Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

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The Providence Bruins swept all three of their games over the weekend, firming up their hold on the fourth and final playoff slot in the Atlantic Division.

The P-Bruins started with a very solid 4-2 win over a good Wilkes-Barre / Scranton team on Friday. They beat Laval, 3-0, on Sunday, then edged Bridgeport, 3-2, on Monday. All three games were at home.

“There’s not much better than a six-point weekend,’’ said P-Bruins coach Jay Leach. “We had a really tough week. We put the work in. I think we were unhappy with the weekend before, so the guys recognized that and went to work.’’

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— With Monday’s win, Providence has a .604 points percentage. They are just behind third-place Charlotte (.608) and ahead of Springfield and Wilkes-Barre / Scranton, both with .547.

— Josiah Didier had a tremendous game on Friday night. He scored his first goal of the season and was a rock on defense, blocking numerous shots, especially after the Penguins pulled their goalie for an extra attacker. “His effort, from the beginning of the season til now, has been the same every night. We rely on him. Our players watch him play the right way and they follow suit,” said Leach.

— Oskar Steen is playing his best hockey of the season. He had two assists on both Friday and Monday and has 2-7-9 in his last 10 games. “It’s taken him some time to get used to the league. That’s normal,’’ said Leach. “He’s clearly more comfortable. He’s not thinking, he’s playing. He’s inside. He’s a little scrappy from time to time, which is good. He works and he pays attention to detail. He’s coming along pretty nice.’’

— The P-Bruins are getting excellent goaltending. Dan Vladar, who posted his third shutout with 32 saves on Sunday, leads the AHL with a .934 save percentage and a 1.79 goals-against average. Max Lagace is ninth in the league with a .918 save percentage and a 2.44 goals-against average. His 19 wins is second in the AHL.

— Providence scored the first goal in all three games.

— Brendan Gaunce has goals in three straight games and points in four straight.

— Joona Koppanen chipped in with a big insurance goal in Friday night’s win.

— Brett Ritchie rocked a Laval player on the forecheck in the third period on Sunday, leading to a Providence goal.

— Ryan Fitzgerald has goals in two straight games and points in three straight.


— Robert Lantosi has gone 10 games without a goal.

— The P-Bruins had no power plays in Friday night’s game. Wilkes-Barre / Scranton had four.

— Zach Senyshyn has gone three straight games without a shot on goal.

— Providence was outshot, 16-6, in the third period against Laval.


— Injured: Peter Cehlarik, Chris Breen, Jakub Lauko, Brett Ritchie

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend


It was a down weekend for the Providence Bruins as they earned just one of a possible four points in their two games.

The P-Bruins dug themselves an 0-3 hole in the first period in Bridgeport on Saturday and went on to lose, 4-2. At home on Sunday, they scraped out a point, losing in overtime, 2-1.

“Very disappointing weekend. We didn’t play well (Saturday) night for two periods, then in the third period we came along, but couldn’t bury,’’ said coach Jay Leach.

“Then (on Sunday) at times I thought we were OK, we generated, we just couldn’t score. We need to score. That’s the bottom line. Our power play needs to score. We need to bury some of these chances we’re getting or we’re going to make it really hard on ourselves.’’

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— Jack Studnicka was very good in both games. He scored his AHL-leading sixth shorthanded goal on Saturday and did in style, pulling off the one-handed finish made famous by Peter Forsberg but also accomplished by former Bruin Rosie Ruzicka.He continues to lead the team in scoring with 18-18-36 in 48 games.

— The P-Bruins managed to hang onto the fourth and final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.

— Providence’s next five games are at home.

— After he came on in relief of Max Lagace, Dan Vladar stopped all 14 shots he faced in the final 40 minutes on Saturday.

— Brendan Woods had a good weekend. He scored a goal on Saturday and did most of the work on Zach Senyshyn’s goal on Sunday.

— Paul Carey buckled Parker Wotherspoon with one punch on Sunday.


— After going 0 for 8 on the weekend, the power play has dipped to 24th in the league at 15.6 percent.

