Much of Boston’s recent success can be attributed to its ability to develop prospects across the organization. From Patrice Bergeron, to Brad Marchand, and now more recently the likes of Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, and John Beecher, all of whom came through Boston’s farm system and have earned some measure of NHL success.
That trend appears to be continuing. The Providence Bruins have been competitive over much of that span and, after a slow start to this season, appear to be heading in the right direction. Providence won all three of its contests over the weekend, knocking off the Springfield Thunderbirds (St. Louis Blues) at home on Friday, 5-4, before sweeping the Hartford Wolfpack (New York Rangers) in a home-and-home series. Providence won on the road, 2-0, on Saturday before a 3-2 overtime victory at home Sunday.
As for the ECHL Maine Mariners, this season has the making of a frustrating one. The Mariners are leaking goals defensively and lack firepower offensively. The early-season struggles continued over the weekend as Maine lost twice at home over the weekend, 4-3 on Friday against the Trois-Rivieres Lions (Montreal Canadiens) and 4-1 on Saturday to the Adirondack Thunder (New Jersey Devils).
6-4-3, 15 points, 4th in Atlantic Division
After a slow start to the season, Providence has figured things out and finally found its form a few weeks into the new campaign. With contributions from all over the roster, Providence is mixing young talent with experienced depth pieces to keep climbing the standings.
In the weekend opener, Providence knocked off Springfield in a 5-4 thriller. Providence fell behind, 2-0, in the opening period before Georgii Merkulov and Luke Toporowski tallied about a minute and a half apart to tie the game after 20 minutes. The teams traded goals in the middle frame, with Fabian Lysell and Alec Regula netting goals for the Bruins. With time winding down in the third period, Dan Renouf, who assisted both second period goals, tallied the winner beating former Bruins’ prospect Malcolm Subban.
Providence kept it rolling on Saturday with a 2-0 win at Hartford. Michael DiPietro posted 34 saves in the shutout victory while Renouf and Curtis Hall provided the scoring, the latter also notching an assist.
On Sunday, Providence edged Hartford, 3-2 in overtime, to complete the weekend sweep. Brandon Bussi turned aside 35 of Hartford’s 37 shots on the day, while both Lysell and John Farinacci each tallied two assists. Anthony Richard and Marc McLaughlin each scored their second goal of the season in regulation, while Jesper Boqvist fired in the overtime winner.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Dan Renouf — The defenseman had five points over the weekend (2g, 3a) and is nearly up to his season points total from a year ago with eight over his first 10 games. Stick taps go to Fabian Lysell, who has put together three straight weeks of solid play, and Michael DiPietro for his first shutout of the season.
- Sent Down from Boston — Parker Wotherspoon.
- Sent Down to Maine — Ryan Mast.
UP NEXT: Providence welcomes the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to town for a pair of matchups on Friday and Saturday, both slated for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop. On Sunday, Providence takes the short drive to face the Bridgeport Islanders for a 3:00 p.m. contest.
2-6-0, 4 points, 7th in North Division
The slow start to the season for Maine was predictable. A poorly constructed roster has resulted in just two wins from the opening eight games with no solutions in sight.
Maine dropped the first of its two home contests over the weekend to Trois-Rivieres, 4-3. The Mariners struck first as Alex Albrecht notched the first of his two assists on Tyler Drevitch’s first of the season. The Lions roared back, however, firing in the next three tallies to take command of the contest. Albrecht set up the second goal as well as Cameron Askew opened his account for the new season, cutting the deficit to 3-2, erased eight seconds later by another Lions marker. Alex Kile scored late, but Maine couldn’t complete the comeback bid.
On Saturday, Maine’s offense sputtered in a 4-1 home loss to Adirondack. Thunder forward Jack Jeffers had a goal and two assists to put the visitors up 4-0 after 40 minutes. Albrecht struck late in the third period to avoid a shutout loss, but former Mariner Jeremy Brodeur made 32 saves to pace the visitors.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Alex Albrecht — With a goal and two assists, Albrecht was the Maine offense over the weekend and earns this week’s honors. Stick taps go to Tyler Drevitch for a multi-point weekend and to goalie Brad Arvanitis who stood tall in relief on Friday before a 29-save effort on Saturday.
- Sent Down from Providence — Ryan Mast.
UP NEXT: The schedule doesn’t let up for Maine as three road games await the Mariners this weekend. First, it’s a two-game series against Trois-Rivieres. Friday’s opener starts at 7:00 p.m., with a 3:00 p.m. puck drop on Saturday. To close the week, Maine visits archrival Worcester Railers (New York Islanders) on Sunday at 3:05 p.m.