By: Mark Allred | Follow me on Twitter @BlackAndGold277
It’s been a while since I wrote a Providence Bruins weekend recap due to my weekends being very busy with travel and other things. Now that our Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast that I do with fellow host Heather Ingerson moved our recording day and time to Tuesday evenings it’ll give me more time to do these recaps and produce a weekly AHL Bruins Report hocket podcast more regularly with the time freed up. Enjoy!
Providence Bruins vs. The Springfield Thunderbirds
The Providence Bruins started this on Saturday, December 11th, 2021, on the road in Springfield, Massachusetts, against the host and AHL Atlantic Division-leading Springfield Thunderbirds who are off to a decent start after recently passing the quarter mark of this 2021/22 regular season.
This, in my opinion, was the very Bruins cliche next man up game as the Providence club needed roster help as the AHL club was dealing with an outbreak of the continued pandemic, and this was an excellent evaluation of how the feeder system in Maine is working out as the Boston Bruins and Maine Mariners are in their first season as affiliated partners.
Providence called upon the services of several players to help out as the team was going through a pretty much health crisis and saw these members get chances at the AHL level. Right-wing Justin Brazeau, left-wing Keltie Jeri-Leon, and goaltender Jeremy Brodeur. The members who were signed to PTO’s for emergency purposes were defenseman David Drake, defenseman Wyatt Ege, defenseman Matt Murphy, and forward Patrick Polino would all get into the lineup and help relieve the burden of an empty roster spot.
Getting back to this game on the road against Springfield in the first period, big power forward Justin Brazeau got his first goal of the AHL season at the 5:26 mark assisted by forward Alex-Olivier Voyer with his first point of the season and former NCAA University of Maine Forward Eduards Tralmaks. The opening frame would end with Providence up 1-0 and leading in shots on goal 10-6.
The second period saw the Bruins go up 2-0 at the 9:22 mark with another goal from forward Justin Brazeau assisted by defenseman Aaron Ness and forward Eduards Tralmaks who got his first multi-point game of the season with his apple on the play. The Second period would end at 2-0, and the Providence team looked very comfortable in the driver’s seat against a Springfield club doing so well this season. Providence led the middle frame in shots for the second consecutive period, this time 14-5.
In the third period, the Providence didn’t and hasn’t shown signs of letting up on the accelerator with a 3-0 lead at the 3:03 mark from forward Keltie Jeri-Leon, his first of his AHL career assisted by former Northeastern University forward Matt Filipe and former Yale University forward Curtis Hall.
Providence won the road game over the Thunderbirds 3-0 and led the game in shots at the final whistle in regulation with a 32-24 advantage. Starting goaltender Kyle Keyser was outstanding in this game, and although his athleticism would be challenged in this game, and earned his first career professional shutout.
Providence Bruins vs. the Toronto Marlies
On December 12th, 2021, the Providence Bruins were home at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, to play the visiting Toronto Marlies. The home team got off to a fast start when forward Cameron Hughes scored his second of the season at the 1:39 mark of the first period, assisted by forward Zach Senyshyn.
Providence would get to a 2-0 lead at the 14:03 mark of the first on the seventh goal of the season for Oskar Steen, assisted by defenseman Nick Wolff and defenseman Victor Berglund.
In the second period, the Bruins would again make quick work early in the period with a commanding 3-0 lead on a power-play goal from Justin Brazeau who got his third goal of the season at the 0:33 mark giving him points and goals in consecutive games. The assist on Brazeau’s man-advantage goal went to forward Jack Studnicka and forward Jesper Froden.
Unfortunately, the Marlies would get on the board at the 9:22 mark of the second with a shorthanded goal breaking the shutout bid for starting goaltender and veteran Troy Grosenick to make the score 3-1.
In the final period of this game against Toronto, the Bruins would add two goals in the last 20 minutes. Providence forward Eduards Tralmaks would get his second goal of the season at the 7:35 mark assisted by defenseman Nick Wolff and forward Joona Koppanen. With the assist on the Tralmaks goal defenseman, Nick Wolff had the first multi-point game of his pro career.
Just 24 seconds later, in this third period against the Marlies, forward Oskar Steen would notch his second goal of the game and eighth of the season at the 7:59 mark of the third period sealing the deal on a 5-1 home victory in front of 7,035 fans at the Dunk.
As mentioned, the 32-year-old goaltender Troy Grosenick got the start in goal, getting the victory the stopping 28 of 29 Marlies Shots. Troy continues to be a solid middle-depth asset in the crease for Providence and a great teammate to Bruins prospect Kyle Keyser.
