P-Bruins blow late lead, fall to Springfield in OT

The Providence Bruins lost their playoff opener against the Springfield Falcons on Wednesday, April 23.

Springfield, MA – The Providence Bruins were defeated by the Springfield ThunderBirds Saturday night 3-2 in overtime. Wayne Simpson and Peter Mueller scored goals for Providence while Malcolm Subban started in net.

Springfield got on the board just 1:50 into the game, as Subban faced a barrage of shots with one finally hitting the back of the net off the stick of Sena Acolatse. Ian McCoshen and Ryan Horvat picked up assists on Acolatse’s fourth goal of the season which gave the ThunderBirds a 1-0 lead. The P-Bruins offense was stagnant most of the period, as they were outshot 10-3 and had very few scoring chances.

The second period was a different story, as Providence dominated the scoring chances which led to a lead on the scoreboard. Quick passing from Mueller and Danton Heinen on the power play set up Simpson in front of the net. He backhanded one past Mike McKenna for his seventh goal of the season and tied the game 1-1 at 2:32. Nearly ten minutes later, the P-Bruins took the lead at the 12:13 mark. Matt Grzelcyk fired a shot on McKenna who made the initial save, but Mueller took the rebound and scored his seventh goal of the season to give Providence a 2-1 lead.

The lead would not last long into the third as the ThunderBirds tied things up 2-2 while on the power play. Jared McCann sent a pass to Paul Thompson, who sniped it by Subban’s glove for his sixth goal of the year. Providence had several opportunities to retake the lead but could not sneak one by McKenna as the game headed to overtime.

Just 2:12 into overtime, Acolatse sent a beautiful pass to Shane Harper who one-timed it in for the Springfield game winner. Mike Sgarbossa picked up the secondary assist on Harper’s third of the year as the ThunderBirds won 3-2.

Subban played well, stopping 32 of 35 shots while McKenna stopped 24 of the 26 shots he faced. These two teams will play again tomorrow at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI at 3:05 pm.

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.