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Providence off to strong start in net

by Kayleigh Hodgdon || AHL On The Beat Archive

The Providence Bruins recently faced the Norfolk Admirals and the Manchester Monarchs in back-to-back games that demonstrated the strength of their goaltending. In a combined effort, Jeremy Smith and Malcolm Subban managed to not allow a single goal in seven-plus periods, for a total of 153 minutes and 8 seconds.

For the two netminders, it was a great way to finish off their October schedule.

Smith started things off on Oct. 24 when the P-Bruins hosted Norfolk for their Pink in the Rink game. Smith, who is in his first season with Providence after being signed by Boston as a free agent this year, had an outstanding game in goal. The 25-year-old made 39 saves to earn the shutout win for Providence.

Before joining the Bruins organization, Smith played three seasons with the Milwaukee Admirals from 2010-13 and one season with the Springfield Falcons in 2013-14. The Dearborn, Mich., native was selected in the second round, 54th overall, by the Nashville Predators in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

He is no stranger to shutouts, recording a total of eight in his time in Milwaukee. In 38 games with the Falcons last season, he earned one shutout. The P-Bruins can only hope that earning a shutout in only three games indicates that he’s on track for a good season.

Smith allowed just four goals in his three starts during October, for a GAA of 1.34 and a .958 save percentage. He made his debut with Providence on Oct. 11 against Portland and let up three goals in the loss, but came back to play a strong game against the Pirates a week later, stopping 28 of 29 shots.

Providence’s dominant goaltending performance didn’t end with Smith. Malcolm Subban kept the momentum alive on Saturday night when the Bruins traveled to Manchester to take on the Monarchs. With Subban staying solid in the net, the P-Bruins earned the 5-0 win against the Monarchs. The 20-year-old stopped 26 shots to earn the team’s second shutout of the weekend.

Subban, who is in his second season in the AHL, was selected by the Boston Bruins in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, 24th overall. The Toronto native spent the 2013-14 season with the Providence Bruins where he played 33 games. Like Smith, Subban earned one shutout last season.

This year Subban’s start to the season looks promising, earning his first shutout in only four games. He had a 1.72 GAA and a .941 save percentage in his four October appearances, allowing only one goal in the P-Bruins’ home opener against the St. John’s IceCaps. A week later, although the Bruins couldn’t come up with the win, Subban saved an impressive 30 of 32 shots in the match-up against the Worcester Sharks.

Both Smith and Subban are ranked among the AHL’s leaders in both GAA and save percentage. While it’s still early in the season, it looks as though Providence is in a good position with their goaltenders.