By Tim A Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson
Week 15 of the AHL season is here, and the Providence Bruins skate into it 16-9-3-1 ( 36 points). That is good for first in the Atlantic Division and third in the Eastern Conference. Our boys in black and gold are coming off a week where they beat Hartford 5-1 and Springfield 5-3 before defeating Bridgeport 6-3. Providence has three games coming up that you will not want to miss.
The weekend starts on Friday, January 21, 2022, when the Bridgeport Islanders travel to Providence, Rhode Island, to take on the Bruins at the Dunk. The weekend continues on Saturday, January 22, 2022, when the Providence Bruins travel to Bridgeport, Connecticut, to take on the Islanders at Webster Bank Arena. The weekend wraps on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, when the Providence Bruins travel to Utica, New York, to take on the Comets at the Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Don’t miss the action!
Friday, January 21, 2022, and Saturday, January 22, 2022, Providence Bruins vs. Bridgeport Islanders (HOME AND AWAY)
The Friday and Saturday battles mark the seventh and eighth 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 fifth game between the two clubs saw the Bruins fall 4-3. Samuel Asselin, Jesper Froden, and Cameron Hughes scored for Providence. Troy Grosenick made 33 saves in the defeat.
The sixth game between Bridgeport and Providence saw the Bruins win 6-3. Zach Senyshyn, Matt Filipe, Samuel Asselin (3), and Steven Fogarty scored goals for Providence. Jeremy Swayman made 22 saves in the victory.
The Bridgeport Islanders skate into the matchup 13-17-3-4 (33 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 3.13 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 5-7-0-2 when trailing after one period and 2-10-2-2 trailing after two.
Wednesday, January 26, 2022, Providence Bruins vs. Utica Comets (AWAY)
The Wednesday matchup with the Utica Comets is the second of four that the two teams will play this year. The first battle saw the Bruins fall 2-1 in overtime. Oskar Steen scored the only goal for Providence. Kyle Keyser made 29 saves in the loss. The Bruins generally do not play them much during the regular season because they are in a different division. The Comets skate into the matchup 20-4-4 (44 points). That is good for first in the North Division and first in the Eastern Conference.
Over the past five seasons, this has been a favorable matchup for our boys in black and gold. Providence is 8-1-1 against Utica in that time frame. This season’s matchup could be a little different. Last season Utica was affiliated with Vancouver, and this season they are with New Jersey. Despite the favorable record over the past five seasons, this game will be an absolute battle. The Devils’ affiliate boasts one of the best offenses and defenses in the AHL. Utica scores 3.71 goals a game while only giving up 2.60. Providence scores 3.20 goals a game while giving up only 2.58. This game has the potential to be one of the best games of the year.
My Players To Watch This Weekend
Samuel Asselin: 2021-2022 is Samuel Asselin’s third year in the Bruins’ organization. He’s been excellent since coming to the organization from the QMJHL. The young forward has come on strong as of late, registering a point in seven of his last eight games played, including a hat trick in their most recent game against Bridgeport. Overall in 28 games, he’s found the back of the net six times while dishing out 13 assists for 19 total points. Look for him this weekend.
On The Blue Line
Victor Berglund: The Boston Bruins drafted Victor Berglund in the seventh round of the 2017 NHL Draft. Since being drafted, he’s spent most of his time playing in his home country of Sweden. This past weekend, the young defenseman scored his first goal of the season. Overall in 11 games, he’s netted one goal while dishing out two assists for three total points. He also played excellent defense for the Bruins. Look for him this weekend.
Jeremy Swayman: Last weekend, we saw Jeremy Swayman return to Providence. The young goalie played in two games. Swayman went 2-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average. He also had a .911 save percentage. As long as he’s playing in the AHL, I expect Swayman to get the bulk of the starts. The Bruins view him as a predominant piece of their future, and the only way to improve is to play more games. Look for him this weekend.
The Providence Bruins find themselves atop the Atlantic Division. They’ve played excellent hockey as of late, going 7-3 in their last ten games. The team seems to be clicking on all cylinders, both offensively and defensively. The Bruins are establishing themselves as a team to beat in the AHL. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend. Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. As always, GO, Bs, GO!