P-Bruins Clinch Postseason Berth Despite 5-4 OT Loss
Lehigh Valley, PA - The Providence Bruins fell to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Friday night 5-4, but clinched a berth in the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs thanks to Bridgeport's 7-0 loss. The P-Bruins got goals from Peter Mueller, Jake DeBrusk, Wayne Simpson and Chris Porter while Zane McIntyre received the start in net.
Things got off to a rough start for Providence as the Scott Laughton and the Phantoms scored just 31 seconds into the game. It was all P-Bruins after that, as the team netted two power play goals in less than two minutes. The first came courtesy of Mueller, as he skated up the right side and beat Alex Lyon five-hole for his 13th goal of the season. DeBrusk made it 2-1 Bruins at 3:08 with his 19th goal of the year. Matt Grzelcyk's shot from the right point was deflected in front by Mueller, and the loose puck found DeBrusk in the left slot for an easy goal. Simpson concluded the first period scoring at 15:08, as his tough angle shot from the right goal line somehow went in for his 16th goal of the season as the team entered the break up 3-1.
It was the Bruins turn to score early in a period, as the team beat Lyon just 1:18 into the second. DeBrusk dove for the puck in the left wing corner and made a sprawling centering pass to Porter. Porter scored his eighth goal of the season, putting Providence up 4-1 and ending Lyon's night. Martin Ouellette took over between the pipes for Lehigh Valley as the P-Bruins headed to the locker room up 4-1.
Lehigh Valley mounted a furious comeback in the third period that saw the P-Bruins give up their fastest three goals of the season. After a Colin McDonald goal at 9:09, the P-Bruins still held a 4-2 lead late into the third which forced the Phantoms to pull their goalie. Greg Carey scored with an extra attacker at 18:58 and kept the pressure coming when Andy Miele scored at 19:29 to send the game to overtime tied 4-4. Corban Knight scored just 48 seconds into the extra period, completing the comeback and sending Lehigh Valley home 5-4 winners.
Lyon stopped 10 of 14 before being pulled while Ouellette stopped all 18 in a winning effort. McIntyre stopped 32 of 37 shots. Providence was 2-5 on the power play and 6-6 on the penalty kill. The P-Bruins conclude their regular season tomorrow night in Hershey when they face off against the Bears at 7pm. Providence's postseason match-up and schedule have not yet been determined, but tickets for Round one of the playoffs will go on sale Monday.
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American Hockey League Stories from April 14, 2017
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- Checkers Stay Alive in Playoff Race - Charlotte Checkers
- P-Bruins Clinch Postseason Berth Despite 5-4 OT Loss - Providence Bruins
- Manitoba Shut Down Cleveland - Manitoba Moose
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