P-Bruins clinch playoff spot with win over Sharks

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Providence Bruins are headed to the Calder Cup Playoffs for a third straight season after a 5-1 win over the Worcester Sharks Friday at the Dunkin Donuts Center. Rob Flick scored the game-winner shorthanded, after he stripped Worcester goalie Aaron Dell of the puck in the far circle.

Providence outshot the Sharks 10-7 in the opening frame, and even lit the lamp on the team’s first shot. Brian Ferlin scored only 1:09 into the game with a wrap-around attempt that beat Dell far side. Other Providence chances featured a mini-breakaway for Ben Sexton (who missed the net wide) and a couple of long rushes on the power play, ending with Dell glove saves.

Despite Flick’s goal, Worcester piled on 15 shots in the second period, including 10 in the first seven-plus minutes. Gus Young had a great chance with a one-timer and two-thirds of a net to work with, but in a play symbolic of the night for the Sharks, his shot was soft and wide. Worcester scored to cut the deficit in half when Danil Tarasov tipped a shot in the slot at 8:56 of the middle frame. Micheal Haley had a power play breakaway foiled by Jeremy Smith later in the period.

The Sharks had a few more good chances in the third period, including one from a tough bounce off of Steve Eminger with Jeremy Smith off-balance, but Smith reached back to make the save. Justin Florek added some insurance at 5:16, as Chris Casto reached into the near circle and lifted a pass to Florek on the other side. Andrew Cherniwchan– the game’s top star– registered his second point of the night with a tip goal while screening Dell. Tommy Cross capped the game’s scoring with a wrister past Dell with fewer than five minutes to go to make it 5-1.

The win vaults the Bruins over the Sharks into fifth place in the Eastern Conference, a tiebreaker ahead of the Hartford Wolf Pack and one point ahead of Worcester. The Route 146 rivals will continue their home-and-home series Saturday at the DCU Center at 7:00pm.

PROVIDENCE SCORING:

#19 Brian Ferlin (#39 Andrew Cherniwchan, #18 Justin Florek)

#10 Rob Flick (SHG)

Florek (#6 Chris Casto)

Cherniwchan (#2 Linus Arnesson, Florek)

#3 Tommy Cross (#28 Paul Carey)

PROVIDENCE GOALTENDING:

#30 Jeremy Smith (30 saves on 31 shots)

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The Providence Bruins are an American Hockey League franchise and the top affiliate of the NHL’s Boston Bruins. Since moving to Providence in 1992 the P-Bruins have been among the league leaders in regular season attendance. On the ice the team has enjoyed similar success, having won five division titles, three regular season titles and the Calder Cup in 1999.

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