Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

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The goal-starved Providence Bruins came home from a three-game weekend in Pennsylvania with just two out of six points. They dropped a 2-1 decision against Lehigh Valley on Friday;  scored four times in the third period for a come-from-behind 4-1 win in Hershey on Saturday; and lost 2-1 in Hershey on Sunday.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.

GOOD

*** The P-Bruins have 8 games at home in January and only 3 on the road, none outside New England. Time to get their playoff push going.

*** In the next couple of weeks, Providence with 33 points has a good chance to gain ground on Springfield, which holds the last Atlantic Division playoff slot with 37 points. Four of the P-Bruins’ next 7 games are against the Thunderbirds.

*** In his first game back after missing several weeks with an injury, Cody Goloubef scored twice on Saturday against the Bears.

*** Mark McNeill  has 2-5-7 in his last 5 games, including 1-2-3 on Saturday night.

*** Karson Kuhlman has goals in two straight games.

*** Anton Blidh didn’t have a point over the weekend, but left it all out there in every game, blocking shots, getting in fast and physical on the forecheck and getting under the skin of opponents.

*** Zane McIntyre played a strong game in Saturday’s win, stopping 23 of 24 shots.

*** Chris Breen and Blidh had huge shot blocks with the P-Bruins on the penalty kill while guarding a one-goal lead late in the game on Saturday.

*** Joona Koppanen scored his first goal of the season against the Phantoms.

BAD

*** The P-Bruins scored just six goals – including two empty-netters – in three games.

*** Some of Providence’s top scorers have hit a dry spell. Ryan Fitzgerald has gone 13 straight games without a goal. Anders Bjork has none in 9 games. Cameron Hughes has 1 goal in 16 games.

*** Providence received delay of game penalties for shooting the puck over the glass in both games in Hershey. Don’t know if they lead the AHL in those calls, but it feels like it.

UGLY

*** Injured:  Zach Senyshyn, Jakub Zboril, Kyle Cumiskey.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

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It wasn’t an especially good week for the Providence Bruins. After a pair of disappointing losses, they salvaged two points with a win in their final game before the holiday break.

The P-Bruins were beaten in Hartford, 3-0, on Wednesday, then lost in Binghamton, 6-3, on Friday, before hanging on for a 5-4 win in Springfield on Saturday.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.

GOOD

*** The P-Bruins went 3 for 6 on the power play in the win in Springfield. Their PP is now seventh in the league at 22 percent.

*** Mark McNeill set up a goal in Binghamton, then scored once and assisted on two other goals in Springfield in his best game of the season.

*** Jordan Szwarz scored his 100th goal in the AHL and added two helpers in Springfield. One of the assists was a perfect pass to Peter Cehlarik for a goal.

*** Anton Blidh forced a turnover and then scored on a nice shot in Binghamton. He followed that up with a very strong game at both ends of the ice in Springfield. He was especially good when Providence was protecting its one-goal lead late in the third period.

*** Cehlarik has put together a good stretch with six points in the last six games, including 1-1-2 on Saturday. He is now second on the team in scoring with 5-15-20 in 28 games.

*** Connor Clifton scored a goal 16 seconds into the game in Binghamton, then scored again the next night in Springfield.

*** New addition Gemel Smith scored his first Providence goal in Binghamton.

*** Chris Breen cold-cocked Hartford rookie Tim Gettinger in a fight.

BAD

*** In Hartford, Providence was shut out  for the first time this season.

*** They gave up shorthanded goals in Hartford and Binghamton for a total of seven this season. Only three teams have allowed more.

*** The P-Bruins are seventh in the Atlantic Division with 31 points in 31 games. They are going to have to pick up the pace in order to make the playoffs.

UGLY

*** The P-Bruins blew a 2-0 lead in Binghamton, but led 3-2 at the end of the second period. Then the final period was a disaster. Providence outshot the Devils, 17-7, but were outscored, 4-0.

*** Cruising along with a 5-1 third period lead in Springfield, the P-Bruins gave up three goals in 1:50 and had to hang on for the win.

*** Injured: Zach Senyshyn, Jakub Zboril, Kyle Cumiskey, Cody Goloubef.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

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The Providence Bruins kept their heads above water by earning three out of six points last week. They had a hard time solving Thatcher Demko (31 saves) in a 5-2 loss in Utica on Wednesday. They rallied late to come away with a point before losing in overtime at home against Bridgeport on Friday. They followed that up with a very solid 6-2 win over Hershey at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Saturday.

