MacKinnon makes presence felt for P-Bruins


MacKinnon makes presence felt for P-Bruins

PROVIDENCE, RI Kyle MacKinnon doesnt do much that will jump out at you on the ice.

Hes got good skating speed and a shot thats true when given the opportunity, but his skills arent flashy or dazzling. At 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds MacKinnon isnt going to stand out for his size or strength, which are both just about "average" for a professional hockey player.

While not having a dominant skill or asset, MacKinnon is the kind of guy that does everything well and showcased that with the overtime game-winning goal in a 3-2 victory over the Adirondack Phantoms on Sunday afternoon at the Dunkin Donuts Center. The center gave the appropriate celebratory fist pump on one knee once the game was decided, and with good reason.  

I havent scored a game-winning goal like that in a whileprobably since junior hockey, said MacKinnon. So I was pretty excited.

The fourth-line Providence forward was able to finish off a sweet Matt Bartkowski pass from behind the net for the game-winner, and has earned the trust of the coaching staff to be on the ice four-on-four in the overtime session.

Were a little like the parent club in Boston where we rely on all 12 forwards and all four lines, said P-Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. Last year he had a quiet 14 goals for us as a rookie, which is pretty good in this league. He can kill penalties and if you need a guy to fill in on the power play he can make a play.

Hes very responsible and hes decent on draws. Theres a lot to like about him as a coach because hes really responsible. Were in so many close games that you need players like that.

The game-winner capped off a solid weekend for MacKinnon, who crammed all three of his goals this season into this past weekend. He snapped off a pair of strikes against the Manchester Monarchs on Friday night and tallied the overtime winner on Sunday, and has managed to make an impact with the limited ice time. Thats part of MacKinnons lot in life, and hes accepted that fully.

You have certain roles on the team: certain guys do certain things, said MacKinnon. I take a lot of pride in my defense. But whenever the coach calls on me to play penalty kill or puts me out there in crunch time situations, youve got to be ready. I was ready when my number was called and I was able to capitalize on it.

Perhaps it shouldnt be a surprise that MacKinnon is a nice fit with the P-Bruins after he put together a solid four-year career in Hockey East with the Providence College Friars. The Rhode Island capital city is like a second home to the California native after he put up 37 goals during his collegiate career, and he just keeps on getting better with the Bruins organization.

Things started slowly for the 25-year-old this season, but this weekends performance showed he can keep improving on the quiet 14 goal AHL season he put up last year as a rookie for the P-Bruins. MacKinnon is too old to be a prospect and was probably never flashy enough to qualify in the first place, but theres always a place in pro hockey for maximum effort guys that seem to get better all the time.

MacKinnon certainly qualifies as that, and the Providence Bruins wouldnt have enjoyed a perfect six-point weekend without him.

BC's ACC losing streak reaches 12 after 28-20 loss to Syracuse


BC's ACC losing streak reaches 12 after 28-20 loss to Syracuse

BOSTON - Eric Dungey threw for three touchdowns, Ervin Phillips had a pair of scores and Syracuse beat Boston College 28-20 on Saturday, sending the Eagles to their 12th straight Atlantic Coast Conference loss.

Dungey went 32 for 38 for 434 yards. He also ran 17 times for 54 yards for the Orange (4-4, 2-2 ACC).

Last week, he became the first player in school history to throw for over 300 yards and rush for over 100 in an upset victory over then-No. 17 Virginia Tech.

Patrick Towles went 4 of 14 for 45 yards for Boston College (3-4, 0-4) but did run 75 yards for a touchdown. He was taken out of the game early in the fourth quarter and appeared to be favoring his right leg.

Back-up Darius Wade drove the Eagles deep into Syracuse territory, but was sacked and then threw incomplete on fourth-and-14 with just under 2 minutes left.

The Orange went 86 yards for a score to make it 21-10 after an interception by linebacker Parris Bennett inside their own 5.

Receiver Steve Ishmael made an 11-yard TD catch along the side of the end zone, making a leaping grab and getting one foot to touch before he was knocked out of bounds.

One play later, Towles broke around left end and went down the sideline for his score on the final play of the third quarter. Mike Knoll's second field goal - a 39-yarder - cut it to 21-20.

Dungey's third TD toss - a 68-yarder to Amba Etta-Tawo - made it 28-20.

BC's Myles Willis had an 89-yard kickoff return for a TD.


SYRACSE: The Orange didn't play smooth offensively, collecting a handful of false start penalties and turning the ball over three times, but they go into a bye week with a pair of key victories.

BC: The Eagles can't make key plays when the game's close. They were driving for a possible go-ahead score late in the third when wide-open receiver Michael Walker bobbled a pass - with the ball flying into the air and into the hands of linebacker Bennett.


SYRACUSE: Travels to No. 4 Clemson on Nov. 5.

BC: Faces North Carolina State on the road next Saturday.

© 2016 by STATS & The Associated Press.

Spooner to jump back in for Bruins, knows he 'wasn't good enough'


Spooner to jump back in for Bruins, knows he 'wasn't good enough'

BRIGHTON, Mass. – After serving as a healthy scratch for Thursday night’s home opener, Ryan Spooner will be back in the lineup manning the left wing position alongside David Krejci and David Backes as that line looks for an offensive breakthrough.

Spooner will also be looking to change his early season storyline as it’s clear that Claude Julien is looking for more from a player that looked a little too passive on the puck to start the season.

Spooner wasn’t really utilizing his speed to put pressure on opponents, he wasn’t creating enough on the power play and there were a couple of instances where his mistakes led to directly to goals against. That’s not a good combination from a B’s perspective with a player who has showed plenty of game-breaking talent while posting 13 goals and 49 points last season.

“I have to take [the scratch] as a message that I wasn’t the player that I can be,” said Spooner. “I have to use it as motivation and just go out there and play.”

The speedy, skilled forward had just a single assist in three games to start the season, but to be fair none of the three forwards on his line, Spooner, Krejci or rookie Danton Heinen, looked particularly good once Backes was moved to fill in for the injured Patrice Bergeron.

Instead, it looked like Krejci centering one player skating out of position (Spooner) and another young guy (Heinen) just trying to gain some confidence in the NHL and things looked much better for Krejci and Backes after being reunited on Thursday. Spooner’s speed and playmaking could be an asset there tonight vs. Montreal, and certainly could help a power play that is 1-for-14 through the first four games of the season.

“He just has to be better. That’s why we sat him out. He just wasn’t good enough and he’s capable of doing more,” said Claude Julien. “We expect more out of him. He’s a guy that can produce and can play the full game, and he’s shown that he can do it. It’s nothing something that he has to do, but it’s something that he can do. That’s what we want.”

So, Spooner was scratched for the home opener after totaling an assist and seven shots on net in the first three games, and knows that he needs to be better than he was in the early going.

“I wasn’t moving my feet. I think I was playing too much of a passive game. I need to use my speed a little more when I’m on the wing there,” said Spooner, who still hasn’t played much more than a couple dozen games at the wing over the course of his career. “The first two games I didn’t think I played good at all, and the last game against the Jets was just so-so. I don’t think it was good enough, so it needs to be better.

“At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter which players I was playing with, the game I was playing just wasn’t good enough. That’s on me and I need to change that.”

Spooner will get a big chance to change that conversation when he suits up in a top-six winger role with Krejci and Backes on Saturday night while looking to provide a little more balanced scoring against Montreal.