Spooner's Shootout Goal Lifts Providence to 3-2 Victory

St. John's, NF
-- The Providence Bruins defeated the St. John's IceCaps 3-2 in a shootout this evening at the Mile One Centre. Alden Hirschfeld scored his first AHL goal and Ryan Spooner scored in regulation and the winner in the shootout en route to second star honors.

The Providence Bruins and St. John's IceCaps got off to a stagnant start in the first period of their second meeting of the season. Despite getting on the board just 22 seconds into the first period of the teams' first meeting (a 3-0 Providence win) on November 4, neither the Bruins or IceCaps could generate any offensive push throughout the first frame. The Bruins and IceCaps went into the first intermission tied 0-0 and with 12 and 13 shots respectively.

Providence took complete control in the second period, pressuring St. John's hard and forcing numerous turnovers. The Bruins took a quick offensive lead and jumped ahead of the IceCaps in the scoring race. Halfway through the second, the IceCaps started to gain some momentum, but Niklas Svedberg was a brickwall, making incredible sprawling saves to keep the opposition off the board. It looked like the teams were going to head into the second intermission scoreless, but at 19:55 of the second, Hirschfeld, in just his second game in a Bruins uniform, scored his first AHL goal. Chris Bourque and Craig Cunningham assisted on the goal to send the Bruins into the final intermission with a 1-0 lead.

The IceCaps tied it up 1-1 just 58 seconds into the third frame. However, the Bruins wouldn't give up the lead that easily and they jumped out to a 2-1 lead just 1:25 into the third period when Spooner beat Eddie Pasquale five-hole with a beautiful back hander. The goal, assisted by Bourque, marked Spooner's fourth of the season. The IceCaps would respond at 16:35 off a goal from their captain Jason Jaffray to tie the game 2-2 and send the game into overtime.

After a scoreless overtime, the teams were forced into a shootout to decide the game. Spooner, the first shooter for Providence, beat Pasquale again with another beautiful backhander. As the Bruins three other shooters failed to score, Svedberg's flawless performance between the pipes earned him the win.

Svedberg's 31 saves in regulation and flawless shootout performance earned him the win and third star honors. Pasquale, who stopped 38 attempts in regulation, fell short in the shootout and suffered the loss.