From college hockey and into the minor leagues, offense is never in short supply. Part of the developmental journey across the sport of hockey involves refining defensive elements of individual players’ games.
While this isn’t always the case, high-scoring affairs aren’t as rare at the lower levels as they are in the NHL. Both the Providence Bruins and Maine Mariners each played in three games over the past week, with all six contests including a team with five or more goals.
The Providence Bruins took two out of three on the weekend, taking down the Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes) on Friday night at The Dunk, 5-1, and defeating the Hartford Wolfpack (N.Y. Rangers) at home on Sunday, 6-3. In between, Providence dropped a Saturday night contest at Hartford by a 5-2 scoreline.
Up in Maine, the Mariners were more like road warriors, defeating the Trois-Rivieres Lions (Montreal Canadians) 6-1 last Wednesday night before a 7-1 thumping of the Adirondack Thunder (N.J. Devils) on Friday. Maine fell to the Thunder, 5-3, on Saturday to conclude the week.
24-14-6, 54 points, 2nd in Atlantic Division
Providence piled on the goals this week and seem to be clicking once again. The AHL affiliate opened the weekend with a 5-1 rout over the Charlotte Checkers on Friday night. Providence struck thrice in the opening period, including two times in the final minute. Cameron Hughes had three points — a goal and assist in the first period and another marker in the second — while Eduards Tralmaks and Justin Brazeau had two assists each.
Troy Grosenick started the contest in goal, making 25 saves before departing early in the third period with an injury. Kyle Keyser relieved him, making eight additional saves.
Keyser and the Bruins struggled the next night in Hartford, falling 5-2 at the XL Center. Joona Koppanen scored his second goal in as many nights to open up an early lead, while Brazeau fired in a goal to equalize late in the opening frame. But Hartford rallied in the final two periods with three unanswered goals.
Grosenick returned on Sunday in a 6-3 victory for Providence over Hartford. Brazeau tallied twice in the opening period, but the Bruins still found themselves behind, 3-2, late in the second. Jack Studnicka, who had three points on Sunday, tied it up before Matt Filipe put Providence ahead for good to close out the middle stanza. Aaron Ness added a pair late to put this one out of reach.
Player of the Week: Justin Brazeau — Lots of options this week, but Brazeau stood out the most. He tallied two assists on Wednesday and two goals on Sunday, along with an additional tally and a plus-2 rating in Saturday’s defeat. After starting the year in the ECHL, Brazeau has quickly become a key contributor in Providence. Jack Studnicka, Troy Grosenick, and Cameron Hughes all earn stick taps for strong weekends.
- Called up to Boston — Jack Ahcan, Jesper Froden.
- Sent Down from Boston — Jack Studnicka.
- Returned from Loan — Aaron Ness (U.S. Olympic Team)
UP NEXT: Providence embarks on a brief two-game road trip before returning home on Sunday. The P-Bruins travel to face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Philadelphia Flyers) on Wednesday and the Springfield Thunderbirds (St. Louis Blues) on Saturday, both at 7:05 p.m. Providence wraps up the week at home on Sunday against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at 3:05 p.m.
22-21-6, 50 points, 5th in North Division
As Providence’s offense found its scoring touch, so did the Mariners.
Maine started strong, scoring 16 seconds into a 6-1 win at Trois-Rivieres last Wednesday night. Tyler Hinam tallied three assists for the Mariners in the contest while Jeremy Brodeur held the door closed with 32 saves.
The momentum continued into Friday’s 7-1 win at Adirondack, with Zach Malatesta scoring two minutes into the contest. Hinam scored the winning goal in the second period, while Cameron Askew registered three points (two goals and an assist). Brodeur again stood strong making 24 stops on the night.
While Maine lost on Saturday, 5-3, Askew made a statement tallying a power play goal for the fifth straight game. Mathew Santos added two more assists, totaling four for the weekend after returning from a short loan stint at Laval on Friday.
Player of the Week: Cameron Askew — Five consecutive games with a power play goal doesn’t happen often at any level of hockey, so that definitely deserves recognition. We’ll give stick taps to Jeremy Brodeur, Tyler Hinam, and Keltie Jeri-Leon for their efforts this week.
- Returned from Loan — Mathew Santos (Laval Rocket).
- Arrived on Loan — Liam Folkes (Rockford IceHogs)
- Released — Roshen Jaswal
UP NEXT: Just two games on the docket for next weekend as Maine takes a trip to face rival Worcester Railers (N.Y. Islanders) on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. and Sunday at 3:05 p.m.