( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By: Mark Allred | Follow me on Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The Providence Bruins got back to their winning ways last night and handed the Bridgeport Islanders, the top minor-pro affiliate of the NHL New York Islanders, the team’s seventh straight loss. The 3-2 victory in regulation was the third road win of the 2021/22 regular season and now had a record of 3-1-2-1 away from the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. Out of the 16 games of the season, the B’s have only been on the road seven times, including last night’s contest in the state of Connecticut.

Providence head coach Ryan Mougenel went with Troy Grosenick to start in goal as the 32-year-old veteran was searching for his second win of the season. This was the second game of this mini three-game road trip which had two stops in Pennsylvania and obviously one in the “Constitution State” last evening. Coming into last night’s action, Grosenick had a record of 1-0-1 with a 2.62 goals-against-average and .923 save percentage.

First Period

In the first period of last night’s action against Bridgeport at the Webster Bank Arena, the host Islanders would break the ice early in the opening frame with a power-play goal. The only goal of the first period was from Islanders Collin Adams, who scored his first career professional goal assisted by Chris Terry and former Boston Bruins forward Austin Czarnik.

First-year AHL defenseman Victor Berglund was assessed a questionable tripping two-minute minor at the 2:08 mark of the first resulting in the Adams man-advantage goal the Islanders got just 12 seconds into the Providence penalty kill.

Second Period

In the second period, 27-year-old AHL rookie forward Jesper Froden got his second point in as many nights with the games tying goal at the 13:58 mark. Froden’s fourth of the season was assisted by Steven Fogarty and Oskar Steen, who now has points in two consecutive games, which would set up three straight goals in the middle frame.

The second goal of the period came on the power play from forward Zach Senyshyn, who scored his fifth of the season at the 18:37 mark. The assists on Senyshyn’s fifth of the year went to defenseman Aaron Ness and forward Jack Studnicka, who got his first point in three games with the secondary assist.

The final goal of the second period and the eventual game-winner went to rugged forward Joona Koppanen, who scored his second goal of the season at the 19:41 mark of the middle frame. The assists on the Koppanen’s game-winner went to forward Eduards Tralmaks, who was recently recalled from the ECHL Maine Mariners, and former 2017 NHL Bruins first-round selection Urho Vaakanainen, who notched his first point in his last five games.

Third Period

The Islanders got a little close in the third period when Bridgeport forward Erik Brown scored the second goal for the home team at the 4:02 mark of the final frame. The visiting Providence team would hold off the Islander’s effort to tie the game at three, resulting in a 3-2 loss, and Bridgeport’s season-long losing streak continues.

After last evening’s regulation-winning effort, the Providence Bruins now sit in the third position in the Atlantic Division with a 7-5-3-1 record and 18 points in 16 games played this season. Providence looks to continue this road-winning recipe with the final game of this three-game road trip tonight as the B’s travel back to Pennsylvania to plat the 8-7-0-2 sixth place in the Atlantic Division Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The top minor-pro affiliate of the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins are 4-4-0-0 at the Mohegan Sun Arena this season and is 3-6-0-1 in their last ten games.

Providence, on the other hand, is now 3-1-2-1 on the road and 5-3-2-0 in their last ten games. So far this season for head coach and first-year AHL bench boss Ryan Mougenel and staff have had their challenges of fine-tuning this B’s roster.

Below are Quotes from Providence Bruins Head Coach Ryan Mougenel after the 3-2 victory over the Islanders in his post-game press conference.

“Our first period, I thought we were a little asleep at the wheel, but the guys did a good job of rectifying it, and I thought we did a good job after that of making Bridgeport earn their ice.

“We were able to hold onto some pucks in the offensive zone and make some plays. The power play stepped up and got a big goal for us. We got the big penalty kill when we needed it, and I thought the PK was really sharp. I’m really proud of the guys. We’ll celebrate this victory and get prepared for tomorrow.

“I thought Fogarty’s line kind of set the tone. They were really good. They all read very well off each other, and they’re playing with confidence, which is great to see. Even defensively and away from the puck, they’ve been just as good.

“Usually, when you have offensive guys like that, they tend to cheat, but not these three. I’m impressed
with Froden and how hard he plays. Steen has really grown as a player, and Fogarty is elite at this level. I think he’s a real elite American League player that has a lot of upside even at the NHL level.”

With eight games until the quarter mark of this 2021/22 regular season campaign, you can see some tangible things from the individual players and how they’re orchestrated from the bench headed by Mougenel, longtime assistant and former AHL/NHL forward Trent Whitfield, and new assistant Matt Thomas. Regardless of season record thus far, this coaching staff has done what’s expected to be competitive but also get those higher-end prospects or two-way contract plug and plays ready at a moment’s notice when emergency recalls are, in fact, called upon. The name of the game at the AHL level is development and not Calder Cup championship success.

I remember back in the day when I was covering the former AHL team Manchester Monarchs and what at that time new LA Kings President Luc Robitaille and New Hampshire native Hubie McDonough both said to me. The Kings President and Los Angeles organizations Director of Hockey Operations both said to me the goal is not to win Calder Cups at the AHL level but the teachings to players no matter what level of minor-pro or location, the goal is to do what it takes to help the parent NHL team to win a Stanley Cup. Those words by both gentlemen definitely had me look at this league; differently, that’s for sure.