P-Bruins Take Weekend Finale

Avon and Desnoyers Score for Lehigh Valley

December 3, 2023

Providence, RI – Young prospects J.R. Avon (5th) and Elliot Desnoyers (3rd) scored for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms but the Providence Bruins rallied from an early deficit to secure a 3-2 win on Sunday afternoon in Rhode Island.

Lehigh Valley (9-8-4) had a late push at the end but Providence goaltender Brandon Bussi picked up his second win against the Phantoms this season. The two teams will rematch on Friday evening when the Phantoms open a five-game homestand at PPL Center.

20-year-old rookie J.R. Avon carried a couple strides in from the right point to strike from the top of the right circle with his power-play blast to stake the Phantoms to a 1-0 lead at 6:50 into the contest on a goal assisted by Victor Mete and Ronnie Attard. It was the ninth consecutive game for the Phantoms to score a power-play goal. The team has gone 12-for-30 (40.0%) as they also again took over the top spot in the AHL on the power play overall at 25.6%.

Wade Allison had multiple strong chances at former college teammate Brandon Bussi including a pair of drives back to back in the opening seconds of the game. He was also denied on a breakaway late in the second period among other opportunities the hard-shooting power forward was generating.

Vincent Arseneau (5th) scored from the right circle on the rush to equalize for the Bruins with 8:01 remaining in the first period.

Brendan Furry cranked a drive past Bussi off the post a few minutes later just missing on his chance to put the Phantoms back on top before the intermission.

Providence took its first lead of the game almost midway through the contest on Alex Regula’s (2nd) seeing-eye shot from the boards at the right point to the far post that eluded Cal Petersen through a screen.

The Phantoms had only four shots on goal in the second period and Ian Laperreire moved around the lines a little in the third searching for a little more offensive fire.

Desnoyers picked off an errant Providence drop and raced in at Bussi on a breakaway. Desnoyers dangled back-and-forth multiple times with some impressive stick work eventually opening the opportunity to stuff it in past the right skate of the Bruins’ goalie just inside the left wing post. The snazzy lamplighter at 3:40 into the third period tied the score at 2-2.

The 21-year-old Desnoyers made his NHL debut in his rookie season last year amidst a 23-goal campaign for the Phantoms that established a new Lehigh Valley record for goals by a rookie.

But Providence re-took the lead again on an intercept at center leading to a carom off the end-boards to John Farinacci on the left of the cage who connected with an open Justin Brazeau (7th) at the net front for the slam dunk with 10:41 remaining.

The Phantoms had some threats at Bussi in the closing minutes but were unable to find the equalizer as the Bruins hung on for their second straight one-goal decision against Lehigh Valley this season.

The Phantoms are back at PPL Center on Friday, December 8 with a rematch against the Providence Bruins to open a five-game homestand which includes the annual Teddy Bear Toss Night on Saturday, December 9 when the Phantoms host the Charlotte Checkers.

1st 6:50 – LV, J. Avon (5) (V. Mete, R. Attard) (PP) (1-0)
1st 11:59 – PRO, V. Arseneau (3) (J. Megna, A. Regula) (1-1)

2nd 8:39 – PRO, A. Regula (2) (M. Lohrei, J. Boqvist) (1-2)

3rd  3:40 – LV, E. Desnoyers (3) (Unassisted) (2-2)
3rd 9:19 – PRO, J. BRazeau (7) (J. Farinacci, L. Toporowski) (2-3)

LV 21 – PRO 36

LV 1/2, PRO 0/1

LV – C. Petersen (L) (33/36) (3-5-1)
PRO – B. Bussi (W) (19/21) (6-4-2)

Lehigh Valley (9-8-4)
Providence (11-8-3)

Friday, December 8 (7:05 p.m.) – Providence Bruins at Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Saturday, December 9 (7:05 p.m.) – Charlotte Checkers at Lehigh Valley Phantoms – Teddy Bear Toss presented by Big Woody’s!

Wednesday, December 13 (7:05) – Charlotte Checkers at Lehigh Valley Phantoms – Military Appreciation Night
Friday, December 15 (7:05) – Laval Rocket at Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Saturday, December 16 (7:05) – Springfield Thunderbirds at Lehigh Valley Phantoms – Hispanic Heritage Night, Los Fantasmas!!