By: Mark Allred | Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277
A week ago South Portland, Maine goaltender Jon Gillies came full circle in his professional hockey career to accept a contract and debut in the ECHL with his hometown Maine Mariners. In his first ECHL appearance with the “AA” minor-pro affiliate, the 27-year-old stopped 23 of 25 shots for the Boston Bruins farm team in a 2-0 loss to the hands of the visiting Trios-Rivieres Lions who are a new ECHL franchise in the 2021/22 regular season. As a media member in attendance, Gillies played very well and was a key member of the Mariners club who held the Lion’s pressure off for a better part of 450 minutes.
Gillies strong showing in his Debut ECHL game last week got him promoted a week later and returned to the AHL a league where he’s no stranger. Before this weekend the Providence Bruins signed the veteran netminder to a professional try-out and with the news of Bruins goaltending prospect Kyle Keyser and his battle with a recent sickness Gillies got the call. The 6′-6″ 223-pound former third-round selection of the NHL Calgary Flames got the Providence Bruins first road victory in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton against a good Penguins team by the score of 6-2 where he stopped 29 of 31 shots.
Tonight against the Hershey Bears a team higher in the standings and last game of this mini road trip, the suddenly hot Jon Gillies would get his second straight start in goal and wouldn’t disappoint Bruins nation. Jon stopped all 21 of the host Hershey Bears shots for his second straight AHL win in his second straight AHL game. This was career shutout number nine of Gillies career and looks to be a solid addition to a Providence club who’s a bit beat up on the backend.
Recent free agent signing over the 2021 NHL off-season Troy Grosenick hasn’t seen action since the first game of the AHL Bruins season when he was taken out of the game after only playing in 20 minutes and has yet to return. Bruins prospect Keyser seems to be battling some kind of non-Covid related sickness and hasn’t seen action all weekend.
The Providence Bruins get back to work on a rare Wednesday evening as cross-state rival the Springfield Thunderbirds visit the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. The visiting Thunderbirds club mid this week seems to be a serious team in the early 2021/22 campaign. The team from southwestern Massachusetts is 7-0-2 with 16 points and atop the AHL Atlantic Division. Springfield has let to receive a regulation loss this season with a 1-0-1 record compared to their 5-0-1 home record they have at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass.
It will remain to be seen who new Providence Bruins Head Coach Ryan Mougenel will go with in goal for the mid-week battle and games to end the weekend. We’ve seen tonight Gillies can handle a decent workload or could recently recall to AHL Providence from the ECHL Maine Mariners Callum Booth get a look again at the AHL level and try to redeem himself from his last Providence appearance.