By: Tim A Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson
Week 11 of the AHL season is here, and the Providence Bruins skate into it 13-4-1 (27 points). That is good for first in the Atlantic Division and fourth in the American Hockey League. Our boys in black and gold are coming off a week that saw them lose to the Hartford Wolf Pack 6-1. The spoked P has three games coming up that you will not want to miss.
The hockey action kicks off on Friday, April 16, 2021, when the Utica Comets travel to Marlborough, Massachusetts, to take on the Bruins at the New England Sports Center. The action continues on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, when the Providence Bruins travel to Bridgeport, Connecticut, to take on the Sound Tigers at Webster Bank Arena. The action wraps on Thursday, April 22, 2021, when the Hartford Wolf Pack comes to town to take on the Bruins at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Massachusetts. It’ll be non-stop hockey that you don’t want to miss.
Friday, April 16, 2021, Providence Bruins vs. Utica Comets (HOME)
The Friday matchup is the first that these two teams will play this season. The Utica Comets are 6-4-0-1 (13 points). That is good for fourth in the North Division and tenth in the American Hockey League. Last season, Providence was a perfect 2-0 against the Vancouver affiliate. This matchup has been good to the Bruins over the past five seasons, going 9-3 during that time.
The Utica offense has been one of the best in the league this season. Over their 11 games, they are averaging 3.36 goals a game. Part of that offense is a formidable power-play. They have scored 12 power-play goals in 55 opportunities. That is a 21.8% rate. Their defense, on the other hand, leaves something to be desired. Utica is giving up 3.45 goals a game.
To give those numbers some perspective, the Bruins are scoring 3.22 goals a game in their 18 games played. On defense, they are giving up 2.16 goals a game. This matchup will favor Providence, but there are no easy wins in the AHL.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021, Providence Bruins vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AWAY)
The Tuesday matchup will mark the tenth of 12 meetings the two rivals will have this season. The first battle saw the Bruins come away victorious 4-1. Rookie netminder Jeremy Swayman was superb in net for Providence. He stopped 26 of the 27 shots fired his way. The one goal he let up was a power-play goal that got deflected multiple times. Hard to fault him for that.
Zach Senyshyn, Alex-Olivier Voyer, Samuel Asselin, and Robert Lantosi scored for the spoked P. For Voyer and Asselin; it was their first career AHL goals. Top prospect Jakub Lauko started hot with two assists in the game. Meanwhile, rookies Jack Achan and Nick Wolff recorded their first career AHL points. Each had an assist.
The second meeting was a little less one-sided, but the Providence Bruins still came out on top 5-3. Rookie goaltender Jeremy Swayman had a quality game stopping 17 of the 20 shots fired his way. Cooper Zech, Robert Lantosi, Jakub Lauko, Cameron Hughes, and Joona Koppanen scored for the Providence Bruins. Jakub Lauko and rookie Jack Achan would contribute two assists each on the scoresheet.
The third matchup was an absolute defensive slugfest. The Providence Bruins would go on to win 1-0. The only goal came in the third period when Zach Senyshyn buried a pass from Paul Carey. Both goalies were playing out of their minds. Providence netminder Dan Vladar would stop all 24 shots he faced. On the other end of the ice, Bridgeport goalie Jakub Sharek stopped 36 of 37 shots in the loss.
The fourth battle between division foes saw the Providence Bruins fall 3-2. Brady Lyle and Joona Koppanen scored goals. Forward Matt Filipe registered his first career AHL point assisting on the Koppanen goal. Netminder Dan Vladar went on to stop 27 of the 30 shots faced in the loss.
The fifth meeting saw the Providence Bruins come out on top 4-1. Oskar Steen (2), Robert Lantosi, and Karson Kuhlman scored for the Bruins. Rookie netminder Jeremy Swayman was superb in goal. He stopped 24 of the 25 shots he faced in the victory.
The sixth battle saw the Providence Bruins come out victorious 3-0. Matt Filipe, Zach Senyshyn, and Karson Kuhlman (EN) scored goals for Providence. For Filipe, it was his first career AHL goal. Rookie netminder Jeremy Swayman was sensational again, stopping all 25 shots he faced for his first career AHL shutout.
