Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

Despite missing two games, Fabian Lysell leads the Providence Bruins in scoring with a goal and five assists for six points in three games. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)

Playing their first three-in-three weekend of the season – with all the games at home — the Providence Bruins came away with three of a possible six points.

They were 20 minutes away from maybe adding another point or two, but faltered in the third period on Sunday.

Providence earned a point in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Bridgeport Islanders on Friday. They beat the Utica Comets, 2-1, on Saturday. And they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Sunday. It was their first loss of the season in regulation time.

“I thought today we played two great periods. We absolutely fell asleep in the third. It’s tough because the guys played so hard and so well for two periods. It’s a lesson learned. Hopefully it’s just a one-time lesson,” said coach Ryan Mougenel after Sunday’s game.

“We’re playing pretty consistent. I like a lot of things in our game. We’ve been, for the most part, pretty good.”

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— Georgii Merkulov scored twice against Bridgeport on Friday and set up a goal by Vinni Lettieri on Saturday. Just as important, his play without the puck is trending in the right direction. He dove to block a shot from the point in the dying seconds of the second period on Sunday.

— Sammy Asselin scored his first goal of the season and played an excellent two-way game on Saturday. On Friday, when Bridgeport’s Hudson Fasching threw a hard hit on Chris Wagner, Asselin immediately jumped in.

— Joona Koppanen has played well all season and was rewarded with his first goal on a power play on Sunday. He continues to be one of the best defensive centers in the AHL and has five points in five games.

— Kyle Keyser played an excellent game in Saturday’s win. Utica came on strong in the third period, but Keyser held the fort with 10 saves to hold a one-goal lead. He is 2-0 with a .933 save percentage.

— For the second week in a row, Chris Wagner turned in a standout game on Friday night. He scored a goal, was credited with six shots and probably had at least five hits.

— It was a pro debut to remember for Joey Abate. On Saturday, he fought Utica heavyweight Mason Geertsen and sacrificed his body to block two slapshots late in the game to help preserve Providence’s one-goal lead.

— On Sunday, the fourth line of Abate, Alex-Olivier Voyer and J.D. Greenway chipped in with some strong shifts in the offensive end that swung momentum in Providence’s favor.

“They provided some energy for sure. They did a good job. (J.D.) Greenway’s really taken a step in the right direction,” said Mougenel.

— Providence fell behind by two goals to Bridgeport, but showed good resilience by tying the game and earning a point by taking it to overtime.


— Tough start for Johnny Beecher. He has no points and no shots on goal through five games.

— Providence has had 26 power play opportunities, tied with the Henderson Silver Knights for the most in the AHL. But the P-Bruins’ PP is only 25th in the AHL at 15.4 percent. Koppanen’s goal on Sunday snapped a 0-for-15 stretch with the man advantage.

— Wilkes-Barre/Scranton outshot the P-Bruins 10-1 early in the third period on Sunday and took over what had been a scoreless game with a pair of goals in 1:57.


— Injured: Fabian Lysell, Eddie Tralmaks, Matt Filipe

Providence’s Joey Abate dropped the gloves with Mason Geertsen of Utica in the first period on Saturday night. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)

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