(Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr)

By: Tim A Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Week seven of the AHL has arrived, and the Providence Bruins skate into it 10-2-1 (21 points). That is good for first in the Atlantic Division and third in the American Hockey League. Our boys in black and gold are coming off a week that saw them beat the Hartford Wolf Pack 5-2 before coming out victorious against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers by the same score. The spoked P has two games coming up that you do not want to miss.

The hockey action kicks off on Saturday, March 20, 2021, when the Providence Bruins travel to Hartford, Connecticut, to take on the Wolf Pack at the XL Center. The action wraps up on Thursday, March 25, 2021, when the Hartford Wolf Pack invade Marlborough, Massachusetts, to take on the Providence Bruins at the New England Sports Center. It’s going to be exciting hockey that you’ll want to watch.

Saturday, March 20, 2021 (AWAY) and Thursday, March 25, 2021 (HOME) Providence Bruins vs. Hartford Wolf Pack

The Saturday and Thursday matchups mark the seventh and eighth of 12 the two division foes will have this season. The first matchup is one the Providence Bruins would like to forget. They ended up getting shutout 4-0. Goalie Dan Vladar would stop 20 of the 22 shots fired his way. Our boys in black and gold tried to solve the Hartford netminder, but they had all 25 shots on goal stopped.

The second matchup was much more fruitful for the Providence Bruins. They would win 5-2. Oskar Steen, Cameron Hughes, Brady Lyle, Joona Koppanen, and Zach Senyshyn would score for Providence. For Lyle, it was his first career AHL goal, and he would also get an assist in the game which, ended up being his first career AHL point. Rookie netminder Jeremy Swayman was superb in net stopping 34 of the 36 shots he faced.

The third matchup saw the Providence Bruins come out ontop 4-2. Zach Sensyhyn, Jack Ahcan, Jakub Lauko, and Anton Blidh scored goals for Providence. For Ahcan, it was his career AHL goal. He has had a great start to his season. Rookie netminder Jeremy Swayman was on top of his game, stopping 27 of the 29 shots he faced.

The fourth battle between the division foes saw Providence come out on top 4-2. Brady Lyle and Samuel Asselin would score from the Bruins. For Asselin, it was his first career AHL hat-trick. Goalie Dan Vladar stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced in the victory.

The fifth meeting saw the Bruins fall 3-2 in overtime. Cameron Hughes and Robert Lantosi scored goals for the Providence Bruins. Jack Ahcan also dished out his sixth assist of the season. Netminder Dan Vladar stopped 21 of the 24 shots he faced in defeat.

The sixth battle saw the Providence Bruins come out on top 5-2. Jakub Lauko (2), Anton Blidh, Karson Kuhlman, and Cameron Hughes scored goals for the Bruins. Rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman was excellent again, stopping 26 of the 28 shots he faced.

The Hartford Wolf Pack come into the matchup 3-5 (6 points). That is good for second in the Atlantic Division and 22nd in the American Hockey League. This battle between division foes has been relatively even over the past five seasons. The Providence Bruins are 25-17-2-1 in that time frame. This season, however, has been different. Providence has started 4-1-1.

The main reason for this is the difference in the two team’s offense and defense. The Hartford Wolf Pack, in their eight games, has scored just 23 goals. That means they are scoring only 2.88 goals a game. They have also given up 27 goals this season. That means they are giving up 3.38 goals a game. When you’re surrendering more goals than you’re scoring, it’s hard to win. The Providence Bruins, on the other hand, have scored 44 goals in their 13 games. That means our boys in black and gold are scoring 3.38 goals a game. On defense, the Bruins have given up 25 goals in 13 games. That means they are only surrendering 1.92 goals a game. These are two games the spoked P should win.

My Players to Watch This Week

Up Front

Cameron Hughes: Cameron Hughes has had an excellent season thus far for Providence. He’s coming off an injury-plagued year which contributed to his stats being down. The young forward is fully healthy this season and playing extremely well. In 13 games, he’s netted four goals while dishing out nine assists for 13 total points. Look for him to continue his play this week.

On The Blue Line

Brady Lyle: Brady Lyle is in his first year with the Providence Bruins. The young defenseman came to the AHL after having an excellent season in the OHL with the Owen Sound Attack. He is good defensively while also having the ability to provide an offensive punch. In 13 games, he’s netted four goals while dishing out four assists for eight total points. Look for him this week.

In Net

Jeremy Swayman: Jeremy Swayman has had an excellent season for Providence. The young goalie has come in as a rookie and looked like a potential starting goaltender in the NHL. He is 7-0 with a 1.57 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage. These are impressive numbers for such a young player. Look for him this week.

The Providence Bruins have had an excellent season thus far. They are playing a brand of hockey that you like to see. Our boys in black and gold are dominating in every area of the ice. It’s been impressive to watch. I hope you are enjoying these games as much as I am. Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. As always, GO, Bs, GO!