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Affiliate Report: Providence back to Earth, Maine looking for answers

Providence had its torrid start halted with three losses over the weekend, while Maine’s defense returns from Canada with more questions than answers.

Boston Bruins v New Jersey Devils
Keith Kinkaid.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Last weekend was a little dose of reality for the two Boston Bruins affiliates, going a combined 1-2-3 over a busy weekend.

Providence, who started the season with 10 wins in 13 games, dropped all three of its contests to close a five-game homestand. On Friday and Saturday, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Philadelphia Flyers) won 4-2 and 3-2, the latter in a shootout. In Sunday’s finale, the Bridgeport Islanders (New York Islanders) came away with a 3-2 overtime win.

Maine took the trip to Canada this weekend to face the Newfoundland Growlers (Toronto Maple Leafs) for three games. After a 5-0 loss last Wednesday, Maine dropped a 5-4 result in overtime on Friday before closing the series with a 2-0 victory on Saturday night.

Providence Bruins

10-2-4, 24 points, 1st in Atlantic Division

Providence was bound to take its bumps throughout the season, so last week’s 0-1-2 record at home isn’t cause for panic. However, the results certainly raised some eyebrows as the AHL Bruins had seemed fairly formidable early on this season.

In Friday’s opener, a 4-2 loss for Providence, the hosts struck first and the teams were knotted at 2-2 after two periods. Mike Reilly, sent down from Boston, had a goal and an assist in his return to the AHL. The Phantoms, however, struck twice in the third period, peppering Keith Kinkaid with 12 shots in the final frame.

Lehigh Valley skated to a 3-2 shootout win on Saturday, with Providence again scoring first thanks to Marc McLaughlin’s first goal of the season. The Phantoms led, 2-1, heading into the third before Vinnie Lettieri equalized with under seven minutes to play in regulation. In the shootout, Tanner Laczynski, who had a goal and an assist for Lehigh Valley, converted the only successful attempt to complete the sweep and ruin a 4-3-save effort for Brandon Bussi.

Providence welcomed Bridgeport to town on Sunday, a 3-2 overtime loss for the Bruins. In a wild 61-second season in the first period, Vinnie Lettieri and Chris Wagner each scored for Providence, sandwiched around a goal for the Islanders. The score held deep into the third until Bridgeport equalized. In overtime, the Aatu Raty won it for the Islanders, sneaking a shot past Kinkaid.

Player of the Week: Vinnie Lettieri — A three-point weekend gives Providence’s leading scorer the honors for this week. Jack Ahcan gets stick taps for a two-point weekend, as do Connor Carrick and Mike Reilly for multi-point games.


  • Sent down from Boston — Keith Kinkaid, Mike Reilly.
  • Called up from Maine — Alex-Olivier Voyer.
  • Sent down to Maine — Francois Brassard.

Goaltender Michael DiPietro, acquired in the Jack Studnicka trade from the Vancouver Canucks, was officially added to the Providence roster over the weekend.

UP NEXT: Providence will spend Thanksgiving week in upstate New York, beginning Wednesday night against the Rochester Americans (Buffalo Sabres) at 7:05 p.m. After an off day Thursday, Providence will play two at the Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay Lightning) on Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

Maine Mariners

5-7-1, 11 points, 5th in North Division

The Mariners are struggling to open their season. With goaltender injuries in Boston and Providence causing a ripple effect across the organization, Maine has felt the brunt of it and the scorelines show it.

Last Wednesday, the Mariners fell victim to a strong Newfoundland attack in a 5-0 defeat. The hosts struck twice in both the first and second periods, chasing newly-acquired Peter Thome from the game. Despite a 38-22 advantage in shots, Maine couldn’t muster any quality chances.

Josh Boyko got the start in goal on Friday, stopping 31 shots in a 5-4 overtime loss. Maine twice blew one-goal leads early on before erasing a pair of one-goal deficits in the third. Mathew Santos scored twice, including an equalizer with 20 seconds to play in regulation. Newfoundland’s Brett Budgell scored midway through overtime to spoil Maine’s comeback bid.

Boyko stood tall in the series finale, posting a 33-save shutout performance in a 2-0 win. Tyler Hinam tallied his first goal of the season while Patrick Shea capped the scoring with a late empty-net goal.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Nate Kallen — A strange choice to pick a defenseman for this week’s honors? Maybe. But Kallen had four points and was a plus-3 for the weekend and has been the lone bright spot for the Maine defense. Stick taps go out to Mathew Santos and Josh Boyko.


  • Sent down from Providence — Francois Brassard.

UP NEXT: Maine will stay local during the holiday week, hosting the Reading Royals (Philadelphia Flyers) on Wednesday and Friday at 7:00 p.m. On Saturday, the Newfoundland Growlers will travel down to Portland for 6:00 p.m. puck drop.