Providence Bruins vs. Bridgeport Islanders
On Wednesday, December 15th, 2021, the Providence Bruins were on the road at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to face the Bridgeport Islanders. The first period had the host Islanders possessing the only goal of the opening frame at the 15:53 mark.
In the second period, the Providence Bruins tied the game at 12:07 on a shorthanded goal from forward Alex-Olivier Voyer, his first of the season assisted by defenseman Urho Vaakanainen and defenseman Aaron Ness.
There was no scoring in the final period, and after 60 minutes and the Providence club ahead in shots 27 to 26, both teams needed overtime to potentially get a winner. After the five-minute overtime period was over, both teams went to a shootout.
In the skills competition after 65 minutes, the only shootout goal from either team came from forward Samuel Asselin, and a series of outstanding saves from Providence goaltender Troy Grosenick who completely shut down the Islanders, helped the B’s take the extra point and beat the host Islanders by the score of 2-1. Grosenick stopped 27 of 28 for his fourth win of the season.
Providence Bruins vs. the Laval Rocket
Friday, December 17th, 2021, The Providence Bruins headed north of the border to play the Laval Rocket, the top minor-pro affiliate of the NHL Montreal Canadiens.
In this game, the Providence club came out strong in the first period at 2:56 on a first career goal from newcomer D’Aoust who recently signed a PTO. The assists on the D’Aoust goal came from forward Samuel Asselin and defenseman Nick Wolff.
The second Bruins goal of the opening frame came from forward Cameron Hughes, who scored his third of the season at the 3:27 mark assisted by defenseman Urho Vaakanainen and defenseman John Moore. At the 13:53 mark of the first period, the Rocket would get on the board with their first goal of the game and continue to score five more goals, with the last one coming at the 1:24 mark of the third period giving the host a commanding 6-2 lead.
The final Providence goal came on the power play from defenseman Jack Ahcan at the 5:30 mark of the final frame, assisted by forward Cameron Hughes and forward Steven Fogarty. Veteran goaltender Troy Grosenick got the start in goal on the road in Laval, giving up all six Rocket goals on 24 shots in a night he and other Providence teammates would like to forget.
The Providence game against the Belleville Senators was scheduled for Saturday night December, 18th, 2021, and the third contest of this seven-game road trip was postponed due to the continued pandemic that’s wreaking havoc on all humanity, especially during the cold and flu season.
Upcoming Games of the Week
The final game on the schedule for the Providence Bruins before the Christmas holiday and last contest for the week is set for Wednesday night in Syracuse, New York, against the Syracuse Crunch, a club that’s had the previous two games postponed due to protocols. As I write this article, the top minor-pro affiliate of the Boston Bruins sits in the fourth position in the Atlantic Division with an 11-7-3-1 record good for 26 points.
Providence has a 5-5-1-0 record in front of the loyal fans at the Dunk and 6-2-2-1 on the road this season in 22 games played and 50 remaining in the 2021/22 regular season campaign. Providence is also 6-3-1-0 in their last ten games.
Start the New Year off right by purchasing some Providence Bruins tickets for when the team returns to the Dunk in early January 2022 when this current seven-game road trip is over; go to providencebruins.com and click the tickets and schedule tab to the top left. Providence Bruins hockey offers you and your family a great hockey experience with their ticket promotions, like the fantastic holiday hat trick when you purchase two tickets of your choice to a home game starting at $75. When you purchase a holiday hat trick package, $5 from each ticket sold will be donated to The Tomorrow Fund for Children with Cancer. For group tickets of 10 or more, or if you’d like to rent a Suite for up to 20 guests, call Anthony Pontrelli at 401-680-4713.
If you’re traveling to see the top minor-pro affiliate of the Boston Bruins either checking out a game or making it a weekend trip, I highly recommend the Hilton Providence, which is located right next door to the Dunkin Donuts Center in Downtown Providence, Rhode Island.
The Hilton Providence has a restaurant and bar called the Vig, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and is open until 10 pm and is located on the premises. Suppose you want to venture outside the hotel for drinks and food; I recommend the Trinity Brewhouse, which is located about 150 yards away and offers a tremendous amount of choices of on-location house-brewed beers and a pub-style food menu either for lunch or dinner. Another favorite and just down the street from Trinity is Murphy’s Providence which has a full bar and a wide variety of Irish-made foods, and an incredible, friendly atmosphere.