Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

Brandon Bussi hugs winning goalie Kyle Keyser (38) after Sunday’s game. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)

The last weekend of the regular season ended on a high note for the Providence Bruins as they clinched first place in the Atlantic Division in the final period of the final game on Sunday.

The P-Bruins started their three-in-three weekend with a lackluster 7-2 loss to the Springfield Thunderbirds on the road on Friday night. They responded in a big way on Saturday at home against the Bridgeport Islanders. Providence trailed 3-1 in the second period before rallying for a 5-3 victory.

Saturday’s win put Providence in position to jump over the Hershey Bears and into first place by beating Springfield at the AMP on Sunday, which they did.

The P-Bruins took an early lead, but the game was knotted at three after two periods.

Before the last period, coach Ryan Mougenel told his team, “We’ve got 20 minutes to just outcompete them and execute and we can put a banner in the stands and you guys can all be a part of that. That’s a pretty special thing to do as a group.”

In the third period, they exploded for four goals and won going away, 7-3.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.


— Providence finished first in the Atlantic Division and in the Eastern Conference with a record of 44-18-8-2. It’s their third Atlantic Division title in the last four years. They have a bye in the opening round of the Calder Cup playoffs.

— The P-Bruins outscored Bridgeport and Springfield by a combined 7-0 in the third period.

— Jack Ahcan had an epic third period on Sunday. He went top shelf for a shorthanded goal that turned out to be the game-winner and added an assist on Marc McLaughlin’s insurance goal. For the weekend, he had 1-4-5 and was plus-eight.

— Chris Wagner had a great weekend. He scored a shorthanded goal on Friday, then scored twice and added an assist on Sunday and was plus-four. He finished with a career-high 19 goals.

— Vinni Lettieri has 8-9-17 in his last 10 games. He put up 23-25-49 in 48 games.

— Eduards Tralmaks had his best weekend of the season and it’s probably not a coincidence that it happened after Ryan Mougenel reunited the 664-pound line of Tralmaks, Joona Koppanen and Justin Brazeau. Tralmaks scored the game-winner from Koppanen and Brazeau on Saturday. The line combined for five points on Sunday, including a goal and an assist by Tralmaks.

— Georgii Merkulov led the team in scoring with 24-31-55 in 67 games. He finished second in the AHL in rookie scoring.

— Connor Carrick’s plus-15 is the best on the team. Dan Renouf is second with plus-10.

— Rookie defenseman Frederic Brunet was impressive in his pro debut on Saturday. He assisted on two goals.

— Rookie forward Brett Harrison posted his first point as a pro with an assist on Saturday.


— Providence finished with the worst road power play in the league at 14.8 percent.

— The penalty kill had a tough weekend, giving up five goals in 14 shorthanded situations.

— Providence allowed a goal 38 seconds into the game on Saturday.

— After taking an early 2-0 lead on Friday, the P-Bruins gave up seven straight goals.

— They gave up two goals in 12 seconds in the second period and two goals in 1:56 in the third period of Friday’s game.


—  Injured: Nick Wolff, Trevor Kuntar

Eduards Tralmaks stuffs the puck past Bridgeport’s Jakub Skarek for the game-winner on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Providence Bruins)

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