The seventh installment of the season-long series saw the Providence Bruins win 5-2. Brady Lyle, Robert Lantosi, Pavel Shen, and Tommy Cross (2) scored for Providence. Callum Booth got his first start for our boys in black and gold. He stopped 36 of the 38 shots he faced.
The eighth battle saw Providence emerge victorious 3-2 in overtime. Matt Filipe, Alex-Olivier Voyer, and Oskar Steen scored goals for the Bruins. Rookie netminder Jeremy Swayman had an excellent bounce-back game stopping 28 of the 30 shots he faced.
The ninth chapter of the season series saw the Providence Bruins come out on top 2-1. Eduards Tralmaks and Brady Lyle scored for the Bruins. For Tralmaks, it was his first career AHL goal. Kyle Keyser was excellent in net, stopping 26 of the 27 shots he faced.
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers skate into the matchup 3-11-1 (7 points). That is good for third in the Atlantic Division and 28th in the American Hockey League. The Sound Tigers have had a rough season. They only scored 34 goals in their 15 games played. They’ve also given up a whopping 62 goals in that time frame. That’s a -28 goal differential. A goal differential that bad is not conducive to winning.
To give some perspective to those numbers, the Providence Bruins have scored 58 goals in 18 games. They’ve also given up 39 goals in the same time frame. That’s a +19 goal differential, which is excellent. Our boys in black and gold are 8-1 against Bridgeport this season. I expect that to continue.
Thursday, April 22, 2021, Providence Bruins vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (HOME)
The Thursday matchup marks the tenth 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 on top 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 seventh chapter of the season series saw the Bruins come out on top 6-1. Paul Carey, Alex-Olivier Voyer (2), Joel Messner, Samuel Asselin, and Jakub Lauko scored for Providence. Kyle Keyser was excellent in net stopping 27 of the 28 shots he faced.
The eighth battle saw the Wolf Pack beat our Bruins 4-2. Robert Lantosi and Anton Blidh scored for Providence. Rookie netminder Jeremy Swayman stopped 27 of the 31 shots he faced.
The most recent chapter in the season series saw the Bruins lose 6-1. Tommy Cross scored the only Providence goal. Kyle Keyser had a rough day in net, stopping 31 of the 37 shots he faced.
The Hartford Wolf Pack are 8-6-1 (17 points) on the season. That is good for second in the Atlantic Division and tenth in the American Hockey League. The Rangers’ affiliate has given the Bruins fits this season. Providence is 5-3-1 against them on the year, including losing their last two. Hartford scores a ton of goals; they’ve found the back of the net 59 times in 16 games. The Pack has also given up 50 goals this season. It will be a great matchup between the two clubs.
My Players To Watch This Week
Jakub Lauko: Jakub Lauko has been excellent for Providence this season. The young forward missed most of last year with multiple injuries. Now that he’s finally healthy, it’s easy to see why there was so much hype surrounding him. In 16 games, he’s netted five goals while dishing out ten assists for 15 total points. He’s been one of the Bruins’ best players all season. Look for him this week.
On The Blue Line
Cooper Zech: Cooper Zech has been excellent for Providence this season. He’s been one of their most consistent defensemen. He started the year playing on loan in Slovakia due to the global pandemic. His superb play carried over to the Bruins once their season started. In 15 games, he’s netted one goal while dishing out six assists for seven total points, including a three-game point streak. Look for him this week.
Kyle Keyser: Kyle Keyser is coming off a rough outing that saw him give up six goals to Hartford. Despite that, we still may see a decent amount of Keyser this week. The reason for that is Swayman and Vladar are still up in Boston due to injuries and COVID protocols. Keyser is 2-1 with a 2.67 GAA and a .913 save percentage for Providence this season. Look for him this week.
We are getting closer to the end of the Providence season. They’ve seen a lot of success this year. They are playing an exciting brand of hockey that keeps your eyes glued to the screen. I hope everyone is enjoying this season as much as I am. Let’s hope they keep it up! Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. As always, GO, Bs, GO!