This weekend the Providence Bruins began their journey in the Calder Cup Playoffs against the Hershey Bears. After being deemed the 2012-2013 regular season Champions, they now fight to remain in the running for the Calder Cup, dropping the first two games of the series to the Hershey Bears.
Friday night the Bruins debuted against the Bears at home with Michae Hutchinson between the pipes, resting Niklas Svedberg for the first game of the series. However, the ‘resting’ was short lived as Svedberg came in to replace Hutchinson after he let in three goals. Combined the two netminders stopped 30 shots on the evening while Jamie Tardif and Christian Hanson scored the two goals for Providence.
Much like their major league affiliate, penalties killed the Bruins in their first game of the Calder Cup Playoffs, the Bears getting an early lead int he first and running away with it through the next forty minutes. Despite a late effort from Providence, the deficit was too much to overcome and they ended up falling 5-2 in game 1.
Game 2 was played Sunday afternoon, this time Svedberg getting the start. In much of the same fashion the Hershey Bears got on the board first, when Stoa put a backhander past Svedberg just 3:14 into the frame. However, despite being down a goal, the Bruins dominated the play and after twenty, led the shots 25-8. Unfortunately, despite full-team efforts they headed into the locker room down 2-1, their best efforts coming from Camper and Tardif ringing the puck off of the post.
1:09 into the middle frame, the Bruins tied up the game with Jordan Caron being on the receiving end of a neutral zone turnover and zipping it up ice to a rushing Craig Cunningham. Cunningham then fed a pass over to Carter Camper who was able to get the puck across the goal line to give the Bruins a boost of confidence and a fighting chance. Just past the half way marker the Bears regained the lead, but not for long. Just 20 seconds later Chris Bourque blasted a shot from the blue line and lit the lamp, tying the game once again.
Through the final twenty of regulation the two battled hard for the deciding goal, resulting in each team scoring, sending the game into overtime.
It would be a penalty once again that killed the Bruins as Garnet Exelby took a high sticking call, putting the Bruins at a disadvantage large enough to sway the momentum into Hershey’s favor for Jon DiSalvatore to score the game-winning goal in the remaining 13 seconds of the powerplay.
Both teams now head to Hershey, the Bruins in dire need of a victory to stay alive otherwise they’ll be packing their golfing bags earlier than expected. Their next game is Saturday, May 4 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.