By: Tim A Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson
Week 21 of the AHL season is here, and the Providence Bruins skate into it 25-14-3-3 (56 points). That is good for second in the Atlantic Division and third in the Eastern Conference. Our boys in black and gold are coming off a week that saw them beat Charlotte 5-1 and fall to Hartford 5-2 before beating Hartford 6-3 and defeating Lehigh Valley 5-3. The Bruins have four games coming up that you won’t want to miss.
The weekend starts on Saturday, March 5, 2022, when the Providence Bruins travel to Springfield, Massachusetts, to take on the Thunderbirds at the MassMutual Center. The weekend continues on Sunday, March 6, 2022, when the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins travel to Providence, Rhode Island, to take on the Bruins at the Dunk. Next, on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, the Providence Bruins travel to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to take on the Marlies at the Coca-Cola Coliseum. The weekend ends on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, when the Providence Bruins travel to Belleville, Ontario, Canada, to take on the Senators at the CAA Arena. Don’t miss the action!
Saturday, March 5, 2022, Providence Bruins vs. Springfield Thunderbirds (AWAY)
The Saturday battle marks the eighth 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. The seventh matchup saw the Bruins fall 5-1. Zach Senyshyn scored the lone goal for Providence.
Springfield comes into the matchup 28-15-5-2 (63 points). That is good for first in the Atlantic Division and second in the Eastern Conference. The St. Louis affiliate is one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. The Thunderbirds score an incredible 3.22 goals a game while giving up 3.06. On the other side of the equation, the Bruins net 3.15 goals a game while giving up 2.66. Over the past fives seasons, the Bruins’ record is 27-15-4-1 against Springfield. Division matchups are always a grind, and this game will be no different.
Sunday, March 6, 2022, Providence Bruins vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (HOME)
The Sunday matchup will be the fifth of six these two teams will have this season. In the first battle, the Bruins won 6-2. Oskar Steen (2), Steven Fogarty, Zach Senyshyn, Chris Wagner, and Eduards Tralmaks scored goals for Providence. Jon Gillies stopped 29 of the 31 shots he faced.
The second meeting between the two teams did not go as planned. The Bruins lost 3-1. Jakub Lauko scored for Providence, while Kyle Keyser stopped 30 of 32 shots he faced between the pipes.
The third game saw the Bruins win 5-1. Brady Lyle, Zach Senyshyn (3), and Jack Studnicka scored for Providence. Keyser made 20 saves in the victory.
The fourth meeting saw the Providence Bruins win 2-1 in overtime! Zach Senyshyn and Jesper Froden scored for the Bruins. Jeremy Swayman was superb in net stopping 26 shots.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are 23-21-2-4 (52 points). That is good for sixth in the Atlantic Division and 12th in the Eastern Conference. This matchup has been favorable for Providence over the past five seasons, going 13-4-2-2 in that time. The Bruins scoring early and keeping the lead will be essential to winning this game. The Pittsburgh affiliate is 3-11 when trailing after the first period. They are 3-15-0-1 when down after two. On the flip side, the Penguins are 12-4-0-2 when up after the first and 15-0-1-2 when ahead after two.
Tuesday, March 8, 2022, Providence Bruins vs. Toronto Marlies (AWAY)
The Tuesday matchup marks the second of two that Providence and Toronto will play this season. The first matchup saw the Bruins win 5-1. Cameron Hughes, Oskar Steen (2), Justin Brazeau, and Eduards Tralmaks scored for Providence.
The Marlies come into the matchup 24-16-3-1 (52 points). That is good for third in the North Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference. The two teams being in different divisions are why they only play each other twice. The Toronto affiliate scores 3.50 goals a game while giving up 3.38. Providence is scoring 3.15 goals a game while giving up 2.66. I expect this game to be tight from start to finish. Over the past five seasons, Providence has a 3-2 record against Toronto.
Wednesday, March 9, 2022, Providence Bruins vs. Belleville Senators (AWAY)
The Wednesday matchup marks the second of two that Providence and Belleville will have this season. The first matchup saw the Bruins fall 4-1. Jack Studnicka scored the lone goal for Providence.
The Ottawa affiliate is 24-21 (48 points) this season. That is good for fifth in the North Division and tenth in the Eastern Conference. The reason why they only play two games against each other is the fact that they are in different divisions. Belleville’s main issue this season has been their defense. They give up 3.06 goals a game while only scoring 3.11. Over the past five seasons, this has been an even matchup. The Bruins are 3-3-1 in that time frame. It should be an excellent game!
My Players To Watch This Weekend
Cameron Hughes: Cameron Hughes is having a fantastic bounce-back season for the Bruins. Hughes has recorded 13 points in his last eight games. Overall, in 41 games, he’s scored ten goals while dishing out 26 assists for 36 total points. His point total leads Providence for this season. The veteran forward has stepped his game up this season, and he’s a big part of the team’s success. Look for him this weekend.
On The Blue Line
Aaron Ness: Aaron Ness is back after spending time away from Providence representing Team USA in the Olympics. The veteran defenseman scored two goals this past weekend in his return. Overall, in 35 games, he’s scored two goals while dishing out ten assists for 12 total points. Look for him this weekend.
Kyle Keyser: Kyle Keyser has had an up and down season for Providence. In 20 games, he’s 6-8-5 with a 2.86 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage. Grosenick has been the better of the two goalies this season, but hopefully, Keyser can turn it around. Look for him this weekend.
The Providence Bruins are playing excellent hockey right now. Our boys in black and gold are 8-2 in their last ten games. They’ve been a joy to watch both offensively and defensively! I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend! Feel free to send me any questions or comments on Twitter. As always, GO, Bs, GO!