Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend


The good times are rolling for the Providence Bruins.

They swept all their games for the third weekend in a row and have now won 11 straight games, tying the franchise record set in 1999, when the P-Bruins won the Calder Cup.

The P-Bruins started the weekend at home with a 2-1 overtime victory over the Springfield Thunderbirds. They traveled to Springfield on Saturday and returned with a 4-2 win. Back home on Sunday, they gave up a two-goal lead late in regulation time but edged the Hershey Bears, 3-2, in the shootout in one of the most entertaining games of the season.

“We bent and we almost broke, but we obviously were able to sneak one out in the shootout,’’ said coach Jay Leach. “Sometimes this game is just like that. We’re riding it right now and we’ll take it.’’

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— Providence’s last loss in regulation time was on Feb. 8. They are 11-0-1-0 since then.

— With 80 points, they trail first-place Hershey by one in the Atlantic Division, but they are ahead in points percentage, .656 to .653.

— Night in and night out, the P-Bruins continue to get first-rate goaltending. Dan Vladar made 31 saves on Friday and was brilliant on Sunday with 35 stops, plus three more in the shootout. Vladar’s .935 save percentage and 1.83 goals against average are the best in the AHL. Max Lagace was a standout with 34 saves on Saturday. He is eighth in the league with a .919 save percentage and a 2.37 goals against average.

— Brendan Gaunce continued his strong play, combining on a pretty play with Peter Cehlarik for the winner in overtime on Friday.

— Zach Senyshyn scored goals in two straight games.

— Jack Studnicka has a six-game point streak with 3-5-8. He posted assists on Friday and Sunday and scored an empty net goal on Saturday.

— Ryan Fitzgerald had a good weekend, scoring Providence’a first goal on Saturday on a sweet Paul Carey setup and then scoring the only goal in the shootout on Sunday.

— With a goal on Saturday, Trent Frederic broke a streak of 11 games without a goal.


— Springfield’s Danick Martel probably deserved an instigator penalty for throwing down with Trent Frederic on Saturday. Even though he is much smaller than Frederic and isn’t much of a fighter, Martel initiated the bout, during which Frederic tossed him around. Unfortunately for Frederic, it was his eighth fighting major. If he gets to 10, he’ll be suspended for one game.

— Cooper Zech took one of the hardest (but clean) hits of the season when he was absolutely trucked by 6-foot-4 Mason Marchment of the Thunderbirds on Friday night.

— In full view of the referees, Peter Cehlarik grabbed the stick out of the hands of Hershey’s Eric Bergdoefer on Sunday and threw it aside early in the third period, incurring a minor penalty. That’s not the play you’re looking for when protecting a two-goal lead.

— Hershey’s Liam O’Brien got off a good shot on his breakaway midway through the third period, so why was he awarded a penalty shot instead of Providence being assessed a minor penalty?

— Providence was outshot in overtime on Sunday, 8-1.

— The power play went 0-for-10 for the weekend. The P-Bruins are 25th in the league at 14.9 percent.


— Injured: Chris Breen, Brett Ritchie

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week


The Providence Bruins are the hottest team in the American Hockey League. After sweeping three games on the road since last Wednesday, they’ve won eight in a row.

The P-Bruins beat Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 6-2, on Wednesday, defeated Springfield, 2-1, on Saturday, and edged Hartford, 3-2, on Sunday.

“The first period was an excellent period for us – probably our best of the weekend,’’ coach Jay Leach said after the win over the Wolf Pack. “We got pucks deep, skated, and made plays to get up, 2-0.

“Obviously, they came back on us to make it 2-2 to turn it into quite a game. Our power play was able to cash in in the third and we were able to hold on with some big saves from (Max) Lagace down the stretch.’’

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— With Sunday’s win, the P-Bruins jumped over Hartford and into second place in the Atlantic Division. Providence’s points percentage is .638 to .629 for the Wolf Pack. Hershey is first in the division at .644.

— It was a good week for special teams. The power play went 3 for 14. The penalty kill was a perfect 14 for 14. The PK is now fourth in the league at 85.7 percent.

— Cooper Zech had a strong game with 1-1-2 against the Pens. The assist was a nice cross-ice pass that Peter Cehlarik  snapped into the net.

— Cameron Hughes scored twice against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and worked a nifty give-and-go that resulted in a goal by Jack Studnicka in Hartford.

— Oskar Steen continues to play well. He made two beautiful passes for goals in Springfield. He also scored a shorthanded goal against the Wolf Pack.

— Jack Studnicka has 8-12-20 in his last 16 games. He scored a flashy shorthanded breakaway goal against the Thunderbirds. He had an assist against the Penguins and 1-1-2 against both Springfield and Hartford.

— Brendan Gaunce’s game-winner in Hartford was his 17th goal of the season. He has points in nine straight games.

— Peter Cehlarik had a good week with 2-2-4 in the three games.

— The P-Bruins have given up 185 goals, second-fewest in the AHL.

— Josiah Didier’s plus-27 is the best in the league.

— Over the last 10 or so games, Jakub Zboril is playing some of the best hockey of his pro career. He had a beautiful zone entry and pass to Cameron Hughes for a goal against the Penguins.

— Both Trent Frederic and Alex Petrovic dropped the gloves in defense of teammates.


— A Jack Studnicka turnover in the neutral zone led to the first goal for Wilkes-Barre / Scranton on Wednesday.

— The instigating penalty on Trent Frederic against the Penguins was a bad call.

— The P-Bruins are 22nd in the AHL in power play opportunities.

— Even with Sunday’s win, Providence is only 2-6 against Hartford.


— Injured: Chris Breen, Brett Ritchie