Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

The P-Bruins celebrate a goal during Saturday night’s win against Springfield. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)

The Providence Bruins snapped out of a slump and earned four out of six points at home over the weekend.

On Friday, Providence was outshot, 28-18, but beat Hershey, 2-0. The P-Bruins edged Springfield, 3-2, on Saturday on a late power play goal by Victor Berglund. On Sunday afternoon, Providence lost to Utica, the first-place team in the North Division, 4-1.

After briefly taking over first place with Saturday night’s win, the P-Bruins finished the weekend in second place in the Atlantic Division.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— The 664-Pound Line — Eduards Tralmaks (209), Joona Koppanen (210) and Justin Brazeau (245) – made an impact all weekend. Koppanen and Brazeau assisted on Tyler Lewington’s game-winner on Friday; Brazeau scored off the rush on a well-executed play with his linemates on Saturday; and Brazeau made a nifty pass from behind the net to Tralmaks for Providence’s only goal on Sunday. They are the team’s leaders in plus-minus. Koppanen is plus-21; Tralmaks is plus-20; and Brazeau is plus-14.

— Saturday’s game, a tight contest between two very good teams, was one of the best of the season. Cameron Hughes was a standout all over the ice. His diving clear during a Springfield 5 on 3 in the first period epitomizes his all-out effort, night in and night out.

— Special teams were strong in Saturday night’s win. The P-Bruins scored twice with the man advantage and held the Thunderbirds’ skilled power play off the board.

— Kyle Keyser stopped 24 shots to beat Springfield. He made a key save on a Nikita Alexandrov breakaway in the second period with Providence trailing by a goal.

— Troy Grosenick continues to lead the league with a .930 save percentage and 1.99 goals-against average.

— Providence has won three straight against Hershey at The Dunk while outscoring the Bears, 11-1.

— New arrival Kodie Curran is known more for his offensive skills than his physical play, but he decked 6-foot-5, 220-pound Brett Leason of Hershey with a big hit late in Friday’s game.

— Chris Wagner, who continues to play excellent two-way hockey, absolutely punished Beck Malenstyn of the Bears with a check in front of the P-Bruins bench.

— After missing just over two months with a leg injury, Nick Wolff made his presence known with a fight against Utica’s Samuel Laberge in the first period on Sunday.


— Tough turnover for Tyler Lewington on Saturday. He fanned on a pass in the first minute of the second period, the puck went to Will Bitten and he put it on the stick of Sam Anas for an easy Springfield goal.

— Jakub Lauko has gone 25 games without a goal.

— Oskar Steen has one assist and is minus-10 in his last 9 games.

— Providence played its third game in three days on Sunday, while Utica was well-rested after having Saturday night off.

— The P-Bruins recorded a season-high 47 shots on Sunday, but scored only once.


— Injured: Jesper Froden

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

Troy Grosenick leads the AHL with a .926 save percentage and a 2.08 goals-against average. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)

The Providence Bruins have hit a rough patch. After a torrid stretch in which they won nine out of ten, they’ve gone cold, dropping six games in a row.

Playing without Jack Studnicka and Jack Ahcan, they did earn three points in three road games against the Charlotte Checkers from Thursday to Sunday, losing in a shootout in each game. They lost, 2-1, on Thursday; 3-2 on Saturday; and 2-1 on Sunday.

Those three points allowed the P-Bruins to hold onto second place in the Atlantic Division with a points percentage of .602. They are just behind first-place Springfield (.612) and just ahead of third-place Charlotte (.600).

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— The P-Bruins received tremendous goaltending in Charlotte. Troy Grosenick, returning from injury, stopped 52 of 55 shots on Thursday and Saturday. Kyle Keyser kicked out 37 of 38 shots on Sunday. They combined for a .957 save percentage and 1.23 goals-against average.

— Troy Grosenick leads the AHL in save percentage (.926) and goals-against average (2.08).

— Chris Wagner scored a goal and had 12 shots on goal on Saturday.

— They posted 19 shots on net in the first period on both Thursday and Saturday.

— Zach Senyshyn buried his team-leading 19th goal on Saturday.

— They are fifth in the league with a points percentage of .581 on the road.

— Providence’s next six games and 14 of their final 19 are at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.


— Goals have been hard to come by. They scored four goals in three games in North Carolina and have scored nine goals in the last six games.

— The referees had to look very hard to find that slash by Jakub Lauko in the third period on Sunday. Very tough call to make with three minutes left in a tie game.

— The power play went 1 for 13 on the trip.

— The P-Bruins went a combined 3 for 11 in the three shootouts.

— They outshot the Checkers, 6-0, in overtime on Saturday, but couldn’t score.


— Injured: Nick Wolff, Victor Berglund

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

Justin Brazeau assisted on Providence’s only goal in Belleville and scored his 10th of the season on Saturday against Bridgeport. (Photo courtesy from Providence Bruins.)

After winning nine of ten games, the Providence Bruins fell back to earth over the last week.

After coming from behind in the third period for a workmanlike 3-1 win in Toronto on Tuesday, the P-Bruins lost in Belleville on Wednesday, 4-1, then dropped a pair at home to Bridgeport, 7-4, on Saturday and 3-0 on Sunday.

