Well, it wasn’t meant to be for Matias Mantykivi and his Ilves squad as they lost to the Pelicans 3-1 on Thursday and dropping the series in 6 games. Ilves will now play in the third-place game on April 20, 2023 against IFK Helsinki.
Following that and the end of Liiga play is the IIHF Men’s World Ice Hockey Championships. I’m not predicting Mantykivi will make the squad – but it should be an honor just to be considered, but this will be a tough roster to crack. Group A games will once again be played in Tampere Finland, which is the arena he and Ilves plays in during league play. Mantykivi’s contract with Ilves expires April 30 but an extension kicks in May 1 with an out clause to sign his entry level contract with the Bruins.
The Bruins will only hold onto Mantykivi’s rights until June 1 or he becomes an unrestricted free agent. I don’t suspect to hear anything about signing with the Bruins until after his current contract expires. And if he somehow were to make Finland’s roster, we may not hear anything until after the World Championships which runs from May 12 to May 28, 2023.
Latvia had a two game friendly series against Ukraine on Friday and Saturday in preparation for the IIHF Men’s World’s and lost both games by scores of 6-3 and 10-1. Bruins prospect Dans Locmelis did not take part in either of those games after scoring a goal in a 2-0 over Poland a week ago.
There are only two Bruins prospects remaining in the CHL playoffs: Ryan Mast of the Sarnia Sting and Jackson Edward of the London Knights. On Thursday the nights defeated the Kitchener Rangers 5-1 at home and followed that up with an 8-4 victory on Friday. On Sunday Kitchener got back into the series with a 5-1 win and now trails London 2-1. Jackson has no points so far in the series and 1 assist through 7 games.
Sarnia defeated the Saginaw Spirit at home Friday by a score of 3-0. On Sunday, the game went into overtime with the Sting coming out on top with a 2-1 victory and took a 2-0 series lead. So far through the playoffs, Mast has no points in 8 games.
Both Frederic Brunet and Brett Harrison made their professional debuts with the Providence Bruins on Saturday and both saw some powerplay time on the second unit where they were dominant in the QMJHL and OHL respectively this season. And both got their first professional points with Brunet notching two assists and Harrison adding one of his own. After already having added Mason Lohrei, that’s a lot of fire power added to the lineup.
But it didn’t end there. The Bruins added an elite (at the junior level) playmaker with Matthew Poitras when they signed him to an ATO, but he didn’t get into any games. I’m not sure Coach Ryan Mougenel will use any of them except Lohrei for the playoffs. The Bruins, who won the Atlantic Division title will get a bye in the first round and will play the remaining lowest seed.
The team also handed out their end of season awards: Brandon Bussi was named Team MVP; Georgii Merkulov was the team’s leading scorer; Jack Ahcan was named best defenceman; Connor Carrick had the best plus/minus; Joona Koppanen was named Fan Favorite, Georgii Merkulov Rookie of the Year; Kyle Keyser Fan Appreciation Award; and Josh Didier Colby Cave Award.
Bussi and Merkulov were named to the AHL All Rookie Team.
Here’s a look at the Providence Bruins leaders:
Coming up this week:
|PLAYER||MON 17||TUE 18||WED 19||THU 20||FRI 21||SAT 22||SUN 23|
|MAST||At SAG||At SAG||Vs SAG|
|EDWARD||At KIT||Vs KIT||At KIT|
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