Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

Kyle Keyser made a career-high 40 saves in Springfield Saturday night. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)

The Providence Bruins took some hits, on and off the ice, over the last week.

With their lineup depleted by injuries and callups, the P-Bruins managed to earn two of a possible six points on the road.

With Boston on the road, some of Providence’s top players – Jeremy Swayman, Steven Fogarty, Troy Grosenick, Jesper Froden, Tyler Lewington – made the trip as members of the taxi squad. Aaron Ness sat out the weekend before leaving to play for the United States in the Olympics. Callups are part of the deal for every AHL team, but it’s hard to win while missing key players.

In their first game of the week, Providence lost to Utica, the top team in the AHL, by a 4-0 score on Tuesday. On Friday, they showed a lot of resilience in Hartford, coming from behind three times, including twice in the third period, before losing in a shootout, 5-4. On Saturday, they dropped a 3-2 shootout decision in Springfield.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— Kyle Keyser played his best game of the season in Springfield, kicking out a career-high 40 shots. His stop on Michael Peca in the third period was one of the saves of the season.

— Cameron Hughes recorded an assist on Friday and two more on Saturday.

— They didn’t have any goals to show for it, but the line of Eduards Tralmaks, Joona Koppanen and Justin Brazeau was Providence’s best in Utica. They got a gift goal in Hartford when Wolf Pack goalie Keith Kincaid went behind the net to play Tralmaks’ dump-in and the puck bounced in front for an easy goal for Koppanen.

— Jack Ahcan continues to be an impact player. He scored a goal in Hartford off a pretty pass from Cam Hughes and added an assist. He also recorded a helper in Springfield. He’s tied for the AHL lead in goals among rookie defensemen with five.

— Andrew Peski scored his first goal in a P-Bruins uniform in Hartford off a good pass by Matt Filipe. A nice rush by Filipe culminated in a rebound goal by Chris Wagner in Springfield.

— Chris Wagner had a good weekend. He recorded a beatdown on Justin Richards of the Wolf Pack in a Friday night bout, then scored a goal in Springfield the next night.


— After starting the week in first place in the Atlantic Division, the P-Bruins finished the weekend in fourth place.

— The penalty kill gave up four goals on 13 penalties in the three games.

— Springfield’s Will Bitten flattened Kyle Keyser in the crease during the second period. Inexplicably, there was no call on the play.


— Injured: Jakub Lauko, Nick Wolff

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

Eduards Tralmaks has goals in three straight games. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)

The Providence Bruins lost one and won one over the weekend.

They lost to the Bridgeport Islanders, 3-1, at home on Friday night, then dug their out of an early two-goal hole and came away with a 5-3 victory at Bridgeport on Saturday night.

By the end of the day on Sunday, Providence held down first place in the Atlantic Division by a slim margin — .613 points percentage to Hershey’s .603.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— The Islanders went after Sammy Asselin very hard on Friday, no doubt in retaliation for his showboating stick twirl – which was straight out of the Quebec league – last Sunday. Asselin didn’t take a backwards step and on Saturday he scored a goal and earned the primary assist on another. On his goal, he was knocked down by a crosscheck to the back in the slot, but got up and went to the edge of the blue paint to collect the puck and lift it into the net.

— Eduards Tralmaks scored in both games, including the game-winner on Saturday. He has goals in three straight games and four in his last five games. He made a pretty move to score his goal on Friday after some dogged forechecking by Joona Koppanen. Tralmaks and linemates Justin Brazeau and Koppanen – the 664-Pound Line — were very effective in Saturday’s game. Brazeau’s tip-in put Providence on the board late in the first period.

— Jack Ahcan had a tremendous all-around game on Saturday. He retrieved and moved pucks, defended and scored the tying goal in the second period.

— Victor Berglund dished out two assists on Saturday. He has 1-4-5 in his last four games.

— Jeremy Swayman made a fabulous save on a three-on-one in the first period on Friday.

— Captain Josiah Didier played his first game of the season after recovering from an Achilles injury.

— Didier came to the defense of Jakub Lauko after he was roughed up by Bridgeport’s Seth Helgeson on Friday. Alex-Olivier Voyer fought Paul Thompson after the Islanders’ winger threw a hard hit on Aaron Ness on Saturday.

— With a victory on Saturday, Troy Grosenick improved his record to 8-2-1. His goals-against average of 2.28 is sixth in the AHL and his .917 save percentage is eighth.

— Andrew Peski recorded his first point in the Providence uniform – an assist – on Saturday night.


— The P-Bruins gave up two goals in 14 seconds in the second minute of the first period on Saturday night. (Neither one was Troy Grosenick’s fault.)

— Providence plays its next five games on the road. Thankfully, they will be against teams other than Bridgeport, the opponent for the last three games.


— Injured: Jakub Lauko, Nick Wolff

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

A week that started with five more players entering Covid protocol concluded with three straight wins and a move into first place in the Atlantic Division.

All five players were cleared to play by Friday, and Providence started the weekend by beating Hartford, 5-1, at home.