“As far as the week is concerned, it was fine, with the schedule and the travel and all that. We’ll take those points, but we’re going to have to make some headway here. A lot of that might be in the second half when we’re home a little bit more. We have six (straight) games on the road. We have to learn how to win on the road,” said coach Jay Leach.

“As someone used to say to me, good enough isn’t. If you want to make the playoffs, good enough isn’t.”

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.

GOOD

*** The P-Bruins were eight seconds away from a loss on Friday night before Ryan Fitzgerald swatted in a Kyle Cumiskey rebound and sent the game to overtime.

*** Fitzgerald made two absolutely gorgeous, high-end passes to Jordan Szwarz for goals on Saturday.

*** Defenseman Cumiskey had 1-3-4 in the week’s 3 games. He had been on a PTO, but the P-Bruins smartly signed him to an AHL deal on Friday.

*** With the victory on Saturday, Zane McIntyre set the all-time regular-season record for wins with 68, overtaking John Grahame.

*** Tanner Pond had a strong game against Hershey, getting under the skin of the Bears  with some hard hits and scoring his first AHL goal. Unfortunately, he was victimized by a couple of not-great penalty calls.

*** Peter Cehlarik put together a good week with 1-3-4 in 3 games.

*** Trent Frederic  added some extra finish when he ran Bridgeport’s Steve Bernier hard into the boards in the third period on Friday. On Nov. 10, the Sound Tigers’ winger received a five-minute major and a two-game suspension for charging Frederic. That hit knocked the Providence rookie out of the lineup for three weeks.

BAD

*** Providence’s next six games are on the road, where they are 5-8-3.

*** The P-Bruins took delay-of-game penalties for shooting the puck over the glass on both Friday and Saturday nights.

*** Austin Fyten was suspended for one game for a slash in the Bridgeport game that earned him a five-minute major. The Sound Tigers scored once on the power play.

*** Mark McNeill hasn’t scored in 14 games.

UGLY

*** Injured: Jakub, Zboril, Cody Goloubef.

A good week for Zach Senyshyn

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PROVIDENCE – So far, so good for Zach Senyshyn in his second season with the Providence Bruins.

After going eight games without a goal, Senyshyn broke out with four goals in three games last week, the best stretch of his young pro career. Heading into Wednesday’s game at Utica, he leads the P-Bruins with nine goals and is skating with a lot of confidence at right wing alongside center Cameron Hughes and left wing Peter Cehlarik.

“I feel good with the puck right now and definitely playing with Hughesy and Cehlarik has been awesome, two terrific players. They really help me play well and use my strengths. It’s been nice to string a couple of games together where I’ve been able to help out,’’ Senyshyn said after practice on Tuesday.

After posting a shooting percentage of 10.5 while scoring 12 goals as a rookie, Senyshyn’s shooting percentage to this point this season is 20.5.

“His quality of shot is probably better because he’s getting to the paint, he’s getting inside,’’ said coach Jay Leach.

That fits with the four goals Senyshyn scored last week, which were all from close range.

“I’d definitely like that to be a staple of my game. Using my speed and going to the net is what I do well. Again, when you are playing with Hughes and Cehlarik, they’re going to put pucks there and be able to make plays to get in that area. I’m happy that I’m able to capitalize,’’ Senyshyn said.

There haven’t been many dekes and dangles in his game and that’s not a bad thing.

“He’s (keeping it) simple. He’s skating. He’s got a good stick. He’s starting to break up plays with his stick. He’s become a bit more physical in finishing his checks. Obviously, he’s getting to the paint, which is where he can score, with his speed,’’ said Leach.

“I’m a big kid and I like to use my size,’’ Senyshyn said. “Definitely use it more now that I’m feeling more confident. With my speed I like to be able to get in hard on the forecheck and when I’m able to finish a couple of guys it feels nice, gets some confidence going.’’

Leach noticed an uptick in Senyshyn’s game in practice a couple of weeks ago. It continued into the games that weekend.

“The Charlotte-Bridgeport-Charlotte weekend, I don’t think he had any points, but he played well all three games. Then (last) week, obviously, he was able to cash in,’’ Leach said.

“He is feeling it. Now when I watch him play, he does have an air of ‘I know what I’m doing. I’ve found something.’ I would always kind of get on him, he’d look at me like he wanted me to tell him what to do. I don’t find him doing that as much any more, which is nice. I don’t have to tell him what to do, he’s going to do it himself.’’

