). Penalties-McKelvie Pro (tripping), 1:27; Voros Ct (fighting), 5:32; MacDermid Pro (fighting), 5:32; McKelvie Ct (roughing), 5:40; Newbury Ct (game misconduct – third man in), 5:40; Valentenko Ct (fighting), 5:40; MacDonald Pro (roughing, roughing, fighting), 5:40; Deveaux Ct (high-sticking), 9:27; McKelvie Ct (interference), 11:44; Bickel Ct (roughing, roughing, misconduct – continuing altercation), 12:10; Miller Pro (roughing, misconduct – continuing altercation), 12:10; Bell Ct (cross-checking), 13:04; Valentenko Ct (high-sticking), 13:58.
2nd Period-3, Providence, Cunningham 4 (Tardif), 2:49. 4, Connecticut, Tessier 3 (Parlett), 10:49. Penalties-McKelvie Pro (cross-checking), 8:13; Thuresson Ct (goaltender interference), 15:08; Camper Pro (holding), 16:21.
3rd Period-5, Connecticut, Tessier 4 (Bickel, Erixon), 1:17. Penalties-MacDonald Pro (holding), 5:13; Arniel Pro (roughing), 11:18; Hamill Pro (holding), 14:56; Audy-Marchessault Ct (tripping), 19:37.
Shots on Goal-Connecticut 11-11-9-31. Providence 11-10-7-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Connecticut 0 / 7; Providence 1 / 7.
Goalies-Connecticut, Talbot 7-5-0 (13 shots-10 saves); Johnson 8-4-2 (15 shots-15 saves). Providence, Khudobin 8-11-2 (31 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Jon McIsaac (39).
Linesmen-Matt MacPherson (83), Ed Boyle (81).