— The P-Bruins could beat Christopher Gibson just twice on 46 shots in Bridgeport and Jared Coreau only once on 36 shots at home.

— Bridgeport scored on its first two shots and three of its first eight on Max Lagace in the first period on Saturday.


— Injured: Peter Cehlarik, Chris Breen, Jakub Lauko

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend


Jack Studnicka is leading the Providence Bruins in scoring. (Photo by Chris Emerson)

The Providence Bruins lost one and won one on their trip to New York over the weekend.

After a 3-1 loss to the Binghamton Devils on Friday, the P-Bruins rebounded with a 6-2 victory against the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday.

The win kept Providence in third place in the very tight Atlantic Division playoff race.

“We played the way we wanted to play for the first 15 minutes of the game. It was a good response from (Friday night),’’ coach Jay Leach said after the win in Syracuse. “We got into some penalty trouble and our goaltender stood tall for us. We were able to score on the power play and I thought we had a really solid third on the road for a big two points.’’

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— It was a very good week for Jack Studnicka. After scoring three goals at the AHL All-Star Classic on Monday, he tallied Providence’s only goal in Binghamton on Friday. The next night in Syracuse, Studnicka scored twice and added two assists. His first goal came on a nifty finish on a breakaway in the first period. His second assist was a beautiful setup to Joona Koppanen. He leads the P-Bruins in scoring with 17-18-35 in 46 games.

— After scoring a goal and two assists against Syracuse, Oskar Steen has 5 points in 5 games.

— Nice work by Dan Vladar in Syracuse. After coming in cold when Max Lagace left the game with an injury with 17:18 left, Vladar stopped all seven shots that he faced.

— The power play went two-for-four on Saturday.

— Stick tap for Josiah Didier, who was signed to a two-year contract extension. Didier stood up for Dan Vladar after Binghamton’s Nathan Bastian collided with him.

— Steven Kampfer was hit in the upper body with a slapshot in Syracuse, but returned to the game and scored his first goal of the season. Stick tap for the equipment staff, which quickly handed Kampfer a new stick after he snapped one. He has 1-4-5 in 8 games.


— A pileup in the corner that grew out a big hit by Josiah Didier late in the game in Binghamton somehow resulted in 36 minutes in penalties. Seems like three or four minor penalties would have covered it.

— Despite a four-point game in Syracuse, Jack Studnicka was not selected as one of the three stars of the game.

— Providence gave up 21 shots in the first period on Saturday.

— Not sure if it was missed assignments or a bad bounce off a defensive zone draw, but the puck ended up in Providence’s net for Binghamton’s first goal on Friday.

— The P-Bruins gave up a power play goal and a shorthanded goal in the loss to Binghamton.

— A power play goal by Providence was taken off the board in the second period in Binghamton because the net was off its pegs, but it appeared to be Devils’ goalie Gilles Senn who knocked it off.


— Injured: Cameron Hughes, Chris Breen, Peter Cehlarik, Jakub Lauko

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week


The Providence Bruins hit the AHL All-Star break on a positive note, earning five out of six points at home.

They started the week by beating the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Wednesday, coming from behind in the third period and winning in a shootout, 3-2.

They beat the Phantoms in regulation time on Friday, 4-3, scoring three times in just under 12 minutes in the second period.

On Saturday, the P-Bruins rallied from a goal down in the third period to take the lead against Hershey, but gave up a late goal, then lost in a shootout.

“I didn’t like our game in the first two periods,’’ coach Jay Leach said after Saturday’s game. “I thought they competed harder than we did in those two periods. However, I liked our response in the third. We responded and played the way we need to play.’’

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— The P-Bruins are 6-1-0-1 in their last eight games for 13 out of 16 points.

— It was the best week of the season so far for Zach Senyshyn. With Providence trailing by one in the third period on Wednesday, he picked the perfect time to snap a streak of 12 games without a goal as he tied the game on a breakaway. He assisted on two goals on Friday, including one where he made a good play to win a puck along the boards, carry behind the net and then feed Karson Kuhlman for the score.