Senyshyn, 21, is one of just two players picked in the first round in the 2015 NHL Draft who hasn’t played an NHL game. However, he is making strides and his recent strong play suggests that it’s much too soon to write him off as a prospect.

It remains to be seen if Senyshyn can keep up his current pace. But if he does, he’ll end up with 27 goals. Only 12 players scored that many in the AHL in 2017-18.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

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The Providence Bruins continued to play well in their three games last week – all on the road — but came away with only two of six possible points.

In their only win, the P-Bruins dismantled the Toronto Marlies, 5-0, on Wednesday. They just missed earning a point in Rochester, losing to the Americans, 2-1, on Friday. Then they dropped another one-goal decision on Saturday in Belleville, 3-2, despite outplaying the Senators for long stretches.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.

GOOD

*** Zach Senyshyn had the best week of his Providence career by scoring 4 times in 3 games. He leads the team with 9 goals. All 4 goals last week were scored from within a couple of feet of the blue paint. After scoring on 10.5 percent of his shots last season, he is connecting on 20.5 percent so far this year. There’s a long way to go, but he is on pace for a 27-goal season. Only 12 AHL players scored that many last season.

*** Cameron Hughes made a fine play on Senyshyn’s power play goal in Belleville, winning a faceoff in the neutral zone and then dishing to Senyshyn at the goal mouth.

*** The Peter Cehlarik to Mark McNeill to Senyshyn power play goal in Rochester was a beauty.

*** Jordan Szwarz put the P-Bruins on the board just 16 seconds into the game in Toronto, converting a smart setup by Ryan Fitzgerald.

*** Dan Vladar stopped 35 shots for his first shutout of the season in Toronto.

*** Anders Bjork had a highlight-reel snipe against the Marlies.

*** Connor Clifton’s first goal of the season was a top-shelf shot in Belleville. Kyle Cumiskey made a good play to win a race to the puck and get the puck to Fitzgerald, who fed it to Clifton.

*** The P-Bruins went 4 for 10 on the power play, which is now up to ninth in the league at 21.4 percent.

*** Fitzgerald has 17 points in his last 15 games.

*** Stick tap for Austin Fyten, who stepped up and fought Rochester’s Dalton Smith after Smith’s hit injured Jakub Zboril.

*** Every player in the Providence lineup had at least one shot on goal in Belleville.

BAD

*** The P-Bruins’ 8-game point streak ended in Rochester. Providence was one second away from tying the game and earning at least a point. Cehlarik fed a perfect pass to Szwarz, who one-timed the puck into the net, but it crossed the line just after time ran out. Seconds earlier, a Cehlarik shot hit the post and then the goalie’s back but somehow didn’t go in.

*** With Providence pressing for the tying goal in the final minute in Belleville, Cehlarik was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct —  playing without a helmet.

*** The P-Bruins have given up 5 shorthanded goals. Only 3 teams have yielded more.

UGLY

*** The P-Bruins’ bus didn’t get back to Providence from Belleville until 6:45 a.m.. on Sunday.

*** Injured: Anders Bjork, Jakub Zboril, Chris Breen, Cody Goloubef.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

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The Providence Bruins continued their hot streak over the weekend when — callups and injuries be damned — they earned 5 out of 6 points. They beat the Charlotte Checkers, the top team in the AHL, 2-1, on Friday night. They won a 2-1 overtime decision in Bridgeport on Saturday. Then they lost to Charlotte in overtime, 3-2, on Sunday

“We will take it. Overall, if you would have asked me if we’d take 5 out of 6 points on the weekend, I’ll take that all day long,’’ said coach Jay Leach.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.

GOOD

*** The P-Bruins are 7-1-3 in their last 11 games. They’ve moved from 28th in the league to 16th in a month.

*** Ryan Fitzgerald had a nifty assist on Jordan Szwarz’ goal on Friday, scored the game-winner on a penalty shot in overtime on Saturday and had the primary assist on Szwarz’ goal on Sunday. He has points in six straight games, with 4-5-9.

*** In addition to his two goals this weekend, Szwarz continues to provide terrific leadership for a young team.

*** The P-Bruins received first-rate goaltending all weekend from Zane McIntyre and Dan Vladar. McIntyre stopped 25 of 26 shots on Friday and 44 of 47 on Sunday, and added an assist. On Friday, he tied John Grahame for the franchise record in wins with 67. Vladar made 30 saves in Bridgeport, including several big stops during a third-period 5-on-3 power play for the Sound Tigers.

