By: Tim A Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson
Week 12 of the AHL season is here, and the Providence Bruins skate into it 11-8-3-1 (26 points). That is good for fourth in the Atlantic Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference. Our boys in black and gold are coming off a week where they lost to Rochester 5-3. Providence has three big games coming up that you do not want to miss.
The hockey action starts on Friday, December 31, 2021, when the Providence Bruins travel to Hartford, Connecticut, to take on the Wolf Pack at the XL Center. The action continues on Sunday, January 2, 2022, when the Springfield Thunderbirds travel to Providence, Rhode Island, to battle the Bruins at the Dunk. The week wraps up on Wednesday, January 5, 2022, when the Bruins travel to Bridgeport, Connecticut, to take on the Islanders at the Webster Bank Arena.
Friday, December 31, 2021, Providence Bruins vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (AWAY)
The Friday game marks the fourth of 10 the two teams will have this season. The Hartford Wolf Pack skates into it 13-6-2-2 (30 points). That is good for second in the Atlantic Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference. In the first meeting, the Bruins fell 4-3 in overtime. Jack Studnicka, Samuel Asselin, and Chris Wagner found the back of the net for Providence. Kyle Keyser stopped 22 of the 25 shots he faced. The second battle saw the Bruins fall 2-1 in overtime. Jakub Lauko scored the lone goal for our boys in black and gold. Kyle Keyser stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced.
The third game saw the Bruins win 2-1 in overtime. Jesper Froden and Oskar Steen scored for Providence. Troy Grosenick stopped 23 of the 24 shots fired his way.
The Hartford Wolf Pack poses an uphill battle for the Providence Bruins to climb. The Rangers’ affiliate has one of the best offenses and defenses in the league. They score 3.39 goals a game. While they only give up 2.91 goals a game. The Bruins only score 2.73 goals a game while giving up 2.73 goals. The key for the Bruins is scoring early and often. Hartford is 4-1 when leading after the first period. They are 7-0 when leading after the second. It should be a fun game, do not miss it.
Sunday, January 2, 2022, Providence Bruins vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (HOME)
The Sunday battle marks the fourth of 12 these two teams will have this season. In the first game, Providence fell 4-1. Jack Ahcan scored the only goal for the Bruins. Jakub Lauko and Steven Fogarty assisted on the goal. Kyle Keyser stopped 28 of the 31 shots he faced.
The second game also saw the Bruins lose 4-1. Urho Vaakanainen scored the only goal for Providence. Keyser stopped 29 of the 33 shots he faced. The third matchup saw the Bruins win 3-0. Just Brazeau (2) and Keltie Jeri-Leon scored for Providence. Kyle Keyser stopped all 24 shots he faced.
Springfield comes into the matchup 15-7-2-1 (33 points). That is good for first in the Atlantic Division and second in the Eastern Conference. The St. Louis affiliate is the most well-rounded team in the Eastern Conference. The Thunderbirds score an incredible 3.12 goals a game while giving up 2.88. Over the past fives seasons, Providence’s record is 25-14-4 against Springfield. I’d expect this game to be an uphill battle against a rival.
Wednesday, January 5, 2022, Providence Bruins vs. Bridgeport Islanders (AWAY)
The Wednesday battle marks the fifth of 12 the two teams will have this season. In the first meeting between Bridgeport and Providence, the Bruins won 2-1 in a shootout. Taylor Lewington scored for Providence. Jack Ahcan and Matt Filipe added the helper on the goal. Bruins forwards Jesper Froden and Jack Studnicka scored in the shootout for the win. The second meeting saw Providence fall 6-4. Oskar Steen (2), John Moore, and Chris Wagner netted goals. Kyle Keyser stopped 19 shots in the loss.
The third game saw the Bruins win 3-2. Jesper Froden, Zach Senyshyn, and Joona Koppanen were the goal scorers for Providence. Troy Grosenick got the win in goal, stopping 28 shots. The Fourth game saw the Providence Bruins win 2-1 in a shootout. Alex Olivier-Voyer scored for the Bruins. Troy Grosenick made 27 saves in the win.
The Bridgeport Islanders skate into the matchup 10-14-1-3 (24 points). That is good for seventh in the Atlantic Division and 14th in the Eastern Conference. The Islanders have not had much luck this season. They boast one of the worst defenses in the AHL, giving up 3.10 goals a game. On top of that, they are scoring 2.67 goals a game. The key to beating them is getting an early lead and keeping it. The Islanders are 3-7-0-1 when trailing after one period and 2-7-0-1 trailing after two.
My Players To Watch This Weekend
Zach Senyshyn: Zach Senyshyn has had an up and down season for the Providence Bruins. Recently, he soured on some fans because he came out and requested a trade. I am not one of those fans. I think a change of scenery could do him some good. I hope if he does move on, that he sees success. In 21 games this season, the young forward netted eight goals while dishing out five assists for 13 total points. Look for him this week.
On The Blue Line
Jack Ahcan: Jack Ahcan is has had an excellent season for the Providence Bruins. In 19 games, the young defenseman has scored three goals while dishing out eight assists for 11 total points. Whenever he’s on the ice, he’s immediately noticeable. He’s also played excellent defense for Providence. He’s one of my favorite prospects. Look for him this weekend.
Kyle Keyser: Kyle Keyser has had a decent season for Providence. He’s shown flashes of being extremely good. In 12 games, the young goalie is 4-5-3 with a 2.44 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage. That includes one shutout! Look for him this weekend!
The Providence Bruins had some downtime due to the holiday and postponed games with COVID. Let’s hope they come off their mini-break with all cylinders firing. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and has an even better new year! Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. As always, GO, Bs, GO!