They followed that up with a 5-3 victory at Springfield on Saturday. Back home on Sunday, the P-Bruins skated to a 6-3 win over Bridgeport, which was well-rested after not playing since Wednesday.

By the end of the day on Sunday, Providence held down first place in the Atlantic Division with a win percentage of .621, just ahead of second-place Springfield (.606).

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— Sam Asselin put together a six-point weekend, including a hat trick and an assist on Sunday. He has a five-game point streak, with 4-4-8 totals.

— Steven Fogarty’s excellent play continues. He had a goal and an assist on both Saturday and Sunday. Aside from his offensive contributions, Fogarty gives maximum effort on the backcheck. With the P-Bruins up by four goals in the second period on Sunday, he hustled from deep in the offensive zone all the way back to his net twice on the same shift.

— Jack Studnicka had a good weekend with a goal and three assists. He has 3-9-12 in his last 11 games. Studnicka came to the defense of Sam Asselin when a Bridgeport defender crosschecked Asselin after Providence’s fifth goal.

— Zach Senyshyn had goals in all three games and has 3-3-6 in his last four games.

— Providence was shorthanded only four times in three games.

— Nick Wolff had an impressive weekend. He was plus-three on both Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, he tied with Asselin for the most shots on goal with five.

— Rookie defenseman Victor Berglund, whose offensive skills make him an intriguing prospect, notched his first goal of the season and added an assist in Springfield.

— Trailing by a goal after one period against Bridgeport, the P-Bruins responded with five goals in the second period on Sunday.

— Matt Filipe had a point in all three games, including goals on Saturday and Sunday.

— Jeremy Swayman won both of his starts. He is now 10-1-0-1 in his career with the P-Bruins.

— With an assist on Sunday, J.D. Greenway recorded his first AHL point.


— Interesting bit of scheduling by the AHL. While Providence finished a three-in-three on Sunday, their opponent, Bridgeport, hadn’t played since Wednesday.

— Providence’s home power play is ranked 28th in the AHL at 14.3 percent.


— Injured: Josiah Didier

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

The Providence Bruins started the week with a loss but finished on a high note, with impressive wins over the top two teams in the Atlantic Division.

In Rochester on Wednesday night, playing their first game in 12 days because of Covid postponements, the P-Bruins dug a 4-1 hole, but battled back to close the deficit to one goal before the Americans potted an empty netter for a 5-3 victory.

In Hartford on New Year’s Eve, Providence squeezed the life out of the Wolf Pack, holding them to 17 shots in a 4-0 win. It was Teddy Bear Toss night at the XL Center, but for the second time in a month Providence didn’t give the home fans the satisfaction. They shut out Hartford just as they blanked Springfield when the Thunderbirds had their Teddy Bear Toss game on Dec. 12.

Back at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Sunday for the first time since Dec. 12, the P-Bruins routed the first-place Springfield Thunderbirds, 7-1.

“It says a lot about the group,’’ said coach Ryan Mougenel, summing up the week. “We actually played extremely well in Rochester coming off the break. You never really know how those are going to go. As a group, as a staff, I’m happy with where we are. The guys seem to find a way. Through the whole COVID situation, the way we went about it, we’ve got very mature guys. We’ve got great leadership.’’

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— Oskar Steen scored twice and assisted on three goals against Rochester and Hartford before being recalled by Boston.

— Alex-Olivier Voyer posted a Gordie Howe hat trick against Springfield with a goal, two assists and a fight.

— Joona Koppanen scored a power-play goal and a shorthanded goal and added an assist for a three-point day against the Thunderbirds.

— Urho Vaakanainen is playing well at both ends of the ice. He set up goals by Oskar Steen on Friday and Joona Koppanen on Sunday with perfect passes.

— Troy Grosenick continued his rock-solid play, pitching his first shutout of the season on Friday and stopping 27 of 28 shots on Sunday. He has a 6-1-1-1 record with a .926 save percentage and 1.92 goals-against average.

— Steven Fogarty had a goal and an assist against the Wolf Pack. He has 17 points in his last 18 games.

— Cameron Hughes had 1-1-2 against Hartford and two goals against Springfield.

— Eddie Tralmaks had a strong game with a goal and an assist on Sunday. Mougenel said he owned the puck below the goal line.

— Nick Wolff had a pair of assists on Sunday and has five helpers in his last four games.

— Josiah Didier was named the 26th team captain in franchise history. Fantastic choice.

— The P-Bruins scored a shorthanded goal against Hartford and two more against Springfield. They are tied for second in the AHL with five shorthanded goals. The PK is fourth at 86.5 percent.

— Curtis Hall scored his first goal of the season on Sunday.


— Kyle Keyser gave up four goals on 12 shots in 33:27 in Rochester.

— The P-Bruins had no shots in the first six minutes against the Americans.

— Victor Berglund (upper body) and Zach Senyshyn (jaw) were injured by dirty hits against Rochester.


— Injured: Josiah Didier, Zach Senyshyn, Victor Berglund