*** Cameron Hughes made a smart pass and Peter Cehlarik a nice shot on the winning goal on Friday night.

*** Because he stopped when he got to the net, Karson Kuhlman was in position to regain possession of the puck and pass to Trent Frederic for a slam-dunk goal in the third period on Sunday.

*** Wiley Sherman scored his second goal of the season on Saturday and had some big shot blocks on Sunday.

*** The penalty kill remains the best in the league at 89 percent. They killed 14 of 15 over the weekend.

BAD

*** Providence plays its next four games on the road.

*** The P-Bruins gave up 47 shots and let a 2-0 lead get away in the third period on Sunday.

UGLY

*** Injured: Chris Breen, Cody Goloubef, David Broll.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins week

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Despite a load of callups and injuries, the Providence Bruins are playing their best hockey of the season. A very productive and encouraging Thanksgiving week on the road started with the P-Bruins coming from a goal down to earn a point in Hartford, losing 4-3 in overtime, on Wednesday. On Saturday they showed great heart by rallying from two goals down to beat Lehigh Valley, 6-3. On Sunday, they finished off their Pennsylvania sweep with a solid 4-2 win at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.

GOOD

*** The P-Bruins have gone 5-1-2 in their last 8 games, taking 12 of 16 points.

*** Ryan Fitzgerald is smoking hot. He had 1-1-2 in all 3 games this week and now leads the team in scoring with 6-10-16 in 19 games.

*** Cameron Hughes had 2 goals at Lehigh Valley and now leads the team with 8. He dusted Phantoms’ all-star defenseman T.J. Brennan on one of the goals.

*** Austin Fyten scored twice and handed out some punishing hits against the Phantoms.

*** The Ryan Donato to Jan Kovar to Fitzgerald tic-tac-toe play for Providence’s first goal on Sunday was a thing of beauty.

*** New arrival Kyle Cumiskey got involved right away with a goal and an assist in his first game on Wednesday against the Wolf Pack.

*** Stick tap for Tanner Pond for not allowing Taylor Leier to goad him into a fight in the third period on Saturday. No need for it with the P-Bruins up by three goals.

*** Down by a goal, the P-Bruins were absolutely dominant on the power play before Cumiskey tied the game, with assists to Fitzgerald and Donato, in the third period in Hartford.

*** Zane McIntyre was sharp in stopping 31 shots in Sunday’s win.

*** After giving up 3 goals on the first 8 shots against Lehigh Valley, Dan Vladar was strong the rest of the way.

*** Providence is 3-0 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

BAD

*** The P-Bruins dug themselves an early 0-2 hole against Lehigh Valley, giving up a goal 38 seconds in (after a Cumiskey turnover) and another 29 seconds later.

*** McIntyre was caught out of his net when the puck took a bad bounce off a stanchion on Matt Beleskey’s second goal in Hartford.

*** The December schedule is a doozy with 11 of 14 games on the road.

UGLY

*** Injured: Trent Frederic, Cody Goloubef, David Broll.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

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The Providence Bruins earned two out of four points over the weekend. Considering the circumstances and the caliber of the opposition, they should feel pretty good about what they accomplished.

With Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Jeremy Lauzon, Jakub Zboril and Connor Clifton on recall with Boston and Trent Frederic, Mark McNeill and Chris Breen out with injuries, Providence dropped a 5-4 decision to a stacked Lehigh Valley Phantoms team on Friday and then beat the Rochester Americans, the first-place team in the North Division, 3-2 in overtime, on Saturday.

The Providence defense against Rochester consisted of four ECHL callups, first-year pro Wiley Sherman and second-year North American pro Emil Johansson. After falling behind 2-0, the P-Bruins rallied and Ryan Donato’s strike in OT gave them a feel-good victory.

“To our guys’ credit, they stuck with it. They were really persistent down the stretch, really all four lines. Our defensemen that don’t really have a lot of experience, with our team anyway, were pretty good. And (Zane McIntyre) was good,’’ said coach Jay Leach.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.

GOOD

*** Stay-at-home defenseman Sherman scored his first pro goal on Friday, joining the rush and converting a Colby Cave pass at the edge of the crease. On Saturday, he took one for the team, going down to block a slapper on the penalty kill and then hobbling around for well over a minute in the D zone before Providence could get a clear.

*** Donato had the game-winner and an assist on Saturday.

*** Cameron Hughes scored goals in both games.

*** Karson Kuhlman and Peter Cehlarik made good plays leading up to the tying goal by Hughes vs. Rochester.

*** Providence has won eight straight and 11 of 12 vs. the Americans.

*** Three-in-threes are a regular occurence in the AHL. Desmond Bergin of the P-Bruins finished up a four-in-four over the weekend. He played for Adirondack in the ECHL on Wednesday and Thursday, then Friday and Saturday for Providence.

