This past weekend for the Providence Bruins included a game against a division rival, a short jaunt to Connecticut and a big announcement that came about a month before the AHL’s version of the All-Star Game.
Trent Whitfield was selected as one of the captains at the upcoming AHL All-Star Classic, which will be held in Providence from Jan. 27 to 28. Quintin Lang of the Abbotsford Heat is the other captain. AHL All-Star captains are chosen by the league’s president as a show of thanks for their leadership and AHL service.
Whitfield will captain the Eastern Conference All-Star team and make his first All-Star Classic appearance since 2003. He’s been with Providence since 2009 and has made some appearances with Boston too. Since 1999, he’s been playing at the pro level, three years after being drafted by Boston.
Other familiar past participants in the AHL All-Star Classic include Patrice Bergeron, Tuukka Rask, Dustin Brown, Zach Parise and Ryan Miller.
That announcement came on Dec. 21, the same day the P-Bruins played the Worcester Sharks (San Jose Sharks) at home. Chris Bourque scored two goals, one after the other, on two different power plays in two different periods. Later in the third period, the P-Bruins struck twice in a row again with goals from Craig Cunningham and Jamie Tardif. The Sharks snatched victory from the jaws of potential overtime or shootout defeat, though, when they scored at 19:49 of the third period. So, they took the 5-4 win in the end.
It’s kind of like how they seem keen on taking other parts of Boston Bruins legend: giving Rene Rancourt a shot at singing the anthem in their home arena and even giving Bobby Orr a #4 sweater in Sharks colors, which just looks like an abomination. Leave them alone!
As befitting a game between division rivals, though, there was a long penalty sheet. The first period ended in a fight, Worcester’s Frazer McLaren and Providence’s Bobby Robins each got 10-minute misconducts for unsportsmanlike conduct and the second period was especially penalty-laden.
One day later, in Connecticut, the P-Bruins took a 3-1 win against the Connecticut Whale (New York Rangers). Tardif and Bourque both scored again and Christian Hanson added another goal to ensure the victory. Being productive in both games this past weekend allowed Bourque to keep his spot as top scorer on the team with 23 points, but Tardif is right behind him at 20.
At second place in the Atlantic Division and still holding on to fifth place in the Eastern Conference, the P-Bruins will have a three-game weekend starting on Dec. 27.