— Peter Cehlarik scored the only goal in the shootout on Wednesday, then scored twice in the third period on Saturday. Credit to Brett Ritchie for doing the heavy lifting on Cehlarik’s first goal. His second goal against Hershey was a very well-executed power play set up with Trent Frederic and Cooper Zech.

— Karson Kuhlman, who will undoubtedly be recalled by Boston after their bye week, scored two shorthanded goals on Friday. The first one came on a picture-perfect feed from Jack Studnicka. The P-Bruins lead the AHL with 14 shorthanded goals.

— Good stick by Oscar Steen, freeing up the puck on Brendan Gaunce’s goal on Friday. Steen scored a goal in a deflection on Wednesday.

— Brendan Woods made a spectacular pass to Ryan Fitzgerald for a goal on Friday.

— Max Lagace was a rock in the shootout against Lehigh Valley on Wednesday. Dan Vladar made some big stops in the third period to protect a one-goal lead against the Phantoms on Friday.


— With Jack Studnicka in the penalty box for cross-checking, Providence gave up the game-tying goal against Hershey.

— Hershey outshot Providence in overtime, 7-2.

— Announced attendance for Wednesday’s 6 p.m. game was 6,102, but  there looked to be under 1,500 people in the building,

— The P-Bruins don’t have another home game until Feb. 9.


— Injured: Cameron Hughes, Jakub Lauko, Chris Breen, Brendan Woods


Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend


The Providence Bruins on Sunday were less than a minute away from closing out the weekend on a high note with a come-from-behind win in their third game in three nights.

Instead, the Springfield Thunderbirds scored twice in the last minute of regulation time to tie the game, then won on a power-play goal in overtime. It was a defeat that left a sour taste after the P-Bruins showed great resilience by rallying in the third period to take the lead.

Providence came away from the weekend with three out of six points.

They probably deserved a better fate in Friday’s 2-1 home loss to Bridgeport after they outshot the Sound Tigers, 44-26. In a rematch on the road on Saturday, the P-Bruins scored a goal in every period in a 3-1 win.

On Sunday, Providence had a 5-3 lead in the final minute before Springfield’s Owen Tippett (19:19) and Alexei Saarela (19:51) scored to force OT. Saarela’s power play goal with 1:40 left in extra time sent the T-Birds home with a W.

“We have a group over here that’s certainly trying their hardest and (is) perhaps a little fatigued. Then you have a group over there that’s excellent offensively,’’ said Providence coach Jay Leach.

“You’re going to get these games. These two teams always have entertaining games. Some nights they’re fun to be a part of and some nights, like tonight, they’re not.’’

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— Trent Frederic was a standout all over the ice on Saturday with a goal and two assists.

— Newcomer Brett Ritchie had a strong weekend. He scored twice in Bridgeport and did a good job screening the goalie on Peter Cehlarik’s goal on Sunday.

— Paul Carey and Brendan Gaunce scored two goals each on Sunday.

— With three assists on Sunday, Jack Studnicka snapped a streak of nine straight games without a point.

— Zach Senyshyn had gone 12 games without a point before earning an assist on Sunday.

— Josiah Didier had to be helped to the dressing room after blocking a couple of shots in the second period in Bridgeport, but he returned for the third period.


— The P-Bruins outshot Bridgeport, 19-4, but scored only once in the third period of Friday’s loss.

— Late goals were a problem on Sunday. Springfield scored with 1:55 left in the first period, with five seconds left in the second, and then with 41 seconds and with 9 seconds left in the third.

— Providence had 56 seconds of five-on-three in the third period on Friday but couldn’t score. The power play is 22nd in the AHL at 15.7 percent.


— With points at a premium in the Atlantic Division, giving up two goals in the last minute of regulation, then losing in overtime, is a tough way to end a weekend.

— Providence is 8-10-1-1 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Only Bakersfield and San Jose have worse home records.

—   Injured: Jakub Lauko, Cameron Hughes, Robert Lantosi

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend


Great photo by Chris Emerson of one of Max Lagace’s great saves on Sunday.  This one on Joel Lowry in the third period might have been his best, as he slid across the crease to glove the shot.

