Tardif scores two to give Bruins fourth win in a row

Providence, R.I. --
The Providence Bruins defeated the Hershey Bears 3-2 tonight at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. Jamie Tardif scored two goals in the win, with Graham Mink recording the third. Niklas Svedberg made 24 saves, and the Bruins outshot the Bears 27-26 as they improved to 45-21-0-5.

The first period got off to a quick start between the P-Bruins and the Bears, as Providence's Garnet Exelby pulled a shot off that, while the crowd was roaring, the linesman was immediately shaking his head no. Incidental contact was called, and the goal was waved off. The early burst continued throughout the period, with both teams going back and forth, neither able to create a constant offensive pressure. Hershey's first real chance came on a Rob Flick slashing call, but the P-Bruins' eighth-ranked penalty kill stifled the Bears' offense, barely allowed them to set up a shot. The Bears had another opportunity shortly after, as Jamie Tardif skated to the box to serve Niklas Svedberg's slashing call. Again, Hershey's power play proved to be unsuccessful, and despite a minute of 4-on-4 hockey courtesy of a Ryan Potulny crosscheck, the first ended in a 0-0 draw.

Providence capitalized early in the second when Tardif picked up Knight's rebound and ripped a shot past Grubauer, going top shelf to put the P-Bruins up by one. Torey Krug dished it in front of the Hershey net, to start the play, and after Jared Knight's shot was blocked by the Bears' netminder, Philipp Grubauer, it was Tardif who put it home for his league-leading 29th of the season. Less than five minutes later, Knight and Krug came together again, this time setting up Graham Mink. Mink's goal, a slick five-hole shot, put the P-Bruins up 2-0, and was his 10th of the season. Hershey's first attempt at a rally came a minute later, when they gained a man-advantage as Colby Cohen went off for high-sticking. Providence was able to kill the penalty off, but the Bears retaliated minutes later on a one-timer by Garrett Mitchell, with assists from Chay Genoway and Michael Latta. The game was tied for a brief moment late in the third, on a shot from Hershey's Dane Byers, but his goal was quickly contested by Svedberg, and after review was waved off by the on-ice officials. At the end of two, Providence led 2-1.

As a result of a late-period fight between Latta and Zach Trotman, the P-Bruins began the third on a power play. Hershey killed off the penalty, and cashed in on their hard work at the eight minute mark when a huge scrum in front of the Providence net began, and Potulny was able to get his stick on the puck and pushed it past Svedberg to tie the game at two. The tie was broken minutes later, as Svedberg tipped the puck to Ryan Spooner, who then rushed it up the ice, creating a 3-on-2 for the P-Bruins. Spinning around a Hershey defenseman, Spooner tossed the puck over to Tardif, who shot it past Grubauer for his second of the night. The goal, putting Providence up 3-2, was Tardif's 30th of the season. Despite a timeout and a pulled goalie, Hershey was unable to make any late-period magic happen, and the scoreboard stood in a 3-2 Providence victory. The two Eastern Conference teams split their season, with the Bears taking a 3-2 decision on March 30.