By: Tim A Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson
Week 18 of the AHL season is here, and the Providence Bruins skate into it 18-12-3-3 (42 points). That is good for fourth in the Atlantic Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference. They are coming off a week that saw them lose to Lehigh Valley 5-1 before beating Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 2-1 in overtime. The Bruins have two games coming up that you do not want to miss.
The action starts on Friday, February 11, 2022, when the Rochester Americans travel to Providence, Rhode Island, to battle the Bruins at the Dunk. The action wraps on Saturday, February 12, 2022, when the Providence Bruins travel to Springfield, Massachusetts, to take on the Thunderbirds at the MassMutual Center. It’s going to be an exciting weekend of hockey.
Friday, February 11, 2022, Providence Bruins vs. Rochester Americans (HOME)
The Friday matchup marks the second of two these teams will have this season. In the first battle, the Bruins fell 5-3. Samuel Asselin, Oskar Steen, and Chris Wagner scored for Providence. Kyle Keyster made eight saves in the loss.
The Rochester Americans skate into the battle 23-15-2-1 (49 points). That is good for third in the Noth Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Buffalo affiliate scores a ton of goals at 3.60 a game. The problem is the Americans’ defense allows 3.58 goals a game. If the Providence Bruins can score early and often, they’ve got a fantastic chance at winning. Rochester is 3-9 when trailing after the first period and 4-13 when down after two.
Saturday, February 12, 2022, Providence Bruins vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (AWAY)
The Saturday battle marks the seventh 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. Justin Brazeau (2) and Keltie Jeri-Leon scored for Providence. Kyle Keyser stopped all 24 shots he faced.
The fourth game between the two teams saw the Bruins win 7-1. Alex-Olivier Voyer, Eduards Tralmaks, Cameron Hughes (2), Joona Koppanen (2), and Curtis Hall scored for Providence. Troy Grosenick stopped 26 shots in the blowout.
The fifth installment of this series saw the Bruins win 5-3. Matt Filipe, Jack Studnicka, Victor Berglund, Steven Fogarty, and Zach Senyshyn scored for Providence. Troy Grosenick stopped 27 of the pucks fired his way.
The sixth chapter of the season story saw the Bruins fall 3-2 in a shootout. Jack Studnicka and Chris Wagner had goals for Providence. Kyle Keyser made 40 saves in the defeat.
Springfield comes into the matchup 23-14-5-1 (52 points). That is good for third in the Atlantic Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference. The St. Louis affiliate is one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. The Thunderbirds score an incredible 3.18 goals a game while giving up 3.20. On the other side of the equation, the Bruins net 3.00 goals a game while giving up 2.75. Over the past fives seasons, the Bruins record is 26-14-4-1 against Springfield. Division matchups are always a grind, and this game will be no different.
My Players To Watch This Weekend
Jesper Froden: 2021-2022 is Jesper Froden’s first year with Providence. He played the beginning of his career in his home country of Sweden. It can be difficult for players coming from overseas to adjust to the North American game because they play on different-sized rinks. That has not hampered Froden’s play at all this season. He’s registered 11 points in his last 13 games played. Overall in 32 games, he’s netted ten goals while dishing out 13 assists for 23 total points. Look for him this weekend.
On The Blue Line
Jack Ahcan: Jack Ahcan has had an excellent second season in Providence. He’s been a workhorse on the Bruins defense. The young defenseman has also provided some much-needed offense from the blue line. In 31 games, he’s netted five goals while dishing out 14 assists for 19 total points. Don’t be surprised if we see him in Boston soon. Look for him this weekend.
Kyle Keyser: Kyle Keyser has had an up and down season with Providence. In 15 games, he’s 4-6-5 with a 2.67 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage. Hopefully, he can pick up his play this weekend and help lead the Bruins to victory.
The Providence Bruins are 5-3-0-2 in their last ten games. They have played inconsistently as of late. As we get later in the season, I expect the team to gel better, resulting in more wins. This team is far too talented to end up on the outside looking in at the playoffs. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend. Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. As always, GO, Bs, GO!