Finally snapping out of their scoring funk, the Providence Bruins won both of their games over the weekend.

The P-Bruins beat the Springfield Thunderbirds, 5-2, on the road on Saturday night, then won in a rematch at home, 5-3, on Sunday afternoon. The wins helped them keep pace in the Atlantic Division playoff race.

“We were ready to play today,’’ coach Jay Leach said after Sunday’s game. “We certainly know the importance of these games. When you play a team 14 times and you’re two points away from each other in the standings, you’re certainly looking at your season and your opportunity to be in the playoffs. We did a good job of recognizing that opportunity.’’

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— After scoring a total of three goals in their previous four games, Providence put up five goals in two consecutive games.

— The P-Bruins helped themselves with strong starts in both games. They took the lead at 3:13 on Saturday and at 2:52 on Sunday. They are tied for the AHL lead with 17 wins when scoring first.

— Karson Kuhlman scored an empty netter on Saturday for his first goal of the season. He was a standout on Sunday, winning races all over the ice and scoring a goal and an assist.

— Anton Blidh scored a greasy rebound goal from the top of the crease on Saturday, then converted a penalty shot on Sunday for his first two scores of the season.

— Brendan Woods had a good weekend. He earned an assist on Saturday, then scored Providence’s first and last goals on Sunday. He was involved physically in both games. Woods has seven goals, matching his total for last season.

— Trent Frederic has hit a lot of posts and crossbars this season, but he got a very lucky bounce on Saturday when a carom off the boards left him with an empty net for Providence’s first goal. It was Frederic’s first goal in nine games. Frederic had a Gordie Howe hat trick on Saturday.

— Dan Vladar’s save percentage is .935 after he stopped 26 shots on Saturday.

— On his 27th birthday on Sunday, Max Lagace made some of his most spectacular saves of the season, absolutely robbing Jonathan Ang, Henrik Borgstrom and Joel Lowry.

— Brendan Gaunce had a goal and an assist on Saturday and has 1-3-4 in his last three games.


— The P-Bruins lost Robert Lantosi to an eye injury early in Saturday’s game after he was checked into the boards by Joel Lowry.

— Since returning from injury on Dec. 21, Zach Senyshyn has gone eight games without a point.

— The P-Bruins’ power play is 21st in the league at 16.3 percent.


— Injured: Cameron Hughes, Robert Lantosi, Jakub Lauko

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend


The Providence Bruins are off to a rocky start in the new year. Their struggles at the end of 2019 have carried over into the early days of 2020.

Providence dropped all three games over the weekend, extending their losing streak to four. They are now 1-6 in their last seven.

The weekend started with a tough-luck 3-1 loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack on Friday in a very well-played game. They played poorly in 4-0 loss to the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday and weren’t much better on Sunday, losing 4-1 to the Checkers. All three games were at home.

“We’ve had a tough go with scoring lately,’’ said coach Jay Leach after Sunday’s loss. “We just haven’t been able to score goals for whatever reason.

“I thought Friday night’s game was a good game. We put a lot of energy into trying to get a couple of goals and we just couldn’t do it. We lost in a heartbreaking fashion and then we chased it for the rest of the weekend.’’

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— Jack Studnicka and Paul Carey were selected to play in the AHL All-Star Classic later this month. Well-deserved.

— Paul Carey scored a brilliant unassisted shorthanded goal in the first period of Friday’s game against Hartford.

— Attendance was better than it’s been recently, with crowds of 7,983, 7,820 and 8,246.


— After scoring 11 straight goals in wins over Springfield and Scranton / Wilkes-Barre a couple of weeks ago, Providence has scored only seven goals in the last seven games while being shut out three times.

— Providence’s power play is in a 0-for-22 slump.

— The P-Bruins gave up 43 shots in Saturday night’s loss.

— Talk about bad luck, Trent Frederic hit the post or crossbar four times on Saturday, according to Jay Leach.

— Urho Vaakanainen was outmuscled by Boo Nieves on Hartford’s winning goal with 26 seconds left on Friday.

