PIRATES PREVAIL OVER P-BRUINS IN SHOOTOUT
Ryan Spooner scores, earns third star of the game
Providence, R.I. -- The Providence Bruins fell to the Portland Pirates 3-2 this evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. Ryan Spooner and Bobby Robins scored in regulation, and Niklas Svedberg made 37 saves in regulation.
The Pirates came out strong after the puck dropped in the first period, and had an early chance to gain the lead. Bobby Robins went off for interference, but the Pirates could not capitalize on the man advantage, and the P-Bruins successfully killed off their first penalty of the game. The game soon shifted into a back-and-forth effort from both teams, with the P-Bruins edging their opponent in chances. A late period power play on a Russ Sinkewich tripping call saw Providence unleash a barrage of shots on Portland's Chad Johnson, but the goalie stood tall and the period expired with a blank scoreboard.
Providence began the second period with sustained o-zone pressure, and earned themselves an early power play on a Chris Summers roughing minor. Graham Mink began the shooting with a stuff attempt, but was stonewalled by Johnson, and Maxime Sauve was similarly frustrated after making a few quick moves but only hitting post. Towards the end of the Summers penalty, the P-Bruins finally got their break. Ryan Spooner was fed in front of the goal from Matt Bartkowski, got denied, and then ripped a shot from the circle moments later, putting the P-Bruins up 1-0. The goal was his eighth of the season, and was assisted by Aaron Johnson and Craig Cunningham. Providence had continued pressure after the power play timed out, but Portland struck back minutes later on a rush, tying the game at one. Darien Dziurznyski netted his second of the season off assists from Brandon Gormley and Brett Hextall. Almost exactly two minutes later, Bobby Robins tucked the puck between Johnson and the post, again giving the P-Bruins the lead. His third of the year came from Kevan Miller and Christian Hanson. The Providence lead was threatened soon after, as Sauve went off for slashing, but the P-Bruins hung on to kill it off, and circled around Johnson after Sauve left the box, finding themselves with a multitude of chances but unable to make anything work. With four minutes left in the second, Dziurznyski picked up a pass from Brendan Shinnimin and tossed it past Providence netminder Niklas Svedberg to tie up the game once more. Portland was given a last-minute chance when Jamie Tardif got caught hooking, but the P-Bruins killed off their chance, and the period timed out in a 2-2 tie.
The third period opened with some leftover energy, but soon after showed little resemblance to the high-octane period that came before it. Both teams' biggest chance came after a Brandon Gormley high-sticking call morphed into a four-on-four battle due to a tripping call on Providence's Johnson 30 seconds into the Gormley minor. The P-Bruins had about a minute and a half to themselves after Johnson's penalty ended, but did not find themselves on the receiving end of a game-winner. The two teams ended the period in a 2-2 gridlock, sending the game into overtime.
The quick, five-minute overtime yielded the same results, and the game was sent to the shootout. Spooner put the P-Bruins up in the first round, and remained the lone scorer for the next three rounds. Portland's Chris Conner gave the Pirates hope, but was quickly silenced by Carter Camper. Ethan Werek put the Pirates back in contention, and Jordan Szwarz sealed the deal in the seventh round to give the Pirates a 3-2 win over the P-Bruins.