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Affiliate Report: Providence starts March with two wins and a loss

A hat trick, a third-period comeback, and more strong goaltending place Providence firmly atop Atlantic Division.

NHL: SEP 25 Preseason - Devils at Bruins
Oskar Steen.
Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Providence Bruins rode into March on a high, further cementing their position atop the AHL’s Atlantic Division with a pair of wins and showcasing some scoring depth in the process.

Providence skated to a 4-2, come-from-behind victory at Hartford last Tuesday before a dominant 4-1 victory over Bridgeport on Thursday sealed another Nutmeg State sweep. A 3-2 loss in overtime on Monday to Hartford secured another point in the standings for Providence.

In the Tuesday matinee, Brady Lyle continued his hot streak, notching his third goal of the season to put Providence in front early before Hartford struck twice, eight minutes apart to close the opening frame in the lead.

Forward Samuel Asselin, who starred last season with ECHL affiliate Atlanta, took over late in the second period, netting the equalizer before adding two more goals midway through the third to complete the comeback and his first AHL hat trick.

Forward Oskar Steen assisted on two of the three Asselin tallies.

Goaltender Dan Vladar looked strong, making 28 saves, including 17 in a frantic final frame.

With a quick turnaround on Thursday, Providence again took the lead early with Steen registering the first of his two goals on the day. Steen scored midway through the second period as well, with Anton Blidh providing the assist for both goals.

Asselin and Lyle got involved in the scoring as well, combining to assist on Robert Lantosi’s second-period marker. Lantosi would add an assist on Karson Kuhlman’s third period goal.

The duo has been hot as of late, with Asselin collecting five points (3G, 2A) over his last three games and Lyle tied for the team lead in plus/minus at plus-7.

Jeremy Swayman made 25 saves in the victory, improving to 5-0-0 to start the season. The rookie narrowly lost his bid for the first shutout of his career when Bridgeport scored a power play goal with under two minutes to play in the third.

In Monday’s loss, it was Providence who found themselves trailing after just 15 seconds. A shorthanded goal by Cameron Hughes and a power play goal by Lantosi, assisted by Hughes, put Providence in front heading into the third period. Hartford tied things up early in the third on Johnny Brodzinski’s second goal of the game before Morgan Barron won it midway through overtime.

Dan Vladar made 21 saves in the overtime loss.

Player of the Week: Samuel Asselin & Oskar Steen — The scoring depth was on display over the weekend with both Asselin and Steen collecting multi-goal games.

It was a hat trick for Asselin on Tuesday followed by a two-goal performance from Steen on Thursday. The duo finished with four points each.

Honorable mention to Robert Lantosi who collected a goal and two assists as well.

Up next: The P-Bruins will play Bridgeport on Wednesday, followed by another match-up with Hartford on Friday.

Both of those games will be at 1 PM.