— Jakub Zboril was on the ice for all four of Charlotte’s goals on Saturday.

— Providence has given up empty-net goals in the last three games.


— Providence’s nine losses at home is tied for second-worst in the AHL.

— Between Paul Carey’s goal in the first period on Friday and Robert Lantosi’s in the final minute on Sunday, the P-Bruins went 172:13 without scoring.

— Injured: Cameron Hughes, Jakub Lauko

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend


The Providence Bruins finished the 2019 portion of their schedule by splitting a pair of road games.

They earned a 4-3 win in Springfield on Friday, then fell behind early and lost, 4-1, in Hartford on Saturday.

Providence has struggled with the Wolf Pack and goalie Igor Shesterkin so far, winning only one of six games.

“It wasn’t a very good game for us,’’ coach Jay Leach said after Saturday’s game. “We played a team that is defensively structured, plays inside and boxes out. We didn’t show enough resolve in those areas to get looks at their very good goaltender.”

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— With his 14th goal in Springfield, Jack Studnicka is tied for the lead in goals among AHL rookies and is third in points with 26. He leads the team in scoring with 14-12-26 in 33 games.

— Joona Koppanen scored Providence’s only goal in Hartford and made a nice play to Pavel Shen for a goal in Springfield. Koppanen has seven goals and 13 points in 25 games after scoring only two goals in 45 games last season.

— Pavel Shen scored what turned out to be the winning goal on Friday and set up a goal on Saturday. He has 2-1-3 in his last four games.

— The P-Bruins took advantage of a two on zero in Springfield as Ryan Fitzgerald and Brendan Gaunce tossed the puck back and forth to each other before Fitzgerald put it in for Providence’s third goal.

— Cooper Zech made a gorgeous pass to Robert Lantosi, who scored on a breakaway in Springfield. Lantosi also had an assist on Studnicka’s goal.

— The Bruins sent Steve Kampfer down on Saturday and then recalled him on Sunday. As a result, Kampfer was credited with serving the first game of his two-game AHL suspension when he did not play on Saturday night.

— Jeremy Lauzon’s plus-16 is tied for third in the AHL.

— Nine of Providence’s 12 games in January are at home.


— The power play went zero for five on the weekend.

— Providence was outshot, 14-6, and fell behind by two goals in the first period in Hartford.

— The AHL suspended Steve Kampfer for two games for a hit on Hartford’s Patrick Newell on Dec. 21. No issue with the suspension, but how did the referees miss it when it happened?


— The P-Bruins will be without Jakub Lauko for an undetermined length of time after the rookie was injured on his first shift while playing for the Czech Republic in the World Junior Championship.

— Other injured players: Urho Vaakanainen, Chris Breen, Cameron Hughes, Anton Blidh

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week


The Providence Bruins took one step forward and two steps back on the road last week.

They blew out the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 6-0, on Wednesday night. Unfortunately for them, they apparently used up their quota of goals for the week in that game.

Providence was blanked in its next two games, a 1-0 loss in the second game of their two-game set against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday night and a 3-0 defeat in Hartford on Saturday night.

“It was certainly a frustrating night for us,’’ coach Jay Leach said after Saturday’s game. “We just couldn’t get it past their goaltender.’’

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— Despite losing two in a two, Providence reached the Christmas break in second place in the Atlantic Division with a .621 point percentage.

— The P-Bruins exploded for four goals on 14 shots against Casey DeSmith in Wednesday’s 6-0 win. Peter Cehlarik and Robert Lantosi had 1-1-2. Tommy Marchin scored twice. Steve Kampfer and Trent Frederic had two assists each.

— Paul Carey is tied for fourth in the AHL in goals with 14.

— Tommy Marchin scored his first AHL goal on Wednesday as Peter Cehlarik set him up with a perfect pass for a one-timer.

— Robert Lantosi has nine points in his last nine games on two goals and seven assists.

— Max Lagace made 38 saves, including 20 in the third period, in recording his fifth shutout on Wednesday night.

— Scott Conway made a good play to set up Pavel Shen for a goal on Wednesday.

— Providence has won 12 games on the road, more than any team in the league.