BAD

*** After jumping out to a three-goal lead in the first period against Lehigh Valley on Friday, the P-Bruins took bad penalties that allowed the Phantoms to rev up their very dangerous power play and get back in the game.

*** A poorly timed pinch by Olivier Galipeau led to Rochester’s first goal.

*** A horrendous change by Providence allowed Rochester to bust in on a 3 on 0 late in the second period, but McIntyre came up with a save.

*** The next three games for the P-Bruins are on the road, where they are 1-5-2.

UGLY

*** It was a comedy of officiating errors on Friday night, but the P-Bruins didn’t see the humor. Referees Conor O’Donnell and Brandon Schrader thoroughly botched the play that resulted in a third-period goal by Carsen Twarynski of Lehigh Valley. Twarynski barged in on the Providence net and bowled over goalie Dan Vladar, with the puck ending up in the net. The refs allowed the goal and slapped Twarynski with a minor penalty for goalie interference, which was later changed to roughing. In real time, it was hard to tell if the puck entered the net before the collision. But watching the coaches’ video the next morning, it was clear the puck entered the net only after Twarynski made contact with Vladar. Obviously, the goal should not have counted. And it gets worse. The video also showed that the Phantoms had six skaters on the ice at the time, another reason the goal should not have counted.

*** Injured: Trent Frederic, Chris Breen, Cody Goloubef, Mark McNeill, David Broll.

Five quick hits from PC-Merrimack

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Merrimack coach Scott Borek and a PC player embrace after Saturday night’s game.

PROVIDENCE – After being swept by UMass last weekend in a pair of one-goal losses, Providence College took care of business this weekend by sweeping Merrimack, 7-2 and 7-5.

“Sweeps are really tough in Hockey East. We knew that they were going to be a lot better tonight than last night. It’s good to get four points and you move on. It’s great to score some goals,’’ said Friar coach Nate Leaman.

Here are five quick hits from Saturday night.

FEEL-GOOD STORY

There was a great scene after the game when every last PC player lined up to shake hands and hug Merrimack coach Scott Borek, PC’s associate head coach from 2015 to 2018.

The gesture was greatly appreciated by Borek.

“That’s what Providence is. It’s the culture of the school. It’s the culture of the program. Obviously I’ve been through a lot with a lot of those guys, who’ve known me through some really difficult times,’’ said Borek, referring to the death of his son Gordie in a car accident in 2016.

“I didn’t expect that, and it was really special.’’

FRESHMAN LEADER

Jack Dugan had another great weekend, with 1-1-2 on Friday and 1-2-3 on Saturday. He made a gorgeous pass to Kasper Bjorkqvist for a goal on Saturday.

Dugan is tied with Cale Makar of UMass for the scoring lead in Hockey East with 5-9-14 in 11 games.

“He made some great plays this weekend. You feel like when you need someone to make a play, he’s going out there and he’s doing it. It’s really a great sign for a freshman,’’ said Leaman.

“He hasn’t just scored, he’s scored big at every level. I didn’t realize how strong he is with the puck. That’s something he’s really been doing a good job of. He was a little off on the power play tonight, but we’ll work on that this week.’’

HARD GUY

PC’s Vimal Sukumaran is one of the hardest players to play against in all of college hockey.

He’s not especially big at 5-foot-10 and 193 pounds, but he is relentlessly physical and has been known to use his stick for more than just handling the puck. He gets under the skin of opposing players.

“He’s into the game no matter what, that’s for sure,’’ said Leaman. “He scored a great goal last night and then tonight he was a little bit grittier and I think he was smarter tonight. That line with (Greg) Printz and (Jason) O’Neill, can give us secondary scoring. V had 10 goals as a sophomore. We look for those three to go out and be heavy, make good decisions and chip in.’’

Sukumaran plays on the edge and sometimes over it. He took a dumb penalty early in the game at Amherst last week and the Minutemen quickly put the Friars in a hole.

Leaman noted that it’s better to try to rein in a player than to have to light a fire under him.

“He generally knows when to make good decisions. He was getting hammered at the net front in the third period with a couple of cross checks from behind. I thought he showed excellent discipline at a time of the game when you need to show discipline. He’s a work in progress, but we’ll take him all day long,’’ Leaman said.