Their best defenseman, Jack Ahcan, is on recall to Boston and their top goalie, Troy Grosenick is out with an injury. The P-Bruins were due to lose a few games after their torrid winning stretch and the absence of Ahcan and Grosenick didn’t help.

Springfield leapfrogged Providence and took over first place in the Atlantic Division with a points percentage of .627 as of the end of the day on Sunday. The P-Bruins are second at .608, followed by Hartford (.587) and Charlotte (.579).

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— Despite Saturday’s night loss, there were some offensive bright lights. Cameron Hughes had a goal and two assists, Jack Studnicka recorded three assists and Victor Berglund had a goal and an assist.

— After Oskar Steen was buried from behind by Bridgeport’s Seth Helgeson, who was penalized for boarding on Sunday, Tyler Lewington stood up for his teammate by going right at Helgeson as soon as he got out of the box and fighting him.

— Providence limited Toronto to only 15 shots on goal.

— Zach Senyshyn scored twice against the Marlies. His career-high 18 goals continues to lead the team.


— The P-Bruins were outshot, 20-5, and gave up three goals in the third period of the loss in Belleville.

— On Saturday, Kyle Keyser allowed six goals on 29 shots before getting the hook after two periods. Things started to go south when defensive defenseman Helgeson beat Keyser through the five-hole with a wrister with 30 seconds left in the first period.

— There was plenty of blame to go around on Saturday night. Turnovers by Tyler Lewington and Jack Studnicka led to a pair of Bridgeport goals in the second period.


— The second period of Saturday’s game wasn’t just bad. It was – pick your adjective – ugly, hideous, grotesque.

The P-Bruins gave up four goals in 1:58. They were outshot, 14-4.

There probably have been worse two-minute stretches in the team’s 30-year history, but none come to mind.

— Injured: Troy Grosenick, John Moore, Nick Wolff, Matt Filipe, Blake Hillman

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

Chris Wagner, Jack Studnicka and Zach Senyshyn celebrate a goal on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)

The good times continue to roll for the Providence Bruins.

They won all three of their games over the last week and in the process took over first place in the Atlantic Division.

On the road on Wednesday, the P-Bruins trailed Lehigh Valley 29 minutes into the game, but scored three straight and went home with a 5-3 win. Before a sellout crowd in Springfield on Saturday, Providence rolled to a 5-1 victory over the Thunderbirds and jumped into first place. Back home on Sunday, Providence pulled out a 5-4 win in overtime against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

“It shows when guys care. You see (Victor) Berglund block a huge shot there at the end. I don’t know if three months ago I would have been saying that. It’s starting to get to be part of these guys’ DNA,” said Mougenel after Sunday’s game. “We celebrate the little things here and I think it’s translating into wins.”

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— The P-Bruins have won four in a row and eight of 10.

— Cameron Hughes is playing tremendous hockey. He scored twice on Sunday and has 6-10-16 in the last 10 games.

— Kyle Keyser came on in relief of the injured Troy Grosenick against Lehigh Valley and stopped 12 of 14 shots to secure the win. He stopped 26 of 27 shots in Springfield and he bent but didn’t break in kicking out 33 shots in Sunday’s win against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He stuffed Drew O’Connor of the Pens twice on breakaways.

— Jack Studnicka was on fire in Springfield with 1-3-4. He has now scored a goal in five straight games at MassMutual Center. He’s played 10 career games in Springfield and has 9-2-11. He scored a goal in Sunday’s win, too.

— The defense pair of Victor Berglund and Brady Lyle put up impressive numbers on Sunday. Berglund had a goal and an assist. Lyle recorded two assists. Both were plus-4.

— Steven Fogarty scored a goal and two helpers against the Phantoms.

— Chris Wagner scored twice on Saturday night, including the game-winner, and was named first star.

— Oskar Steen won Sunday’s game in overtime with a terrific individual rush. He had 2-2-4 in the three games.

— Zach Senyshyn scored his 15th and 16th goal against Lehigh Valley.

— In his first fight of the season Sunday, J.D. Greenway pummeled Drew O’Connor of the Pens.

— Fifteen of Providence’s 25 remaining games are at home.


— Inexplicably, referees Patrick Hanrahan and Mason Riley didn’t call penalties on two blatant collisions in the crease involving Troy Grosenick and Kyle Keyser on Wednesday night in Allentown. Grosenick had to leave the game 3:41 into the second period when he was bowled over in the blue paint. Keyser was kicked in the head a few minutes into the third period. Both times Lehigh Valley forwards barged into the crease and made contact without any help from Providence defenders.

— In the same game, the misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct on Jack Studnicka after a scrum late in the second period was a head-scratcher. Two players exchange words in a scrum and one of them goes to the box for 10 minutes? Questionable.

— After being outshot 10-1 in the third period on Sunday, the P-Bruins gave up the tying goal with three seconds left in regulation time.


— Troy Grosenick, John Moore, Nick Wolff, Matt Filipe

— Lehigh Valley’s Hayden Hodgson was suspended for three games by the AHL for elbowing Blake Hillman on Wednesday night. It’s the second time Hodgson has been suspended for a hit on a P-Bruins player. His cheap shot on Ian McKinnon in November earned him a two-game suspension.