Offense was not at a premium this weekend across the Boston Bruins organization. Headlined by a 6-2 win by the big club at Philadelphia on Saturday, Boston and it’s two affiliates erupted with goals flying in all over the place.
The Providence Bruins, red hot as of late, continued a dominant run with three victories. Providence swept the Bridgeport Islanders in a home-and-home series, winning 6-3 at home on Friday followed by a 3-1 road win Saturday. To close the weekend, Providence returned home to host the Charlotte Checkers (Florida Panthers), cruising to a 6-1 victory.
Up in Maine, the Mariners set a season high in goals on Friday with an 8-1 win on the road at the Trois-Rivieres Lions (Montreal Canadiens). Back stateside, Maine closed the weekend with a series split at home against the Newfoundland Growlers (Toronto Maple Leafs), dropping the opener 5-1 before a 4-2 triumph on Sunday.
26-13-5, 57 points, 2nd in Atlantic Division
A common theme throughout Providence’s recent stretch of results has been a balanced offensive contribution. With each game, a new face emerges as an offensive leader while the revolving door in net has continued to play strong.
Friday night’s 6-3 victory over Bridgeport saw multi-assist efforts by new of Boston’s premier prospects — Fabian Lysell and Georgii Merkulov. The former led the way with four assists while the latter chipped in with three. Providence put its stamp on the game early, leading 2-0 after a period and 5-0 late in the second before Bridgeport finally got on the board. Brandon Bussi made 32 saves in goal, while John Farinacci tallied two goals on the other end.
The series shifted to Bridgeport on Saturday, where once again the Bruins outlasted the Islanders in a 3-1 win. Scoreless deep into the third, Brett Harrison broke the deadlock for Providence before Dennis Cholowski leveled things four minutes later. Anthony Richard wasted little time restoring the Bruins’ advantage with a shorthanded tally, and Jayson Megna sealed it late with an empty-netter. Goaltender Michael DiPietro continues to improve, stopping 31 shots in the victory.
On Sunday, Providence defended home ice with a 6-1 win over Charlotte. Justin Brazeau and Trevor Kuntar each struck early in the second period to give Providence the lead. Charlotte cut the deficit in half late in the middle frame, but Providence was undeterred scoring four times in the third period to blow it open. Ian Mitchell had a goal and two assists in the final stanza, with Mason Lohrei tallying two of his three assists on the afternoon. Bussi shined in net again, recording 27 saves.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Brandon Bussi — Just about every skater had a point over the weekend, but Bussi gets the honors for two wins and 59 saves. Stick taps go to Merkulov, Lysell, Mitchell, and Lohrei, but honestly just about the whole team should get recognized for a trio of collective efforts.
- Called Up to Boston — Patrick Brown.
- Sent Down to Maine — Kyle Keyser.
UP NEXT: Providence heads south for a two game series at the Charlotte Checkers, Friday’s contest is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., while the finale on Saturday is slated for 6:00 p.m.
17-17-5, 39 points, 6th in North Division
Not to be outdone by its two parent clubs, Maine showed that it could take over a game with a suffocating offense with a pair of wins over the weekend.
In Friday’s contest at Trois-Rivieres, Maine erupted for a season high in goals in an 8-1 victory. Maine led 3-0 after 40 minutes before the floodgates opened. Chase Zieky led the way with a goal and three helpers, while Gabriel Chicoine (2g, 1a) and Alex Kile (1g, 2a) pitched in with three points apiece. Brad Arvanitis, who seems to be the frontrunner for the starting job in goal, collected 34 saves in a winning effort.
Returning home for two games against Newfoundland, Maine fell flat on Saturday in a 5-1 defeat. The Growlers led 3-0 by time Maine got on the board midway through the second period, but Newfoundland pulled away with two late goals to claim the series opener.
In Sunday’s finale, Maine rebounded for a 4-2 victory to salvage a split. The teams traded goals in the opening stanza, with Zieky tying the game for Maine. Kile and Adam Mechura set up Zieky for a second in the middle frame, but the Growlers equalized with two minutes remaining in the period. The drama was short-lived, as Maine struck twice quickly through Austin Albrecht and Ethan Ritchie as Arvanitis slammed the door in goal to preserve the win.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Chase Zieky — With three goals and four assists, Zieky led the charge to earn this week’s honors. Stick taps go to Arvanitis (2-0-0, 65 saves), Kile (1g, 4a), Mechura (1g, 4a), Albrecht (1g, 3a), and Ritchie (1g, 2a).
- Sent Down from Providence — Kyle Keyser.
- Signed — Jason Horvath.
- Released — Billy Constantinou.
UP NEXT: Maine welcomes Western Conference foe Rapid City Rush (Calgary Flames) to town for a three game series at the Cross Insurance Arena. Friday’s opener is set for 7:15 p.m., with a 6:00 p.m. puck drop on Saturday and a 3:00 p.m. start time for the finale on Sunday.