Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

Gemel Smith of Syracuse and Joey Abate of Providence drop the gloves in the first period on Sunday. Abate is among the AHL leaders in fighting majors with seven. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)

The Providence Bruins earned three out of six points in their three games over the weekend.

They started with a 2-1 overtime loss against the Hartford Wolf Pack at home on Friday. They bounced back with a solid 5-1 road victory against the Utica Comets on Saturday. Back home, Providence dropped a 4-0 decision to the Syracuse Crunch on Sunday.

“I actually really liked us, as crazy as that is in a 4-0 loss. We did a lot of good things. Getting down 2-0 right off the hop is kind of tough. It’s disappointing, but we’ll learn from it. We’ve got to get better at three-in-threes,” said coach Ryan Mougenel after Sunday’s game.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— The P-Bruins are still solidly ensconced in second place in the Atlantic Division with 57 points and a .679 points percentage.

— Kyle Keyser stopped 25 of 27 shots in Friday’s overtime loss, then kicked out 18 of 19 shots in relief of Keith Kinkaid on Sunday. He has a 5-0-2 record with a .932 save percentage and a 1.87 goals-against average.

— The power play is still 30th in the league at 15.5 percent, but there are signs of life. The P-Bruins scored twice with the man advantage on Saturday and once on Friday.

— Providence hung five goals on Akira Schmid of Utica, who went into the game with the league’s best goals-against average.

— Brandon Bussi stopped 26 of 27 shots against Utica to improve his record to 13-2-4 with an AHL-best .924 save percentage.

— Vinni Lettieri’s on a heater with 4-5-9 in the last six games.

— Jakub Lauko is playing very well lately – he scored a goal and added an assist on Saturday and his plus-11 leads the team.

— Justin Brazeau is playing well. He scored Providence’s only goal on Friday, then posted 1-1-2 on Saturday.

— Oskar Steen put the P-Bruins on the board first in Utica with a deft deflection from in front.

— Eddie Tralmaks returned to the lineup and scored his first goal of the season on Saturday night.

— Dan Renouf assisted on two goals in Utica.

— Johnny Beecher has gone 15 games without a goal, but Ryan Mougenel saw some improvement in his game. “I thought John Beecher had a real strong weekend,” he said.


— It was a tough travel weekend. After playing at home on Friday night, the P-Bruins drove 255 miles to Utica for Saturday night’s game. When that was over, they jumped on the bus for the trip home, arriving at 3 a.m. Twelve hours later, the puck was dropped for Sunday’s game. Was it any wonder they fell behind by two goals 5:25 into the game?

— Providence fired 51 shots on the Syracuse net on Sunday but didn’t score.

— Jakub Lauko allowed Hartford’s Zac Jones to beat him to the net and score the game-winner just 20 seconds into OT on Friday.

— Providence’s next game is Wednesday against – surprise! – Hartford.


— The diagnosis is not in yet, but it sounds like the injury to Luke Toporowski on Saturday in Utica could keep him out for a while. Ryan Mougenel: “Hopefully it’s not as bad as we think it is.”

Toporowski went down with a knee injury when he was kneed by Michael Vukojevic with 3:41 left in a game that Providence led, 4-1.  “To me it’s a dirty play,” Mougenel said.

Vukojevic received only a minor penalty for kneeing. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he hears from the league this week.

Earlier in the same game in Utica, Jakub Lauko was lucky he wasn’t injured when he was kneed by Jack Dugan with 9:25 left in the second period. There was no call on the play by referees Mason Riley and Conor O’Donnell.

— Injured/sick: Luke Toporowski, Fabian Lysell, Matt Filipe

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