Over the course of a long minor league hockey season, all teams are bound to hit a stretch where struggles on either offense or defense – sometimes both. For the Providence Bruins, goals are currently at a premium while the Atlanta Gladiators are having some defensive issues in ECHL play.
Three games over a three-day weekend has proven to be treacherous before. And for Providence, this week was the case. Providence had a pair of games at home, both ending in one-goal losses. Their lone road game, a Saturday night contest at Bridgeport, resulted in a 3-1 win.
On Friday, the P-Bruins fell at home to Bridgeport, 2-1, thanks to a two-point game by Boston College product Oliver Wahlstrom. Sunday was a total collapse following Providence taking a 5-3 lead with under two minutes to play. Springfield scored twice in the final minute to tie it. Aleksi Saarela scored the equalizer and the overtime winner for the Falcons.
Players of the Week: Trent Frederic & Jack Studnicka – Frederic had a goal and two assists (both on goals by Brett Ritchie) during Providence’s 3-1 win over Bridgeport while Studnicka provided a trio of helpers in a 6-5 loss to Springfield.
NEXT UP: Providence doesn’t leave the Ocean State this week, inviting the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for a two-game series on Wednesday (6:05 p.m.) and Friday (7:05 pm.). It’s a quick turnaround on Saturday for Providence when they host the Hershey Bears, also with a 7:05 p.m. puck-drop.
With three games spaced out over the course of the week, the Gladiators earned one win while dropping a couple lopsided results. In a two-game homestand against the Orlando Solar Bears, Atlanta lost the opener on Wednesday, 7-3, before recovering with a 5-4 overtime win on Friday.
But a quick turnaround in the form of a trip to face the South Carolina Stingrays on Saturday night resulted in another defeat, this time by a 4-2 scoreline.
It was a forgettable weekend especially for goaltender Chris Nell, who allowed four goals in all three games including being pulled for backup Ben Halford on Wednesday.
Player of the Week: Samuel Asselin – After an assist and a minus-3 on Wednesday, Asselin provided a hat-trick and an assist, including the winning goal in Friday’s victory followed by a five-shot performance in a snake-bitten performance on Saturday.
NEXT UP: Atlanta hosts the Greenville Swamp Rabbits in a rare Monday matinee. Afterward, the Gladiators hit the road for a weekend road trip to the Midwest with games against the Toledo Walleye on Friday and the Indy Fuel on Saturday.