P-Bruins Miss Chance to Clinch Postseason Spot in 3-2 Loss
Bridgeport, CT - The Providence Bruins fell to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Tuesday morning 3-2, missing out on a chance to clinch a spot in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs. The P-Bruins got goals from Adam Payerl and Colton Hargrove while Dan Vladar made his 4th start of the season in net. Their magic number remains a four.
The opening 20 minutes were scoreless, but weren't without excitement. Each side missed a power play in the opening six minutes but picked up their offense after that. Vladar made 15 first period saves with his best one absolutely robbing Casey Bailey alone in front. Off a centering pass to create room for Bailey, Vladar made a great glove stop to steal a goal away from him and keep things scoreless. Anton Blidh had Providence's best look of the first on a breakaway, but he slid the puck just wide through the five hole of Eamon McAdam and the teams headed to the locker room with no score.
The P-Bruins took advantage of a poor play by McAdam midway through the second period to take a 1-0 lead. Hargrove and Payerl started a 2-on-2 up ice that did not look like it was going to be a great scoring chance, but Hargrove put a shot on McAdam that should have been covered up. Instead, the Bridgeport goalie mishandled the puck in the crease and Payerl made him pay by scoring his eighth goal of the season to give Providence the lead. However, a power play goal by Bailey at 14:11 tied things up into the second intermission 1-1.
The Sound Tigers took their first lead of the game two minutes into the final period as Connor Jones got a fortunate bounce of a P-Bruin skate. His centering pass went in off a defender's skate for his third goal of the season as Bridgeport grabbed a 2-1 lead. At 6:12, Providence tied the game again 2-2 with Hargrove and Payerl setting up another goal. After Trent Frederic won the face off to Hargrove at the half boards, Hargrove fired a wrister on McAdam. Payerl set a screen in front and the puck found the back of the net for a career-high 15th goal of the season for Hargrove. However, Travis St. Denis netted a power play goal at 10:15 off a nice pass from Josh Ho-Sang for his 23rd goal of the season as Bridgeport came away with a 3-2 win.
Vladar stopped 31 of 34 shots while McAdam stopped 23 of 25. Providence was 0-1 on the power play and 3-5 on the penalty kill. The P-Bruins are back in action Friday at the Dunk when they welcome the Hartford Wolf Pack to town for a 7:05pm face-off. They could clinch a postseason berth with a win and a regulation loss by Bridgeport that night.
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