By: Tim A Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson
Happy New Year, everyone! Week 13 of the AHL season has arrived, and the Providence Bruins skate into it 19-6-5-2 (45 points). That is good for second in the Atlantic Division and second in the Eastern Conference. Our boys in black and gold are coming off a week that saw them beat Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 4-3 and Hershey 4-3 before defeating Bridgeport 4-1. The Providence Bruins have two games this weekend that you will not want to miss.
The action starts Saturday, January 7, 2023, when the Providence Bruins travel to Bridgeport, Connecticut, to take on the Islanders at Total Mortgage Arena. The hockey action wraps on Sunday, January 8, 2023, when the Utica Comets travel to Providence, Rhode Island, to take on the Bruins at the Amica Mutual Pavillion. Do not miss the exciting action.
Saturday, January 7, 2023, Providence Bruins vs. Bridgeport Islanders (AWAY)
The Saturday game marks the ninth of 12 games Bridgeport and Providence will have this season. Our boys in black and gold won the first battle 3-1, getting goals from Georgii Merkulov, Fabian Lysell, and Chris Wagner.
The second matchup saw the Bruins lose 5-4 in overtime. Georgii Merkulov (2), Chris Wagner, and Luke Toporowski scored for Providence.
The third battle saw the Providence Bruins win 1-0. Connor Carrick scored the lone goal for Providence. Brandon Bussi recorded his first shutout of the season.
The fourth installment of the season series saw the Bruins fall 3-2 in overtime. Vinni Lettieri and Chris Wagner scored goals for Providence.
The fifth battle saw the Bruins fall 4-3. John Beecher, Kai Wissmann, and Chris Wagner found the back of the net for Providence.
The sixth game saw the Bruins win 3-2. Fabian Lysell (2) and Connor Carrick scored goals for Providence.
The seventh matchup saw the Bruins fall 5-2. Georgii Merkulov and Oskar Steen scored for Providence.
The eighth game had the Bruins win 5-2. Joey Abate, Georgii Merkulov, Oskar Steen, Jakub Lauko, and Joona Koppanen scored for Providence.
The Islanders are 14-12-5-1 (34 points) to start the season. That is good for fifth in the Atlantic Division and eighth in the Eastern Conference. Providence went 6-6 against the New York affiliate last season. Over the past five seasons, the Bruins were 27-15-7-3 against Bridgeport, including 13-8-2-2 on the road. Bridgeport is scoring 3.43 goals a game this season while giving up 3.50 goals per game. Their prolific offense is the reason for their strong start. The Providence Bruins boast one of the top defenses in the AHL, giving up only 2.68 goals a game. This game should be fun and tightly contested!
Sunday, January 8, 2023, Providence Bruins vs. Utica Comets (HOME)
The Sunday matchup marks the third of six that the Providence Bruins and Utica Comets will have this season. The first game saw the Bruins win 2-1. Vinni Lettieri and Samuel Asselin scored for the Bruins.
The second matchup saw the Bruins win 4-3 in a shootout. Luke Toporowski, Vinni Lettieri, and Chris Wagner scored for the Bruins.
The Utica Comets skate into the matchup 14-9-5-1 (34 points). That is good for third in the North Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference. The Providence Bruins went 0-3-1 against the New Jersey affiliate last season. Over the past five seasons, Providence has a 6-4-1 record against Utica. The Comets have a high-powered offense, scoring 3.41 goals a game. The problem is they also give up 3.27 goals a game. The Providence Bruins must score early and often. If they can do that, they will win.
My Players To Watch This Weekend
Georgii Merkulov is having an excellent rookie season for the Providence Bruins. In 29 games, the young forward has netted seven goals while dishing out 17 assists for 24 total points. Merkulov has been a catalyst for the Providence offense all season. Look for him this weekend.
Luke Toporowski is another player having an excellent rookie season for the Providence Bruins. In 29 games, he netted ten goals while dishing out 11 assists for 21 total points. Toporowski is another player who has been a catalyst for Providence’s success this season. Look for him this weekend.
Brandon Bussi is yet another Providence Bruins rookie having an excellent season. In 15 games, the young goalie has a 10-2-3 record with a 2.12 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage. Look for him this weekend.
The Providence Bruins are in excellent shape as they ring in the New Year. They are in second place in their division and their conference. They have a real opportunity to start the new year off on the right skate. Let’s hope they can. I hope everyone enjoys the games. Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. GO BRUINS!