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Affiliate Report: Providence unlucky, Maine stays afloat

The Providence Bruins could use a little luck from their arena mates, while the Maine Mariners are seeking consistency again.

Boston Bruins v New York Rangers
Kyle Keyser.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

In the Providence sports world, much of the recent narrative has centered around luck. Fellow Dunkin’ Donuts Center tenant, the Providence College Friars, are considered the “luckiest team” in America and are enjoying an historic season.

If only some of that luck could make its way down the hall to the Providence Bruins.

Boston’s AHL affiliate traveled to North Carolina for St. Patrick’s Day weekend to face the Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes) for three games. All three contests required a shootout and ended in defeat for the visitors by scores of 2-1 on Thursday, 3-2 on Saturday, and 2-1 again on Sunday.

Up in Maine, the Mariners endured a grueling four-game week that ended with a split. Maine won on Wednesday at home against the Adirondack Thunder (N.J. Devils), 5-3, before a tough loss on Friday at Trois-Rivieres Lions (Montreal Canadiens), 1-0. On Saturday and Sunday, the South Carolina Stingrays (Washington Capitals) came to town for a pair of contests, resulting in 2-0 loss and 4-0 victory for Maine.

Providence Bruins

28-17-9, 65 points, 2nd in Atlantic Division

Providence was licking its wounds entering a weekend series in Charlotte following three straight losses a week ago. That streak, unfortunately, came back to Rhode Island with a trio of shutout losses.

In the series opener last Thursday night, a 2-1 shootout loss, Matt Filipe fired Providence ahead early in the second period, only for the lead to be erased 65 seconds later by Zac Dalpe. Troy Grosenick returned from injury to make 21 saves in a game that needed a shootout to decide a winner, with Charlotte converting one of its two attempts and Providence failing to do so.

Charlotte took an early lead in game two on Saturday, which finished 3-2 in a shootout, but Zach Senyshyn’s team-leading 19th goal of the season, scored with just 16 seconds left in the opening frame, knotted the game back up. After Charlotte retook the lead in the final minute of the second period, Chris Wagner supplied the equalizer in the third period as the teams stalemated to another shootout.

Again, Grosenick made 31 saves in a stalwart effort, but Providence couldn’t prevail in an eight-round shootout that saw Senyshyn and Cameron Hughes convert.

Another 2-1 shootout loss for Providence brought the series to an end on Sunday. Similar to Thursday, Providence led briefly after Jesper Froden tallied early in the first. Aleksi Heponiemi equalized for the hosts 1:46 later. Both goaltenders, Antoine Bibeau for Charlotte and Kyle Keyser for Providence, each made 36 saves but again Providence was stymied in a shootout.

Player of the Week: Troy Grosenick — Strange to select a goaltender in a winless week, but the top goaltending prospect returned to action in a big way making 52 saves on 54 shots. Stick taps to Kyle Keyser for his efforts in the crease as well as Jesper Froden and Samuel Asselin for multi-point weekends.

Roster Moves

  • Called up to Boston — Jack Ahcan, Marc McLaughlin, and Jack Studnicka.
  • Called up from Maine — Jeremy Brodeur.
  • Sent Down to Maine — Ian McKinnon, J.D. Greenway, and Callum Booth.
  • Signed — Michael Callahan and Marc McLaughlin.

Also of note, Boston executed a pair of trades, sending Urho Vaakanainen to Anaheim as part of the deal for Hampus Lindholm and Zach Senyshyn to Ottawa in the Josh Brown deal. Senyshyn was Providence’s leading scorer this season. Boston did receive AHL defenseman Kodie Curran along with Lindholm in their trade with Anaheim. In 37 games for the San Diego Gulls this season, Curran, 32, has a goal and 15 assists.

UP NEXT: Providence will close out their March schedule back in the Ocean State this weekend. The Bruins host the Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals) on Friday night at 7:05 p.m., the Springfield Thunderbirds (St. Louis Blues) on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m., and finish the weekend against the Utica Comets (New Jersey Devils) on Sunday at 3:05 p.m.

Maine Mariners

24-24-6, 54 points, 5th in North Division

Maine took the ice four times last week, beginning with an impressive 5-3 win over the Adirondack Thunder last Wednesday night in Portland. Nick Master had a goal and an assist while Tyler Hinam notched a pair of helpers and was a team-leading plus-3 on the night. In goal, Jeremy Brodeur stopped 27 shots and added an assist as he continues to turn heads across the organization.

On Friday, Brodeur made the move up to Providence, trading places on the depth chart with Callum Booth who started in a 1-0 loss to Trois-Rivieres. The Lions scored midway through the first and held off a furious attacking effort from Maine for the shutout.

The beat continued for Maine on Saturday in a 2-0 loss to South Carolina. Brodeur returned between the pipes, making 31 saves as the Stingrays tallied twice in the third period to win the series opener.

After going goalless for 124:03, Maine finally scored three times in the opening period of Sunday’s 4-0 victory. Cameron Askew (two goals and an assist) and Master (goal and two assists) provided the offense while Booth made 26 saves in a shutout win.

Player of the Week: Nick Master — A pair of multi-point efforts by Master fueled wins for Maine. Stick taps to the goaltender Booth and Brodeur who both looked solid as well as Hinam and Askew for their offensive production.

Roster Moves

  • Called up to Providence — Jeremy Brodeur.
  • Sent Down to Maine — Ian McKinnon, J.D. Greenway, and Callum Booth.
  • Signed — Tyler Ward.

UP NEXT: Maine continues its homestand with a three-game series against the Newfoundland Growlers (Toronto Maple Leafs) over the weekend. The Mariners open the series on Friday at 7:15 p.m. and play Saturday at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday at 3:00 p.m.