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Affiliate Report: Providence turns it around, Maine enters final stretch

As the ECHL regular season concludes, the Maine Mariners are deadlocked for a playoff spot in a three-way tie with three games left.

Providence Bruins v Laval Rocket
Josiah Didier.
Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The playoff push continues down on the farm for Boston Bruins’ affiliates Providence and Maine as the teams trend in different directions.

Providence seemingly has steadied the ship as they hold tight to playoff positioning in the Atlantic Division. Over the weekend, Providence dropped a hard-fought contest, 3-2, at the Bridgeport Islanders before evening the score with a 6-2 home win the following night. To close the wraparound weekend, Providence kept the momentum going with a 2-1 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Philadelphia Flyers) on Monday.

Up in Maine, things are trending down at the wrong time as the Mariners went 0-3-1 over the past week. The slide began with a tough 4-3 loss at the Worcester Railers (New York Islanders) last Wednesday before suffering three successive defeats at the Reading Royals (Philadelphia Flyers) over the weekend. Maine lost 4-1 on Friday and 5-3 on Saturday before a 2-1 loss in overtime to close the road trip.

Providence Bruins

33-20-10, 76 points, 3rd in Atlantic Division

Providence opened their three-game weekend with a home-and-home against the Bridgeport Islanders. In the series opener on the road, Providence led on two occasions by a goal as the line of Samuel Asselin, Eduards Tralmaks, and Justin Brazeau combined for both tallied. But with 25 seconds left in the third, Bridgeport pulled ahead thanks to a Chris Terry marker — his second of the night — to cap a 3-2 win.

The next night was retribution for Providence in a 6-2 win. Terry tallied first for Bridgeport, but Providence would score the next six goals including three times to close out the first period. Jesper Froden scored twice while veteran Josiah Didier tallied his first goal of the season along with an assist. Brazeau, Steven Fogarty, and Aaron Ness each registered two assists.

Providence fell behind again in their matchup on Monday with Lehigh Valley, a 2-1 win, as the visitors held a brief 1-0 lead early in the second period before Ness equalized. Victor Berglund tacked on the go-ahead goal just 19 seconds into the third period while Troy Grosenick made 31 saves to preserve the victory.

Player of the Week: Eduards Tralmaks — With two goals and two assists this week, Tralmaks edged linemate Justin Brazeau for the honors this week. Brazeau and Jesper Froden receive the stick taps this week.

Roster Moves

UP NEXT: Just two games this weekend as Providence heads to Pennsylvania for a pair of games at Lehigh Valley on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and at the Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals) on Sunday at 5:00 p.m.

Maine Mariners

30-31-8, 54 points, 5th in North Division

The situation has turned from urgent to dire for Maine after a four successive defeats served their playoff hopes a major blow.

In the opening game of the week at Worcester, Maine led 2-0 and 3-1 before the wheels came off in a hurry. Cameron Askew sparked the Mariners early with a goal and an assist, but the host Railers scored twice early in the third to pull in front and held on for the 4-3 victory. Callum Booth started, allowing four goals before being yanked in place of Stefanos Lekkas.

With Lekkas riding a 145-minute shutout streak, Maine went with the hot hand in the series opener at Reading. But Lekkas only lasted 11 minutes in a 4-1 loss, allowing three goals on ten shots before being relieved by Jeremy Brodeur. Pascal Laberge fired one back for Maine, his 17th of the year, but the Mariners couldn’t get any closer.

The next day, Reading again peppered Maine for three early goals en route to a 5-3 win. While the Mariners did cut the deficit to a goal, with nine different players recording a point, Reading held off Maine and added an empty-netter late.

Maine had a more positive start to their 2-1 overtime loss on Sunday, leading 1-0 after 40 minutes. Despite Maine holding a 28-16 edge in shots, Reading tied things up midway through the third before winning it 18 seconds into overtime.

Player of the Week: Keltie Jeri-Leon — One of the more consistent players for Maine all season, Jeri-Leon gets the honors after a two-goal week. Give stick taps to Pascal Laberge as well for a strong offensive effort.

Roster Moves

  • Sent Down from Providence — Mathew Santos.

UP NEXT: Maine’s final three games all come at home against divisional leaders. They’ll host Reading to close that four-game series on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Then the Mariners host the Newfoundland Growlers (Toronto Maple Leafs) on Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday at 6:15 p.m.