April 21, 2013 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Providence Bruins
Providence, RI -- The Providence Bruins topped off their successful season with a dramatic 4-3 win this afternoon over the Norfolk Admirals at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. Ryan Spooner scored his first professional hat trick and many players had a multi point game. Michael Hutchinson made 22 saves in the victory
In the last regular season game of the season, both teams came out hard with play moving quickly up and down the ice. The first shot on goal was not until about four minutes into the period from the Admirals. Moments later, Devante Smith-Pelly got possession of the puck and roofed it just behind Hutchinson's left shoulder. About three minutes after the goal, with 11:51 remaining, Providence got their first shot on goal from Zach Trotman from the right faceoff circle. Norfolk had the chance to extend their lead when Harry Zolnierczyk came at the net diagonally and attempted to tuck the puck in but fell down and Hutchinson covered up the puck right in between his legs. The P-Bruins got on the board at 10:53 with a goal from Ryan Spooner. The puck went off the end boards and bounced back between Andersen's legs and Spooner shot in the rebound to tie up the game. Garnet Exelby had the assist on the goal. The remainder of the period was quiet and both teams went off to their dressing rooms tied with the Admirals outshooting the P-Bruins 10 to 3.
The second period had Norfolk answering every goal scored by Providence. The P-Bruins first took the lead with a goal from Craig Cunningham at 3:36 of the period. Chris Bourque took the shot and Cunningham deflected it into the net past Andersen to make it 2-1. Spooner, who leads all rookies in assists, had the secondary assist bringing his total assists to 40. Just 13 seconds after killing a penalty, the Admirals tied it at 2-2 with a goal from Patrick Maroon at 10:16. Two minutes later Providence took the lead again with their third goal on just 10 shots to make it 3-2. On a three on two rush, Spooner had the puck in the middle and sped toward the goal and beat Andersen. Emotions started to run high in the period with a lot of little scraps between players. Bobby Robins and Maroon chirped each other at the face off and were promptly sent to penalty boxes at 18:41 to make the remainder of the period four on four. With just three seconds remaining in the period, the Admirals tied it up again with a goal from their captain Nate Guenin. The shots were more evened out at the end of 40 minutes of play with the Admirals outshooting the P-Bruins 20 to 19.
It took until 19:39 of the period for the deciding game winning goal. Most of the period was quiet with play back and forth. In the final 30 seconds, Spooner went down the left wing with speed and shot the puck at the net for the his third goal of the game and the eventual game winning goal. The hat trick is the first of Spooner's first professional goal. The Admirals would not tie the game and the Providence got their 50th win of the season, ending the season with a staggering 105 points.
Prior to the start of this afternoon's game, six different players were honored for what they have done this season. Tommy Cross was honored with the +/- award for his team leading +13 and Craig Cunningham was honored with the Providence 3 Stars award. Torey Krug was honored as the Providence Bruins best defenseman and for being player of the week for the week ending April 14th. Bobby Robins was honored with the Providence Bruins Community Service Award and the Providence Bruins Fan Appreciation award. Ryan Spooner was honored for his selection on the All Rookie Team, as the Providence Bruins leading scorer and as the player of the month for the month of March. Niklas Svedberg was honored with six different awards from the season. He was honored as player of the month for the month of March, his selection to the All Rookie Team and AHL First All Star team as well as Providence Bruins rookie of the year and Providence Bruins most valuable player. Most notably Svedberg was honored with the Baz Bastien Award for best goaltender.
Providence Bruins Calder Cup Playoff tickets for first round games at the Dunkin Donuts Center on April 26th and 28th are on sale now. Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals will be played at The Dunkin' Donuts Center on Friday, April 26 at 7:05 p.m. Game 2 will also be played at The Dunk on Sunday, April 28 at 3:05 p.m. For information and special playoff ticket offers visit www.providencebruins.com or call the Providence Bruins ticket office 401-273-5000. Providence Bruins playoffs are presented by Dunkin' Donuts.