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Affiliate Report: Providence back on track, Maine suffers setback

Providence’s offense awoke on its recent road trip to Pennsylvania.

2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championships - East Regional
Jon Gillies is back in Providence.
Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

Both Boston affiliates took the ice last weekend with their seasons heading in different directions at the start of the season. Despite a rough start for Providence, the AHL Bruins found their footing over the weekend. However, Maine dropped a lopsided affair at home after an promising start to the season.

In AHL action, Providence earned a 6-2 victory at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday night before a 3-0 shutout over the Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals) on Sunday. Providence took a step back on Wednesday, however, falling at home to the Springfield Thunderbirds (St. Louis Blues), 4-1.

Meanwhile, Maine saw action in just one game over the weekend, falling 4-1 at home to the Florida Everblades (Nashville Predators) on Friday night.

Providence Bruins

With a decent amount of turnover, a slow start didn’t come as much of a surprise for Providence. After a few weeks of inconsistency, Providence took some positive steps over the past week, sweeping their Pennsylvania road trip with victories over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Hershey.

On Friday, Providence raced out to a 4-0 lead in just 25 minutes of play. Oskar Steen and Steven Fogarty tallied the opening goals for Providence in the first period. Steen would add an empty-netter to seal it late while Fogarty provided a helper on Steen’s opener.

Samuel Asselin and John Moore each recorded a pair of assists on the night. Zach Senyshyn and Eduards Tralmaks opened their scoring account for the season, the former with the eventual game-winner.

Fogarty and Steen powered Providence the following night as well in Hershey. Fogarty gave Providence the lead midway through the second period and added a second goal with under three minutes left in the third. Steen and Jesper Froden each tallied two assists, while Fogarty added a helper on Chris Wagner’s empty-netter — his second goal of the weekend.

Goaltender Jon Gillies, just called up from ECHL Maine, stopped all 31 shots to record his first shutout of the season. Gillies also got the win on Friday night, making 29 saves.

That weekend momentum came to a crashing halt on Wednesday as Providence returned home to be dealt a 4-1 loss to Springfield. Urho Vaakanainen found twine early in the second period to tie the game 1-1, but the Thunderbirds stormed back with three unanswered goals to seal it.

Player of the Week: Steven Fogarty — A five-point weekend all on the road usually gets you recognition of some sort. The 28-year-old is quietly clawing his way back into the conversation for NHL ice time with his consistent play. Stick taps and Oskar Steen and Jon Gillies as well for strong weekends, especially the latter who just made his first starts at the AHL level.

UP NEXT: Providence stays home for a pair of matchups this weekend. They’ll host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Philadelphia Flyers) on Friday night (7:05 p.m.) before welcoming the Hartford Wolfpack to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Saturday (7:05 p.m.).

Maine Mariners

Just one game on tap for Maine last weekend as they hosted the Florida Everblades in Portland for a Friday night clash. Only this Friday was not alright for the home side, dropping a 4-1 affair.

Florida opened up a three-goal lead midway through the third period before Lewis Zerter-Gossage pulled one back late. An empty-netter ended all hopes of a possible comeback in what was an underwhelming performance from Maine.

Player of the Week: Lewis Zerter-Gossage — By default. But let’s not ignore the fact that he had two assists last weekend and has been Maine’s top options offensively so far this season.

UP NEXT: It’s about to get busy for Maine, who host the Trois-Rivieres Lions (Montreal Canadiens) for a pair of games next weekend on Friday night (7:15 p.m.) and Sunday afternoon (3:00 p.m.). Maine has a four-game trip to Florida on the horizon for the following week as well.