“(Former Friar Brandon) Tanev could score a goal or he could run a guy. He was always part of the game. That’s how Suk is. You’re just making sure that what he does impacts your team in a positive way. He’s done a good job of that.’’

LET THEM PLAY

The refereeing on Saturday night was an abomination. Peter Schlittenhardt and Terrence Murphy were way too involved for my taste. It was not a particularly contentious or physical game, but Schlittenhardt in particular felt the need to put his arm up way more than I believe was necessary.

“I can’t comment on the officiating because I’ll get in trouble, but he got very involved in the game,’’ Merrimack coach Scott Borek said.

The refs handed out 15 minors –  including five for slashing and four for cross-checking – plus two 10-minute misconducts. It wasn’t that kind of game. Let the players play.

ON TO DENVER

Next up for the Friars is a trip to No. 7 Denver for a two-game series next weekend that could be one of the highlights of the season.

“It’s going to be fast hockey and great hockey. These are the weekends you really look forward to. Just praying like crazy we get all of our equipment out there (traveling on the day before Thanksgiving). Those are the things that keep a coach awake at night. Those and giving up shorthanded goals,’’  Leaman said after his team gave one and another just as a penalty ended on Saturday night.

Good, bad & ugly from Providence Bruins weekend

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Taking five out of six points over the weekend, the Providence Bruins are starting to generate some traction. Since a 6-3 loss in Springfield on Oct. 14, they’ve put together a solid 4-3-2 stretch. Two of the three regulation-time losses in that span were by one goal and the third was by two, including an empty-netter.

After beating Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 2-1, in overtime at home on Friday, they rallied from two goals down in the third period before losing in OT, 5-4, in Bridgeport on Saturday. They finished with a decisive 5-2 victory over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at home on Sunday afternoon.

Here’s the good, bad and ugly.

GOOD

*** Colby Cave continues to be Providence’s best player. He was the No. 1 star in Sunday’s win with assists on the P-Bruins first two goals, a bunch of important faceoff wins and a fight. With 5-10-15 in 13 games, he is up to 13th in the AHL in scoring.

*** Anton Blidh, Cave’s linemate, also had a strong weekend, with a nice goal on Saturday and an assist on Sunday. Coach Jay Leach calls Cave and Blidh “the heartbeat of the team.’’

*** Don’t know how much longer Jan Kovar will be around, but he has been a major contributor and an entertaining player to watch in his 8 games with Providence. Skating is a question mark, but he competes and his stick and offensive instincts are superb.

*** The penalty kill is the best in the AHL at 90.3 percent, including 20 for 20 on home ice.

*** It was a great weekend for the power play. Providence went 6 for 16, with 2 PP goals in each game.

*** Ryan Donato looks more comfortable with each game. He scored once on Saturday and twice on Sunday. “He did a lot of the little things,’’ Leach said after Sunday’s game.

*** Dan Vladar played very well in Friday’s OT win, making 27 saves. He left some rebounds, but battled hard to stop the second and third shots that he faced.

*** Zach Senyshyn had a three-point weekend with an assist on Saturday and 1-1-2 on Sunday.

*** Martin Bakos had goals on Friday and Sunday.

*** Ryan Fitzgerald had 1-1-2 on Friday, including the OT winner.

*** Sunday afternoon’s game drew 8,677 despite going up against the New England Patriots on TV. The P-Bruins are currently fourth in the league at 7,737. Only San Diego, Hershey and Ontario are ahead of Providence in average attendance.

BAD

*** Trent Frederic left Saturday’s game and sat out on Sunday after a hit by Steve Bernier of Bridgeport. Bernier, who was given five minutes for charging and a game misconduct, was suspended for two games by the AHL on Monday.

*** Cameron Hughes might have a root canal or some missing front teeth in his immediate future after Bridgeport’s Kyle Burroughs chopped him in the mouth with his stick on Saturday. The AHL on Monday suspended Burroughs for one game.

*** The game in Bridgeport had a bizarre ending and referee Liam Sewall was front and center. It looked like Zane McIntyre might have covered the puck up in the crease, but eventually it was pushed over the line. By the time it went in, Sewall had draped himself over the back of the net, skates four feet off the ice, signaling goal. Leach tried and failed to get an explanation as to exactly what happened in the goalmouth.

*** McIntyre was called for holding on Sunday afternoon. Watched plenty of games in my time, but I can’t remembering seeing that call on a goalie.

UGLY

*** Injured: Frederic, Jordan Szwarz, Chris Breen, Mark McNeill, David Broll.