By: Tim A Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson
Week 20 of the AHL season is here, and the Providence Bruins skate into it 30-10-8-2 (70 points). That is good for first in the Atlantic Division and second in the Eastern Conference. Our boys in black and gold are coming off a week that saw them defeat the Thunderbirds 6-2 before falling to Hartford 3-2 in overtime and losing to Springfield 3-2. The Providence Bruins have two games this weekend that you will not want to miss.
The hockey action starts on Friday, February 24, 2023, when the Charlotte Checkers travel to Providence, Rhode Island, to take on the Bruins at the Amica Mutual Pavillion. The action wraps Sunday, February 26, 2023, when the Rochester Americans travel to Providence, Rhode Island, to take on the Bruins at the Amica Mutual Pavillion. Do not miss the action.
Friday, February 24, 2023, Providence Bruins vs. Charlotte Checkers (HOME)
The Friday game marks the sixth game of eight that Charlotte and Providence will play this season. The first game saw the Bruins win 2-1. Fabian Lysell and Oskar Steen scored for Providence. Kyle Keyser was superb in net, stopping 29 of the 30 shots he faced.
The Bruins won the second battle in the season series 5-2. Jakub Lauko, John Beecher, Fabian Lysell, Justin Brazeau, and Oskar Steen score goals for Providence.
The Bruins won the third battle 5-3. Vinni Lettieri, Jakub Lauko, Oskar Steen, and Chris Wagner (2) scored goals for Providence.
The Bruins would fall in the fourth battle 2-1 overtime. Joona Koppanen would score the lone goal for the Providence Bruins.
The fifth battle saw the Bruins fall 5-2. Jack Ahcan and Mike Reilly score goals for Providence.
The Charlotte Checkers skate into the weekend 29-17-2-2 (62 points). That is good for third in the Atlantic Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference. This game has the potential to be a defensive battle. The Florida affiliate gives up only 2.94 goals a game. Meanwhile, the Bruins boast one of the best defenses in the AHL, giving up only 2.58 goals a game. Over the past five seasons, this matchup has given the Bruins fits; they hold an 11-7-2-3 record during those five years. That includes 7-4-1 at home.
Sunday, February 26, 2023, Providence Bruins vs. Rochester Americans (HOME)
The Sunday matchup marks the second and final game that Rochester and Providence will play this season. The first battle saw the Bruins fall 4-3 in overtime. Nick Wolff, Fabian Lysell, and Samuel Asselin score goals for Providence.
The Rochester Americans skate into the matchup 23-20-3-1 (50 points). That is good for fifth in the North Division and 12th in the Eastern Conference. The Americans have had a rough season due to their defense. The Buffalo affiliate gives up 3.36 goals a game, and they have a goal differential of -15. Meanwhile, the Bruins only give up 2.58 goals a game and have a goal differential of +23. Providence holds a 4-2-1 record against Rochester over the past five seasons, including 3-0 at home. I’d expect the Bruins to come out on top in this one.
My Players To Watch This Weekend
Georgii Merkulov is having a superb rookie season for the Providence Bruins. The young forward has been one of their best offensive players all season, especially as of late. Over his last 12 games, Merkulov has registered 15 points. Overall, the former Ohio State University standout has scored 16 goals while dishing out 23 assists for 39 total points in 46 games played this season. Look for him this weekend.
Fabian Lysell is having a fantastic rookie season for the Providence Bruins. A top prospect in the Boston system, Lysell scored 11 goals while dishing out 16 assists for 27 total points in 34 games played this season. The young forward’s speed and skill have been on display all season. Look for him this weekend.
Brandon Bussi is another rookie having an excellent season with the Providence Bruins. Bussi has flourished as part of Providence’s three-headed monster at goalie. In 21 games, he’s 15-2-4 with a 2.18 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage. Look for him this weekend.
The Providence Bruins continue to have an excellent season. They have positioned themselves perfectly to make a deep run in the playoffs this season. I expect our boys in black and gold to come out of this weekend with four points. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend. Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. GO BRUINS!
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