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