— Tough break for Jeremy Lauzon and Dan Vladar on Friday night. The only goal of the game was credited to Anthony Angello of the Penguins after a centering pass from below the goal line bounced off Lauzon and into the net past Vladar.

— Steven Kampfer was suspended for two games by the AHL on Monday for “an interference incident” with 8:57 left in the third period on Saturday night. Hartford’s Patrick Newell was injured on the play. There was no call by referees Andrew Howard and Anthony Tapper. Kampfer will sit out the weekend games against Springfield and Hartford.

— Anthony Angello drove Urho Vaakanainen into the boards late in the second period on Wednesday. No penalty was called on the play, which was surprising as it was a dangerous hit.

— The P-Bruins have been shorthanded 138 times. Only two teams have been shorthanded more often.


— Providence hasn’t scored a goal in six-plus periods, 135:43 to be exact.

— Injured: Chris Breen, Anton Blidh, Cameron Hughes

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week


After losing their second game in a row last Wednesday, the Providence Bruins got back on track by sweeping the Springfield Thunderbirds over the weekend.

The P-Bruins looked tired in a 4-1 home loss to Syracuse to start the week, beat Springfield in overtime, 5-4, on the road Saturday, and followed that with a 5-0 victory over the Thunderbirds at home on Sunday.

“We addressed some things this week and the guys took it upon themselves to own their game and the way we want to play,” said coach Jay Leach.

“We’re just trying to find our identity. This week we tried to do that. We were cleaner on our breakouts. We want to establish the defensive zone structure that we’ve traditionally had here. We want to exploit what makes us good, which is our speed through the neutral zone, our defensive zone play and our forecheck.

“We did a nice job of that this weekend. Getting points and getting ahead of teams in this division is a luxury. Every night is going to be a battle. We’ll take as many points as we can get,’’ he said.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— Providence finished the weekend in second place in the Atlantic Division with a .650 win percentage. They are fourth in the Eastern Conference and seventh in the league.

— Jack Studnicka continues to thrive in his first pro season. He scored his AHL-leading fifth shorthanded goal on Saturday and added an assist. He scored a goal on a nice move on Sunday. Studnicka is tied for the team lead in scoring with 12-12-24 in 28 games. He is second in rookie scoring in the league.

— Paul Carey undressed a defender and went bar down for the OT winner on Saturday and scored a power play goal on Sunday.

— Moving Trent Frederic back to center from the wing has revived his offensive game. He has two goals and three assists in his last three games. His linemates had productive weekends, too. Peter Cehlarik had 1-1-2 on Saturday and two assists on Sunday. Robert Lantosi had a goal and an assist in Springfield and made a slick pass to Paul Carey for a goal on Sunday.

— Max Lagace moved across the crease to make a brilliant stop on Tommy Cross 7:15 into the third period on Saturday. He is second in the AHL in wins with 12.

— Jeremy Lauzon scored his first goal of the season on Sunday.

— The P-Bruins fired 50 shots on the Thunderbirds net on Saturday.

— Providence is tied for the AHL lead in goals with 103.

— Dan Vladar made 42 saves in shutting out Springfield on Sunday. He is 3-1 with two shutouts and a .968 save percentage since missing six weeks with a high ankle sprain.


— Cameron Hughes was injured on a crushing hit by Springfield’s Tommy Cross on Sunday afternoon. Cross was assessed a match penalty for a hit to the head. “Tommy was coming with a full head of steam and Hughsie, unfortunately, didn’t see him,’’ said Jay Leach.

— Springfield’s Aleksi Saarela danced Urho Vaakanainen to score the game-tying goal midway through the third period on Saturday.

— Announced attendance for Wednesday’s 6 p.m. start was 4,768, but there couldn’t have been more than 1,500 fans in the building.

— The P-Bruins are heading into a tough stretch of five straight road games against good opponents. They will face Wilkes-Barre Scranton and Hartford twice and Springfield once before their next home game on Jan. 3.


— Injured: Cameron Hughes, Jakub Lauko, Chris Breen, Anton Blidh