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Affiliate Report: Providence tops division standings, several Mariners on loan

A big weekend for Providence and many of Boston’s top prospects. Meanwhile, Maine has sent several players on loan to AHL clubs for its bye week.

NHL: JAN 06 Wild at Bruins
Jeremy Swayman.
Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While ‘Tuukka Time’ in Providence never got off the ground, a familiar face did return for the Bruins’ AHL outfit over the weekend. Top netminder prospect Jeremy Swayman was sent down to the AHL to get some much-needed playing time.

Swayman’s return, along with other top prospects like Jack Studnicka, Zach Senyshyn, and Cameron Hughes playing exceptionally well, have clearly given Providence some momentum.

Providence tallied three wins in as many days over the weekend, outscoring opponents 16-7 in those games. Providence took down the Hartford Wolfpack (NY Rangers) on Friday, 5-1, the Springfield Thunderbirds (St. Louis Blues) on Saturday, 5-3, and the Bridgeport Islanders on Sunday, 6-3.

In ECHL action, the Maine Mariners fell last Wednesday to the Worcester Railers (NY Islaners), 4-2, in their lone game of the week and saw several of their players go on loan to AHL teams during this past weekend off, including three Providence callups.

Providence Bruins

16-9-4, 36 points, 1st in Atlantic Division

With Jeremy Swayman back between the pipes, the Bruins suddenly have some goaltender depth down in Providence with the likes of Troy Grosenick and Kyle Keyser also vying for starting time. This dose of reality for Swayman should be looked at as an opportunity, as the AHL’s top goaltender from last year looks to help steady the ship again for Providence.

In his first weekend back with Providence, Swayman looked sharp registering a pair of wins. In Swayman’s return, a 19-save performance, Providence took down Hartford in a 5-1 thrashing at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center last Friday night. Both Zach Senyshyn and Justin Brazeau registered a goal and an assist on a night when 11 Bruins had a point.

With Grosenick taking his turn on Saturday, the Providence onslaught started early in Springfield to jumpstart a 5-3 victory. Eleven more Providence players found the scoresheet, with Senyshyn, Steven Fogarty, and Victor Berglund all recording a goal and an assist. Jack Studnicka tallied a goal as well, though Berglund had the goal of the night.

Hosting Bridgeport in the weekend finale, Swayman returned to the blue paint for a 22-save victory as Providence doubled up on the Islanders, 6-3. Providence trailed, 1-0, after 20 minutes but scored five times over the first 13 minutes of the second frame to take a commanding lead.

Senyshyn tallied his 11th goal of the year, scoring in a third-straight contest, to kick off the scoring. But it was Samuel Asselin who stole the show, finishing the day with a hat trick and an assist. Studnicka (two assists) and Fogarty (goal and assist) capped off the weekend with multi-point outings as 10 Providence players etched their name on the scoresheet.

Player of the Week: Samuel Asselin — Asselin’s development should get more attention as one of the true success stories of the Bruins’ organization. From his ECHL days in Atlanta to his six-point weekend with Providence, this young man is rising through the ranks and turning some heads while doing it. Hard to ignore Zach Senyshyn’s five points among several other big-name prospects who have Providence looking like a real Calder Cup contender, so just one big stick tap all around for a memorable weekend.

Roster Moves

  • Called up to Boston — John Moore, Ty Lewington, and Tuukka Rask; Steven Fogarty*, Kyle Keyser*, and Nick Wolff* (NHL Taxi*)
  • Sent Down from Boston — Jeremy Swayman and Jack Ahcan.
  • Called up from Maine — Connor Doherty, Andrew Peski, and Ian McKinnon.

UP NEXT: A home-and-home series with the Bridgeport Islanders awaits this weekend for Providence. The P-Bruins host Bridgeport on Friday night before the return leg on Saturday, with puck drop slated for 7:00 p.m. both nights.

Maine Mariners

13-13-4, 30 points, 3rd in North Division

Not a strong performance from Maine in their only outing of the week. Taking on rival Worcester at the DCU Center last Wednesday, Maine dug themselves a three-goal hole with just 10 minutes to play. The Mariners struck twice in 27 seconds to pull within a goal, but couldn’t complete the comeback in a 3-2 loss.

Callum Booth saw action in goal for Maine with the recent goaltender shuffling across the organization leaving him as the odd man out in Providence. Booth made 28 saves in a losing effort including 21 of 23 in an early barrage.

Player of the Week: Zach Malatesta — Still relatively new to the Mariners, Malatesta notched a pair of assists in Wednesday’s loss at Worcester — the lone multi-point effort of the week. Cam Askew and Pascal Laberge each tallied goals, so we’ll give them some stick taps this week.

Roster Moves

  • Signed — Tyler Hinam and Ted Hart.
  • Called up to Providence — Connor Doherty, Andrew Peski, and Ian McKinnon.
  • Loaned — Patrick Shea, Michael Kim, Zachary Bouthillier & Nate Kallen (Springfield Thunderbirds); Alex Kile (Lehigh Valley Phantoms); Pascal Laberge (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins).

UP NEXT: Maine welcomes the Orlando Solar Bears to the Pine Tree State for a trio of matchups all on consecutive nights. Maine will host Orlando on Friday at 7:15 p.m., Saturday at 6:00 p.m., and Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. as the Mariners kickstart a six-game homestand.