May 16, 2017 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Providence Bruins
*Providence, RI - *The Atlantic Division Finals moved to the Dunkin Donuts Center last week as the Providence Bruins continued their fight for the Calder Cup. The four seeded Bruins split the opening two games in Hershey and welcomed the three seeded Bears to town for games three, four and five of the series. Providence outplayed and outshot the Bears in all three matchups, but it was Hershey that left town with a 3-2 series lead.
After jumping out to an early lead in game three, former P-Bruin Chris Bourque came back to haunt his old team by netting the game-tying goal early in the third and the game-winner in overtime to give the Bears a 2-1 victory. Providence had outshot the Bears 40-15 in the game, but just couldn't find a way to sneak more than one shot past Pheonix Copley. The P-Bruins again had the shots advantage in game four (39-11), but this time were able to pull out a 2-1 victory thanks to goals by Alex Grant and the game-winner late in the second period by Chris Porter. The frustration returned in game five, as Providence again outshot Hershey and came back to tie the game twice, but Madison Bowey won it for the Bears in overtime to give them the 3-2 win.
The P-Bruins now have their backs against the wall and must win to stay alive in the postseason. The team travels to Hershey for the final games of this series and will look to capitalize on the many scoring chances they couldn't convert through the first five games. The three overtime losses now push Providence's playoff OT losing streak to eight games dating back to 2015.
With three assists over the weekend, Noel Acciari led the club in scoring in his return from Boston. Acciari was cleared to play for game three and has made an immediate impact on the ice. It is Chris Casto that leads in scoring for the series with a goal and three assists while Austin Czarnik and Wayne Simpson are tied with two goals in the Division Finals. Overall, Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk share the lead with four postseason goals while Heinen leads the team and all AHL rookies with nine playoff points. Zane McIntyre continues to do his job in net, posting a 2.13 goals against average and a 92.2 save percentage through ten postseason games.
Providence is in win-or-go-home mode tonight as they take on Hershey at 7pm in Chocolate Town. If they win, game seven takes place tomorrow night at 7pm in Hershey with the winner moving on to the Eastern Conference Finals.