(Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr)

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

Week 12 of the AHL season is here, and the Providence Bruins skate into it 14-5-1 (29 points). That is good for first in the Atlantic Division and sixth in the American Hockey League. Our boys in black and gold are coming off a week that saw them beat the Utica Comets 6-2 before losing to Bridgeport 4-1. Don’t forget to catch their game against Hartford later today! The Bruins also have one other matchup coming up this week that you won’t want to miss.

The hockey action kicks off on Thursday, April 29, 2021, when the Bridgeport Sound Tigers travel to Marlborough, Massachusetts, to take on the Providence Bruins at the New England Sports Center. It’ll be exciting hockey action you do not want to miss.

Thursday, April 29, 2021, Providence Bruins vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (HOME)

The Thursday matchup will mark the eleventh 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 tenth battle saw the Sound Tigers beat the Bruins 4-1. Samuel Asselin scored the only goal for Providence. Netminder Dan Vladar stopped 25 of the 28 shots fired his way.

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers are 5-13-1 (11 points) on the season. That is good for third in the Atlantic Division and 28th in the American Hockey League. The Providence Bruins are 8-2 against the Islanders’ affiliate this year. Their incredibly tough season is a result of both poor offense and poor defense. In their 19 games, they are scoring 2.31 goals a game. Meanwhile, they are giving up 3.52 goals a game.

To give those numbers perspective, the Providence Bruins are scoring 3.25 goals a game. They are also giving up 2.25 goals a game. This matchup heavily favors our boys in black and gold. I would expect them to come out on top. Providence has had elite scoring coupled with elite defense and goaltending. The one chance that Bridgeport has to win is to get out to an early lead. This season the Bruins are 2-3 when trailing after the first period and 2-4 when trailing after the second. It’ll be an exciting game you won’t want to miss.

My Players To Watch This Week

Up Front

Eduards Tralmaks: Eduards Tralmaks came to the Providence Bruins after having a successful career at the University of Maine. In 119 games with the Black Bears, the young forward netted 39 goals while dishing out 43 for 82 total points. Tralmaks is big-bodied and has offensive upside. In four games with Providence, he’s netted two goals for two points. BNG Founder and CEO Mark Allred wrote about Tralmaks. Check it out here. Look for him this week.

On The Blue Line

Cooper Zech: Cooper Zech came to Providence last season after spending a season at Ferris State University. He started this season playing on loan in Slovakia due to the ongoing global pandemic. The young defenseman played well overseas, and that carried over to this season. He’s been one of Providence’s best defensemen all year. In 16 games with the Bruins, he’s netted one goal while dishing out six assists for seven total points. Look for him this week.

In Net

Dan Vladar: After spending time in Boston due to injuries, and COVID protocols, Dan Vladar is back with Providence. The young netminder has been good not only this year but last. On the year, Vladar is 2-3-1 with a 2.18 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. Look for him this week.

The Providence Bruins have had an excellent season and provided us with a welcomed escape from everything going on in the world. As the end of the season comes closer, we are still unsure if there will be playoffs. I would advise you to enjoy the rest of the season, and if there’s anything beyond that, we will let you know. Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. As always, GO, Bs, GO!