By: Mark Allred | Follow me on Twitter / X @BlackAndGold277
In a thrilling match that kept fans on the edge of their seats, the Providence Bruins clinched their third straight win, beating the Bridgeport Islanders 6-3 last night at the Amica Mutual Pavilion. The game was part of a Bruins Fights Cancer Night at the arena in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. The B’s came into last night’s game riding a two-game winning streak sitting in the seventh position in the Atlantic Division with an 8-8-1-2 record good enough for 19 points. The visiting Islanders, on the other hand, sat in the last position in the division with a 6-11-1-0 record.
The Friday night contest was the highest goal total at home this season for the top minor-pro affiliate of the National Hockey League Boston Bruins. Back on November 10th, 2023, Providence put up a five-goal effort, beating the Springfield Thunderbirds 5-4. In that game against Springfield, Bruins veteran defenseman Dan Renouf was the star of the game and had a four-point night, notching a goal and three assists.
First Period Highlights
The first period kicked off with a strong start from the Bruins as they set the tone physically against the visiting Islanders. Providence forward Joey Abate made his presence known early in the first period when he dropped the gloves against Eetu Liukas just 3:38 into the opening frame, setting the pace for the rest of the game. There was no scoring in the first 20 minutes at the AMP, and neither team gave each other an inch without body contact.
Second Period Highlights
The second period saw the Bruins dominate the middle frame, scoring five goals. Providence executed their strategy flawlessly, scoring goals almost every two minutes and maintaining control of the puck for most of the period. Despite the Islanders’ best efforts, they could only manage to net one goal, leaving the score at 5-1 by the end of the period.
The goals from the Providence Bruins in the middle period came from forward Marc McLaughlin, who scored his fourth goal of the season at the 1:04 mark. The assists on McLaughlin’s second-period goal came from forward John Farinacci and forward Luke Toporowski, giving the home team a 1-0 lead. At the 6:10 mark of the period, defenseman Parker Wotherspoon notched his first goal of the season with the assists given to defenseman Frederic Brunet and forward Justin Brazeau, giving the B’s a 2-0 lead.
The third Providence goal of the period came at the 12:46 mark and went to forward Anthony Richard, who scored his third of the season, assisted by defenseman Wotherspoon and forward Jason Megna, giving the B’s a 3-1 lead. Bruins forward Georgii Merkulov notched his fifth goal of the year at the 14:10 mark of the period, with the helpers going to forward Brazeau and defenseman Alec Regula. Finishing off the best 20 minutes of the season, Boston Bruins prospect Brett Harrison scored his first professional goal at the 19:05 mark of the period on the power play, assisted by forwards Luke Toporowski and Richard.
Third Period Highlights
New Providence forward Patrick Brown, who was waived earlier in the week from Boston, down to Providence, notched his first AHL goal of the season at the 5:53 mark, giving the home Bruins a commanding 6-1 lead. The assists on Brown’s goal went to defenseman Regula and forward Megna. Providence was seemingly comfortable with the aggressive lead over the Islanders, which would be exposed in the final five minutes of the final frame. Bridgeport fought back valiantly and managed to score the game’s final two goals, but it was too little, too late, as the Bruins secured their third straight victory, beating the Islanders by the score of 6-3.
Key Players of the Game
In the 6-3 victory over the visiting Bridgeport Islanders, the Providence team had several members notching multi-point games in the win at the AMP last night. Defensemen Wotherspoon had a goal and an assist, while fellow blueliner Regula had two helpers. Forwards Brazeau, Megna, and Toporowski all had two assists each, and Richard had a goal and an assist.
Providence Goaltender Michael DiPietro got the start in goal last night in the win over the Islanders, stopping 24 of 27 stots. DiPietro is now on a two-game winning streak and seems to have secured the backup role behind starter Brandon Bussi. Providence is still running with three goaltenders, while Kyle Keyser, who has only played in two games this season, was DiPietro’s backup last night and hasn’t seen game action since November 4th, 2023, when he stopped 21 of 26 shots in a 5-4 loss on the road against the host Cleveland Monsters.
Coach’s Comments and Strategy
Post-match, Bruins’ head coach Ryan Mougenel praised the team’s performance, attributing the win to their aggressive offense and solid defense for their third straight victory. Please subscribe to our official Black N’ Gold Productions LLC YouTube Channel below for more NHL and AHL Bruins content.
Implications for the Season
This third straight win moved the Providence team up in the Atlantic division standings to the sixth spot with a record of 9-8-1-2. They’ve shown they can maintain a winning streak and will hopefully be a team to recon with as the 2023-24 regular season continues. For the Islanders, this loss is a setback, but they have plenty of games left to turn their season around.
In conclusion, the match showcased the Bruins’ skill and determination. With their eyes now set on their next game against the Islanders at the Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut, they’ll be looking to extend their winning streak even further. The final contest of this three-game weekend is on Sunday afternoon as Providence heads back to the Amica Mutual Pavilion to face the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, who currently sit in the fifth spot in the Atlantic with a regular season record of 9-7-3-0.