Wins this time of year in minor league hockey come at a premium. For both Providence and Atlanta, despite being on opposite ends of the playoff race, any type of win is valuable whether its for securing home ice or simply a postseason berth.
A road-trip to Western New York brought mixed results for the Baby Bruins. With both Binghamton and Syracuse at the bottom of the North Division standings, each needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. While Binghamton took down Providence, 3-1, on Friday, Syracuse was not so lucky on Saturday, dropping a 6-2 decision.
Binghamton scored even strength, shorthanded, and on the power play to open a three-goal, third-period lead. Providence never trailed on Saturday, though, taking the lead in the dying seconds of the second period before piling on a trio of late third-period tallies to knock off Syracuse.
Dan Vladar, who played Friday’s game, came in to relieve Max Lagace early in the third period on Saturday, stopping all seven shots he face.
Player of the Week: Jack Studnicka – After returning from the AHL All-Star Game, he scored the lone goal on Friday followed by a four-point night on Saturday (two goals, two assists).
UP NEXT: A home-and-home series this weekend with divisional rival Bridgeport carries a lot of weight for the P-Bruins. Bridgeport is firmly at the bottom of the Atlantic Division while Providence is four-points out of first place.
With a rare visit from a Western Conference foe, Atlanta and Utah played to an even split last Tuesday and Wednesday. After a 5-2 loss in the series opener, Atlanta recovered for a 3-2 win to close it out. Utah’s lone even strength goal of the series came as an empty-netter in their victory.
That created some momentum for Saturday’s clash against Norfolk, one that ended in a 7-0 win for Atlanta. Featuring a five-goal second period, including a pair by Derek Nesbitt, it was also a shining night for the Gladiators defense.
Sunday, however, was not as solid on the back end. Combining travel and fatigue, Atlanta fell to Greenville, 9-3, with four of those goals coming in the middle period.
Player of the Week: Derek Nesbitt – Though he didn’t appear in the first game against Utah, Nesbitt closed the week with four goals and an assist for a plus-5 rating and was a catalyst to the offense when on the ice.
UP NEXT: Atlanta continues its road trip and heads up north this week. The Gladiators will face the Reading Royals on Friday and close the trip on Saturday against the Worcester Railers at the DCU Center with a 7:05 p.m. faceoff. Atlanta has four games in hand on Greenville, who sits eight points ahead in the standings.