Providence Bruins

Apr 28, 2018


Allentown, PA – The Providence Bruins fell to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Saturday night in overtime 4-3 in game four of the Atlantic Division Semifinals, ending their 2017-18 season. The P-Bruins got goals from Tommy Cross, Anton Blidh and Austin Czarnik while Jordan Binnington made his third start of the series in net.

Lehigh Valley set the tone early in the game, scoring goals just 37 seconds apart. TJ Brennan got things started at 7:27, sending a wrister by Binnington from the left point. Greg Carey and Alex Krushelnyski assisted on Brennan’s first goal of the postseason as the Phantoms took a 1-0 lead. Chris Conner made it 2-0 at 8:04, putting home the rebound of a Reece Willcox shot in the crease. His first goal of the playoffs sent the PPL Center crowd into a frenze and gave the Phantoms all of the momentum. Conner struck again at 16:26 while alone on a breakaway attempt. Carey sent him a home run pass from his defensive zone, getting Conner behind the defense. Conner slipped one through Binnington’s five-hole for his second goal of the game and gave Lehigh Valley a 3-0 lead into the first intermission.

Needing a spark, the P-Bruins pulled Binnington in favor of Zane McIntyre in net and the move seemed to wake the team up. After being outshot 14-6 in the first, Providence outshot the Phantoms 14-6 in the second period and kept them off the scoreboard in the frame behind strong work from McIntyre. Cross finally got the team on the board late in the period with his first goal of the postseason at 17:34. From the left point, he fired a slap-shot towards goaltender Alex Lyon that went off the stick of a defender and into the net. Kenny Agostino and Jordan Szwarz earned assists on the play and the team entered the locker room with momentum but down 3-1 after two.

That momentum carried over into the third as Providence mounted a furious comeback to tie things up. The team peppered Lyon with shots, outshooting Lehigh Valley 18-4 in the period and 32-10 in periods two and three. With eight minutes left in the third, the P-Bruins cut it to a one-goal game on a nice tip from Blidh. Chris Breen fired a slapper towards goal and Blidh just a piece in front for his second goal of the postseason. Karson Kuhlman also had an assist on the play as the team made it 3-2. At 5:01, Czarnik followed suit with a tip-in shot of his own to tie the game. With Postma shooting a slapper this time, Czarnik’s stick blade grazed the puck and got it by Lyon for his second goal of the postseason. Agostino earned the secondary assist and the P-Bruins sent it to overtime knotted 3-3.

The P-Bruins dominated the shots and zone time in the overtime period, but couldn’t get anything past Lyon despite several good looks. Maxim Lamarche made them pay for their missed chances by cashing in on one of the few Lehigh Valley got in the OT. He entered the zone and skated into the left wing corner. He fired a shot towards McIntyre that snuck through for his first goal of the series and the Phantoms earned a hard-fought, 4-3 victory.

Lyon stopped 49 of 52 shots in his third start of the series and second win of the postseason. Binnington stopped 11 of 14 shots before getting pulled while McIntyre stopped 13 of 14 after entering to start the second. Providence was 0-3 on the power play and 4-4 on the penalty kill. This marks the third time in the last four seasons that the P-Bruins season has ended with a first round series loss in the Calder Cup Playoffs

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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 25 years, the Boston/Providence affiliation is one of the longest and most successful player development partnerships in professional hockey history.

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