Providence Bruins

May 24, 2017


Syracuse, NY – The Providence Bruins fell to the Syracuse Crunch Wednesday night 5-4, falling behind in the Eastern Conference Finals 2 games to 1. The P-Bruins got two goals from Danton Heinen and goals apiece from Anton Blidh and Ryan Fitzgerald while Zane McIntyre made his 15th straight postseason start in net.

Syracuse opened the scoring just over eight minutes into the opening period, taking advantage of their first power play. Matt Taormina sent a pass from the blue line over to Cory Conacher at the top of the right circle. He blasted a one-timer by McIntyre for his fifth goal of the playoffs as the Crunch went up 1-0. That lead doubled at 14:18, as Michael Bournival tipped a Mathieu Brodeur slap shot from the blue line that found the back of the net for his fourth postseason goal as Syracuse entered the intermission up 2-0.

The Crunch netted a third goal five minutes into the second, chasing McIntyre from the game. With Yanni Gourde screening him in front, Matt Taormina fired a shot from the blue line by the All-Star goalie to make things 3-0 and force Providence to bring Malcolm Subban in for the first time this postseason. The P-Bruins responded after the change in net, showing signs of life and getting on the board with 2:25 left in the period. Jordan Szwarz fired a shot on Mike McKenna that Wayne Simpson tipped in front. McKenna, who made many great stops to keep the Bruins off the board previously, saved the puck but Heinen took the rebound in the crease and scored his team leading seventh goal of the playoffs. The playoff’s leading rookie scorer cut the Crunch lead to 3-1 into the break.

The Crunch seemingly put the game out of reach four minutes into the third when Gourde put his own rebound by Subban, but Providence would not go down without a fight. Blidh and Heinen scored 22 seconds apart, Blidh on a rebound in the crease and Heinen on a shot from the point, to cut the lead to 4-3 Crunch. Conacher added an empty netter, but the P-Bruins still refused to quit. Despite being shorthanded, Fitzgerald scored his first AHL goal with 51 seconds left to make it 5-4 Crunch, but that is where the comeback ended as the P-Bruins fell by that final.

Mike McKenna saved 37 of 41 shots in a winning effort. McIntyre stopped 12 of 15 before being pulled and Subban stopped 21 of 22 after entering in the second. Providence was 0-4 on the power play and 5-6 on the penalty kill. The Conference Finals continue Friday in Syracuse at 7pm when the P-Bruins will look to even this best-of-seven series in game four.

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The Providence Bruins are the American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Boston Bruins, playing their home games at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, RI. Spanning more than 20 years, the Boston/Providence affiliation is one of the longest and most successful player development partnerships in professional hockey history.

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