Over the course of a long season, most teams will suffer rough patches or weeks with multiple frustrating losses. That was certainly the case for both Boston Bruins’ affiliates over this snowy weekend.
Surprisingly, there were no weather-related postponements for either Providence or Maine, but a ‘rain out’ (or in this case a snow out) might have been a welcome sight.
The Providence Bruins started the week with a 4-0 loss at the Utica Comets (NJ Devils) on Tuesday before back-to-back shootout losses to close the week. First, it was a 5-4 defeat at the Hartford Wolfpack (NY Rangers) on Friday followed by a 3-2 setback at the Springfield Thunderbirds (St. Louis Blues) on Saturday.
Up in Maine, the Mariners closed out a lengthy homestand with three points over three games. On Friday, Maine fell to rival Worcester Railers (NY Islanders), 6-3, before righting the ship with a 2-1 win over the Reading Royals (Philadelphia Flyers) Saturday night. But a Sunday shootout loss to the Trois-Rivieres Lions (Montreal Canadiens), 3-2, left Maine with their first losing weekend of the new year.
17-11-6, 40 points, 4th in Atlantic Division
Providence remains in a state of flux with a few of their top players up with Boston in the interim. The AHL outfit suffered a winless week, going 0-1-2 away from home.
On Tuesday, Providence was dealt a humbling loss, 4-0, at Utica with Jeremy Swayman stopping just 17 of 21 shots a night before being recalled to Boston.
Kyle Keyser stepped in the crease for a back-and-forth affair at Hartford on Saturday night. Providence struck first with Andrew Peski tallying his first goal of the season. The teams continued to trade punches, with Samuel Asselin leveling the contest late in the third period. Despite converting each of the first two shootout attempts, Providence could not overcome a stingy Hartford side and fell, 5-4.
Up in Springfield on Sunday, Cameron Hughes set up goals by Jack Studnicka and Chris Wagner to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes. Springfield tied the game midway through the third period, and once again Kylee Keyser struggled in a shootout as the Thunderbirds prevailed, 3-2.
Player of the Week: Jack Ahcan — A three-point week, including a goal and assist effort against Hartford, gives Ahcan the honors after an impressive last few games for the blue-liner. Joona Koppanen gets stick taps for a two-point game on Saturday.
Providence made a couple moves in the goaltending department over the weekend. Jeremy Swayman made his NHL return with Tuukka Rask on the shelf. Callum Booth was called up to Providence for Saturday after the AHL affiliate was forced to sign Patrick Salkind to an ATO contract for Friday’s game.
UP NEXT: Two games remain on the current six-game road trip. Providence heads down to the Keystone State to face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Philadelphia Flyers) on Friday night a 7:05 p.m. before closing their trip at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday at 6:05 p.m.
16-15-5, 37 points, 4th in North Division
After seemingly turning the corner to start the month, the Maine Mariners took a step back over a three-game weekend, going 1-1-1 and failing to move up the North Division standings. To open the weekend, Maine welcomed Worcester to Portland but stared down a 4-1 deficit after 40 minutes. Maine cut the lead to one goal just two minutes into the third, but a quick response from Worcester put the cherry on top of a 6-3 road win for the Railers.
Maine did turn things around on Saturday despite falling behind, 1-0, after a period to Reading. Cameron Askew and Nick Master each scored over the final two periods, the latter tallying with under five minutes to play, while Jeremy Brodeur stopped the last 20 shots he faced to finish with 31 saves and a 2-1 victory.
On Sunday, Maine and Trois-Rivieres kicked off a four-game series with the lone matchup in Portland. The Lions strode in front, 2-0, early into the second period but again Maine found a way. Brendan Robbins and Mathew Santos each scored to knot the game, the equalizer coming with 90 seconds remaining in regulation. But Trois-Rivieres would have the last laugh, winning the contest in a shootout, 3-2.
Player of the Week: Mathew Santos — For a second week in a row, Santos takes home the honors with a five-point showing. Cameron Askew gets some stick taps for a couple multi-point performances of his own.
- Sent Down from Providence — Callum Booth.
- Loaned Out — Michael Kim (Springfield Thunderbirds).
- Signed — Jonathan Harty.
UP NEXT: Maine heads North of the border for a trio of clashes with Trois-Rivieres beginning on Wednesday and Thursday at 7:00 p.m. before wrapping up with a Saturday night showdown, also at 7:00 p.m.