Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) – You had to feel bad for the selected Sabers, Jacob Bryson. The youth of Providence had a very good game for the friars, but it was not enough since Minnesota Duluth won 4-1 to get his third consecutive birth in the NCAA finals.
The game was close as Duluth scored twice in the empty net to become the first team to reach three consecutive Frozen Four finals since 2008, when Boston College did the trick.
In the first period, Providence and Minnesota Duluth almost felt each other. We did not see many opportunities, but we saw two goals not allowed and quite a few hits.
The Bulldogs only had bad luck in the first goal canceled. Hayden Hawkey from Providence did not have the puck frozen, but the referee lost sight of the puck before Jade Miller put him on the net.
The second went to a referee review that took about five minutes. The fans started to boo and rightly so. It was pretty obvious that Cole Koepke backed Hawkey before the point of shooting came. Koepke swept the disc over the rebound, but the damage was done.
I think the fans would accept the much better repetition in sports if they only had a minute to decide. If you can not decide by then, you continue with the call on the ice.
The selection of fourth round of Sabers 2017, Jacob Bryson, played fast from the beginning. The guy is on the list of 5 & # 39; 9, but that could be generous, but I was impressed after only 20 minutes.
Only in his second turn, Bryson came from the bench through the slot forcing Hunter Shepard to save.
Later in the period, he flew through the wall of the left wing and found Kasper Bjorkqvist in the front with Shepard making his only difficult stop of the period.
Bryson also looked good in a 1 on 1 situation, rising 6 & # 39; 2, Noah Cates of 185 pounds and handling it harmlessly out of the play.
I expected a big blow from Louie Roehl of Duluth at the center of the ice to awaken the game and he did it from a physical point of view, not from an offensive point of view.
Bryson was a key element in Providence that tied the game in the second period. His power game rocket from the point took Josh Wilkins 20 goals of the season. Wilkins is an undrafted junior and will have NHL teams knocking on his door after the Frozen Four.
Minnesota Duluth opened the scoring when Justin Richards took a shot from the wall of the right wing and got it through Hawkey's arm.
After the game, Bryson said he enjoyed the whole experience, especially because he was in his NHL city, "Playing in Buffalo tonight was fun and an incredible experience."
Bryson has taken a big leap in his game since he was drafted in 2017. He said: "One important thing has been consistency, trying to be the best player on the ice every night is something I'm trying to work on and make sure That I'm also holding my teammates accountable. "
Thursday was my first chance to see Bryson live in a college game. It is very small, but it has the strength to handle 6-2 forward. He said it comes from the legs: "He comes with experience, I've dealt with that all my life and I've learned how to take advantage of those opportunities and I have to be physical, especially my size."
Bryson said it is too early to think if he will leave Providence a year early to sign with the Sabers. If he does, he would probably join the Amerks immediately.