Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

Despite a brutal travel schedule, the Providence Bruins earned five out of six points on the road over the last week.

On Wednesday in Hershey, the P-Bruins scored a late goal to force overtime before losing, 4-3. Inexplicably, they traveled home to Rhode Island after the game, then got on the bus again for their game in Bridgeport – a 3-2 win — on Friday night. After that game, they rode the bus to Pennsylvania yet again for Saturday night’s game against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Providence won that one by a 5-1 score.

As of Sunday night, Providence held down third place in the Atlantic Division, behind first-place Springfield and second-place Hartford.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— It was an excellent week for Zach Senyshyn, who scored four goals and added two helpers in the three games. He set up a goal in Hershey, scored one in Bridgeport, then scored his second hat trick of the season and an assist against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Providence has won the last 14 games in which he scored a goal.

— The penalty kill is the best in the league at 88.7 percent as of Sunday evening.

— Jack Studnicka played a strong game on Saturday. He scored an empty netter to snap a stretch of five games without a goal. While he didn’t get a point on the play, his faceoff win in the offensive end led to a power-play goal by Senyshyn against the Penguins.

— The line of Oskar Steen-Steven Fogarty-Jesper Froden was dangerous in every game. With his back to the net, Froden banked in a goal off the netminder in Bridgeport. Coach Ryan Mougenel: “Usually when you have offensive guys like that, they tend to cheat, but not these three. I’m impressed with Froden and how hard he plays. Steen has really grown as a player and Fogarty is elite at this level.”

— Cameron Hughes scored his first goal of the season in Hershey and has four points in the last four games. He and Jack Ahcan had 1-1-2 against the Bears.

— Trailing by a goal, Providence outshot Bridgeport, 18-7, in the second period and scored three times, including two goals in 64 seconds in the last minute and a half.

— Sammy Asselin’s pass to Senyshyn for a tap in on Saturday night was a thing of beauty.

— Eduards Tralmaks made a nice play to set up Joona Koppanen’s goal in Bridgeport.

— Brady Lyle scored his first goal of the season on Saturday.

— Ian McKinnon took on Hershey’s Dylan McIlrath, one of the top fighters in the AHL, and acquitted himself well.


— The P-Bruins gave up two goals in 53 seconds early in the third period in Hershey. That turned a 2-1 lead into a 3-2 deficit.

— They turned the puck over on a power play against the Bears and allowed Joe Snively to score a shorthanded goal on a breakaway.

— At home, the power play is 27th in the league at 14.3 percent.


— Two bus rides to Pennsylvania and back in five days? Brutal.

— Injured/sick: Josiah Didier, John Moore, Nick Wolff, Curtis Hall, Eduards Tralmaks

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

On the sixth weekend of the AHL season, the Providence Bruins spun their wheels.

They posted an impressive 2-1 overtime win over a very good Hartford Wolf Pack team on Friday, then dropped a 3-1 decision on Saturday to a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton squad that they beat handily on the road a couple of weeks ago.

The loss continued a pattern of not really being able to string together good back-to-back performances.

They did manage to hold their place in the standings, finishing the weekend in a three-way tie for third place in the Atlantic Division with Hershey and Charlotte.

Here is the good, bad and ugly.


— Troy Grosenick returned to the crease after missing a month with an ankle injury and played very well with 23 saves in the win over Hartford.

— Oskar Steen’s goal in OT on Friday was a beauty. After taking a pass from Aaron Ness, Steven Fogarty found Steen with a good feed. Steen waited patiently for the right moment to fire the puck past Adam Huska to send the P-Bruins home with a win.

— It was the best weekend of the season for Aaron Ness. He was effective at both ends and assisted on all three of Providence’s goals.

— Continuing his strong two-way play, Steven Fogarty assisted on both goals on Friday. He has 4-7-11 in his last 10 games.

— Urho Vaakanainen continued his solid play. There’s no flash in his game, but that’s OK. He’s been very steady lately.

— Providence’s penalty kill is a bright spot. It is second in the league at 89.1 percent. The PK played a big part in Friday’s win, killing a four-minute high-sticking penalty to John Moore just two minutes into the game.


— Providence had three power play opportunities in the first 18 minutes in Saturday night’s loss to the Penguins but didn’t take advantage, coming up empty on all three. While they did score a power play goal in the third period, they ended up going 1 for 7 on the night.

— One goal on 43 shots for Providence on Saturday.


— The schedule for the coming week is rough. Providence will travel to Hershey for a Wednesday night game. They will return home after the game. They will play at Bridgeport on Friday night and then get on the bus for another trip to Pennsylvania and a game at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday night. For those keeping score at home, that’s two separate trips to Pennsylvania in the space of five days/nights. Brutal.

— Injured: Josiah Didier, Ian McKinnon

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

It was a bit of a rollercoaster week for the Providence Bruins.

They lost a game, won a game and earned a point in an overtime loss. They finished with three out of six points.

The P-Bruins started on a sour note, losing to the Springfield Thunderbirds, 4-1, on Wednesday. They bounced back on Friday, beating the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 6-3. Then they fell to the Hartford Wolf Pack, 2-1, in overtime on Saturday.

“Overtime, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really happy with that goal. We had a few guys circling in front of our own net. It’s Hockey 101 — stopping and reacting. When you play on the move like that, bad things happen,’’ said coach Ryan Mougenel.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— The win over Lehigh Valley on Friday was by far the most entertaining game of the year. Plenty of goals and four fights. It was fun to watch.

