By: Tim Richardson| Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson
Week five of the AHL season is here, and the Providence Bruins are 6-3-0-2 (14 points). This is good for second in the Atlantic Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference. Our boys in black and gold are coming off a rough week in which they lost 3-2 to Laval in a shootout. The Providence club would then fall to Belleville 4-3, before finally beating Rochester 4-3. The spoked P packs their bags and heads out on the road for both games this weekend. Let’s hope that it is a fruitful road trip for our boys.
The weekend action kicks off on Friday, November 1, 2019, when the Providence Bruins invade Utica, New York, to take on the Utica Comets at the Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The weekend wraps up on Saturday, November 2, 2019, when the Providence Bruins make their way down to Hershey, Pennsylvania, to take on the Hershey Bears at the Giant Center. It should be an exciting weekend of hockey that you do not want to miss.
Friday, November 1, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Utica Comets (AWAY)
The Providence Bruins kick off their weekend against the Utica Comets in a Friday night matchup. It will be the first of two meetings the two clubs will have this season. Over the past five seasons, this has been a favorable matchup for the Providence club going 7-5, including 4-2 at Utica. Despite the record, this game may not be so easy. The Utica club enters the matchup 8-0 (16 points). This is good for first in the North Division and second in the Eastern Conference.
Utica has been doing it with a good offense and suffocating defense. The Vancouver affiliate has scored 39 goals in eight games. That’s an eye-popping 4.87 goals a game, which is by far the best in the Eastern Conference. That’s not all, the Comets have only given up 14 goals in their first seven games. That means they’re only giving up 1.75 goals a game.
To compare, the Providence Bruins have scored 36 goals in 11 games, which is 3.27 scored a game. Our boys in black and gold have given up 30 goals in 11 games. This is 2.72 goals given up a game. It’ll be a tough matchup, and the Providence club will need to be on their game if they want to come out with a win.
Saturday, November 2, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Hershey Bears (AWAY)
The weekend ends with a matchup at the Hershey Bears. It’s the second of six meetings the two clubs will have this season. In the first showdown, the Bruins came out on top 2-1 in overtime. They got goals from Ryan Fitzgerald and Brendan Gaunce. Netminder Dan Vladar was superb in net stopping 21 of 22 shots he faced.
The Hershey Bears come into the game 4-3-1-1 (10 points). This is good for fourth in the Atlantic Division and eighth in the Eastern Conference. Providence has had success against the Washington affiliate going 15-8-1-1 over the five seasons. This includes 6-6-1 at Hershey. Whichever team can grab an early lead and hold onto it will likely win this game.
The Providence Bruins are 4-0 when winning after the first period. When up after two, they are also 4-0. The Providence club is 1-3-0-1 when trailing after one period. When down after two periods, they are 0-1-0-1. The Hershey Bears are 1-0 when leading after one. When leading after the second, they are 2-0. The Hershey club is 1-1-1-1 when down after one. They are 0-3-0-1, when down after two. Expect the Bruins to win if they can grab that early lead.
Who’s Hot and Who’s Not
Ryan Fitzgerald: Ryan Fitzgerald has had a great start to his season. In 11 games this season, he has netted four goals and dished out three assists for seven total points. The former Boston College Eagle has also registered a point in four of his last six games, which includes three goals and two assists for five points. With Anders Bjork being called up to Boston, Fitzgerald has picked up the slack on offense.
Trent Frederic: Trent Frederic finally finds himself in the hot category for the first time this season. In 11 games this season, he doesn’t have a goal but has dished out five assists for five total points. All five points have come in his past six games. The former Wisconsin Badger has picked up his game since the start of the season. Let’s hope the young center can keep up his play.
Jeremy Lauzon: Jeremy Lauzon has had a rough start to the year. He’s playing decent enough defense but offensively hasn’t been great. In 11 games, he doesn’t have a goal and dished out three assists for three total points. The former Rouyn-Noranda Husky only has one point in his last five games. The Bruins hope the young defenseman can get out of his cold streak.
Cooper Zech: Cooper Zech jumped onto the scene last season after his freshman year at Ferris State University. The young defenseman signed an AHL contract and looked really good in limited time. That really hasn’t translated much this season. In seven games, he hasn’t scored a goal and dished out one assist for one total point. Let’s hope he can put the slow start behind him.
My Players To Watch This Weekend
Jakub Lauko: Jakub Lauko came to Providence after having an excellent season with Rouyn-Noranda of the QMJHL last season. The young forward has had some growing pains, but overall looked good this season. He’s netted three goals and doesn’t have an assist for three total points in 11 games this year. I expect him to continue to develop and have an excellent season.
On The Blue Line
Alex Petrovic: Alex Petrovic has been excellent this season for Providence. In 11 games, he’s netted one goal and dished out nine assists for 10 total points. This includes one goal and six assists for seven points in his last six games. The veteran defenseman has done this all while playing good defense. Look for him to keep up his hot season.
Kyle Keyser: Kyle Keyser has played pretty well since being called up from Atlanta. In three games, he’s 1-1-1 with a 2.58 GAA and a .910 save percentage. The young netminder was called up because of injury, but he may stay in Providence if he continues this play. Look for him this weekend. He’s arguably the most talented goalie in the system.
Despite the rough week, the Providence Bruins have had a successful start to the season. Though they face some tough competition this weekend, I still think that they could come out on top in both games. This team has me excited. I think they could end up being one of the best Providence teams we’ve seen in a very long time. Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. As always, GO, Bs, GO!