The Boston Bruins’ continue to dominate the rest of the NHL, including three convincing road victories out West last week. The Providence Bruins have followed suit, closing a grueling eight-game road trip with four straight victories.
Providence took down the Bridgeport Islanders (New York Islanders), 5-2 last Wednesday and 6-3 on Saturday. Returning home on Sunday, Providence saw its win streak halted at the hands of the Utica Comets (New Jersey Devils), falling 2-1.
In ECHL action, the Maine Mariners are on a roll to begin 2023, winning two more games to stretch its point streak to six games. Maine pulled out a 3-2 victory last Wednesday at the Trois-Rivieres Lions (Montreal Canadiens). At home on Friday, Maine needed overtime to defeat the Adirondack Thunder (New Jersey Devils), 5-4, in front of a sellout crowd in Portland.
20-7-7, 43 points, 2nd in Atlantic Division
The Providence Bruins are legitimate Calder Cup contenders, sitting just two points out of first place in the Atlantic Division at the midpoint of the season. Providence closed out its long road trip with a pair of wins in Bridgeport last week.
In Wednesday’s 5-2 win, Providence and Bridgeport each traded goals through 40 minutes. In a six-minute stretch late in the third period, Providence erupted for three goals, including the first two in 13 seconds. Jakub Lauko and Joona Koppanen finished with a goal and an assist each as Brandon Bussi stuck to winning ways with 24 saves in goal.
Saturday’s second matchup resulted in another three-goal victory, 6-3, for Providence. Ten Bruins recorded a point, led by Justin Brazeau with two goals and an assist as Providence got contributions from across the lineup. Bussi notched 36 saves and an assist in the victory.
The luck ran out for Providence in Sunday’s 2-1 setback to Utica. The Comets kept Providence off the board for much of the afternoon until Brazeau struck for the second day in a row. The Bruins couldn’t find the equalizer as the late rally fell short.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Justin Brazeau & Brandon Bussi — Brazeau finished the week with five points on three goals and two assists. Bussi won two more games, notching 58 saves, and registered an assist. Stick taps this week go to Lauko with a goal and three helpers.
- Called up to Boston — Chris Wagner.
- Sent down to Maine — Francois Brassard.
- Returned from International Duty — Fabian Lysell (Sweden, WJC)
UP NEXT: Providence will host Utica once again on Friday at 7:05 p.m. before beginning a home-and-home series with the Hartford Wolfpack (New York Rangers). Providence travels to Hartford on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and hosts the Wolfpack Sunday at 3:05 p.m.
17-11-2, 36 points, 4th in North Division
The Maine Mariners have earned points in six consecutive games and have started the new year with a bang. Last week, Maine skated to two victories and sit in fourth place of the North Division standings with games in hand.
On the road last Wednesday, Maine eked out a 3-2 win at Trois-Rivieres. The Mariners led 2-0 after 10 minutes, but the Lions roared back to tie game after two periods. Alex Kile put Maine ahead early in the third period, and the Mariners silenced the Lions the rest of the way holding the hosts to just six third-period shots. Kyle Keyser had 18 saves in the victory.
With Maine looking to keep its point streak intact and continue its run of dominance against Adirondack, the Mariners used overtime to knock off the Thunder, 5-4, in front of a raucous home crowd on Saturday. Adirondack led, 4-2, late in the third before Maine got goals from Tyler Hinam and Kile to force overtime. In the extra frame, Mitchell Fossier completed the comeback with a game-winner.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Alex Kile — The Mariners are happy to have Kile back in the fold with three goals last week. Stick taps go to Keyser for two wins, and Hinam and Gabriel Chicoine with a goal and two assists each.
- Sent down from Providence — Francois Brassard.
- Return from International Duty — Michael DiPietro (Canada, Spangler Cup)
- TRADE: Maine sent defenseman Nick Isaacson to the Jacksonville Icemen (New York Rangers) in exchange for future considerations. Isaacson had appeared in just three games this season for Maine.
UP NEXT: The Mariners will spend this week in Virginia with three games against the Norfolk Admirals (Carolina Hurricanes), beginning Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. and continuing Friday (7:05 p.m.) and Saturday (6:05 p.m.). On Monday, Maine will face the Reading Royals (Philadelphia Flyers) at 7:05 p.m.