Flames dominate Bruins in opener
By Aaron McCracken
Martin Brochu recorded his 3rd straight series opening shutout as the Saint John Flames beat the Providence Bruins 2-0 in the opening game of the AHL Eastern Conference Finals. It was the 5th straight home playoff win for the Flames, who will try to make it six in a row on Sunday night.
The 4628 Harbour Station fans filled the arena with noise as the Flames took the ice and remained standing until the team recorded its first shot on goal. The fans didn’t have to wait long for the home side to take the lead. Just seven minutes in, with the Flames on a power play, Steve Begin redirected a Micki Dupont blast from the point, fooling Bruin goalie John Grahame. The Flames had a number of chances late in the 1st to add to their lead, but Grahame kept the game close. Providence came close a couple of times in the 2nd period, but Martin Brochu made several big saves, and the Saint John defense cleared the dangerous rebounds.
The Flames went up 2-0 in the 3rd when Rick Mrozik’s point shot hit a Providence defender and found the back of the net. This goal seemed to deflate the Bruins, who only recorded a couple of shots in the last fifteen minutes of play. The Flames played their system to perfection down the stretch and controlled the pace of the game, skating away with a dominating 2-0 victory. The Flames were one-for-four on the power play and were able to kill all three penalties assessed against them.
News and Notes
3. John Grahame, 36 saves.
2. Martin Brochu, 19 save shutout.
1. Steve Begin, game winning goal, assist, and excellence defense.
Lines and Roster update
Murray – Varlamov – Botterill
Tkaczuk – Begin -- Russell
Betts – Roche – Fata
Royer - Doull
Walser – Martin
Montador – Scoville
Mrozik – Dupont
Scratches: Chris St. Croix (healthy), Miika Elomo (broken nose, out), Jason Morgan (facial laceration, day-to-day), Chris Clark (back injury), Jeff Dewar (healthy), Jeff Mitchell (healthy), Jamie Ling (healthy), Kenny Corupe (groin), Dany Sabourin (healthy).