— There was a lot of emotion in Friday night’s win, too. Emily Cave, widow of former P-Bruins captain Colby Cave, dropped the puck in a ceremonial faceoff before the game. Then Zach Senyshyn – a close friend of Colby – scored a hat trick, pointing to the heavens after the third goal. It was a special moment.

— Nick Wolff played a strong game against the Phantoms, defending well and standing up for his teammates with two fights. As of the end of the day Sunday, he led the AHL with 42 penalty minutes.

— Urho Vaakanainen, who has been playing well while partnered with Wolff, scored his first goal of the season against Springfield.

— Jack Studnicka scored a goal after a flashy spin-around pass from Brady Lyle on Friday, then used his speed to back off the defense, enter the offensive zone and dish to Jakub Lauko for a goal on Saturday.

— Kyle Keyser dove across the crease to make a fabulous save on Sam Anas of the T-Birds in the third period on Wednesday. Save of the year so far for the P-Bruins.

— Steven Fogarty scored a goal and an assist in the win over the Phantoms. Jesper Froden and Jack Ahcan posted a pair of assists each.

— Chris Wagner blew up Anthony Greco and Libor Hajek of the Wolf Pack with big hits on Saturday.

— Providence’s special teams are trending up. The power play, which went two for four on Friday, is tenth in the league at 21.7 percent. The penalty kill is sixth at 87 percent.

— Jon Gillies is the 19th former Providence College player to skate for the P-Bruins. With 31 saves, he won his third straight start against Lehigh Valley. His save percentage is .948 and his goals-against average is 1.67.

— Jack Dougherty, a veteran of 286 AHL games, was solid in his season debut on Saturday.


— No one puts a whole lot of stock in plus-minus anymore, but if you’re near the bottom of the league in that stat, well, that’s not where you want to be. Of the 878 AHL players so far, Jakub Lauko’s minus-nine in 12 games is 877th and Cameron Hughes’ minus-nine in nine games falls at No. 875., Alex Nylander of Rockford is last with minus-10 in 10 games.

— Providence was 2:32 away from a win in regulation time against Hartford before the Wolf Pack tied the game with Nick Wolff in the box for cross-checking.


— Injured: Josiah Didier, Troy Grosenick, Cameron Hughes, Joona Koppanen, Ian McKinnon

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

Jon Gillies, who led Providence College to the 2015 NCAA championship, had a strong weekend in his Providence Bruins debut. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)

The Providence Bruins took a big step forward on the road over the weekend, returning home from a pair of games in Pennsylvania with four out of four points.

The P-Bruins dominated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 6-2, on Friday, then beat the Hershey Bears, 3-0, on Saturday.

Jon Gillies, who joined the team on a PTO on Wednesday, was the story of the weekend, stopping 58 of 60 shots. Gillies is playing for a contract, whether with the Bruins or another team.

“The one thing that I’m about and our staff is about — we’re big believers in transparency. We told him everything that was going to happen. He was going to get a chance to start and I couldn’t go beyond that,’’ coach Ryan Mougenel said after Gillies blanked Hershey.

“I think that’s the biggest thing you can do with someone who’s looking for those opportunities. There’s a lot of guys in that room and they’re all going through different experiences in their journey. I think he’s no different. There’s a lot of great goalies out there and not a lot of jobs. It’s a tough market, so it’s really great to see him having success. We’ll just keep plugging away.”

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— The line of Jesper Froden, Steven Fogarty and Oskar Steen had a terrific weekend.

— Red-hot Oskar Steen scored twice on Friday and recorded a pair of helpers on Saturday. He has 5-5-10 in his last five games.

— Steven Fogarty scored a goal and an assist on Friday, then scored twice – off beautiful setups by Steen and Froden — and assisted on another goal on Saturday.

— Jesper Froden has 2-5-7 in his last four games.

— Chris Wagner continues his excellent two-way play. He scored a goal in each game.

— John Moore had a strong weekend, too. He had primary assists on two power play goals on Friday.

— Jon Gillies’ save percentage after the two games is .968.

— Providence went three-for-five on the power play against the Penguins. The PP was 26th in the league a couple of weeks ago, but now is up to 13th, clicking at 21.1 percent.

— Zach Senyshyn scored his first goal of the year on Friday night.

— Matt Filipe had a big shot block as Providence guarded a one-goal lead in the third period against Hershey.

— At the Giant Center on Saturday night, a video tribute to Aaron Ness and Tyler Lewington – longtime Hershey Bears who are now with Providence – was played on the big board. Classy gesture by the Bears.

— Joona Koppanen made a nice play to Eddie Tralmaks, who went top shelf for Providence’s fifth goal on Friday night.

— Providence has killed 15 straight penalties. The PK is third in the AHL at 88.2 percent.

— The P-Bruins moved up to fourth place in the Atlantic Division. They were seventh a week ago. With five straight games at home, they have a great opportunity to continue to move up.


— The P-Bruins had two clean breakaways on Saturday – Joona Koppanen and Jakub Lauko – and didn’t convert. In fact, both players missed the net.

— Slow start in Hershey. Providence was outshot, 8-2, in the first six minutes of the game.


— The team bus arrived home from Hershey at 3 a.m. on Sunday.

— Injured: Josiah Didier, Cameron Hughes, Victor Berglund, Troy Grosenick