Providence, RI – The Providence Bruins fell to the Hershey Bears Sunday afternoon 3-2 in overtime and now trail the Atlantic Division Finals 3-2. The P-Bruins got goals from Tommy Cross and Austin Czarnik while Zane McIntyre earned the start in net.
Providence had some chances early in the first as Colby Cave had a breakaway and Matt Grzelcyk hit the right post. Vitek Vanecek, who started in place of the injured Pheonix Copley, was up to the task and kept the P-Bruins off the board. Former Bruin Chris Bourque opened the scoring at 11:42, netting his fifth goal of the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs. Tyler Lewington threw a shot on McIntyre from the left point, and a cutting Bourque got a piece of the puck at the near hash to sneak it by everyone. It was the first goal allowed by McIntyre in the opening period all postseason as the Bears entered the break up 1-0.
The P-Bruins finally capitalized on a chance four minutes into the second thanks to their captain. Noel Acciari fed Cross at the blue line, and the veteran weaved his way to the dot for a backhander that beat Vanecek. Cross’s first of the series and second of the playoffs tied the score 1-1. The Bears regained the lead at 8:29, and it was another former P-Bruin that came back to haunt his old team. Paul Carey took a feed from Stanislav Galiev and fired a wrist shot that beat McIntyre glove side for his first playoff goal. Providence continued to have opportunities as the period went on, but Hershey took a 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
It took until midway through the third, but Providence was able to even the score once again. Acciari fired the puck towards the crease from the left wing corner that DeBrusk put on net. Vanecek made the initial stop, but Czarnik was right there in the slot to put home his second goal of the playoffs to tie the score 2-2. The teams traded chance for chance as the period concluded, but for the third time in this series overtime was needed to decide a winner. It didn’t take long for Hershey end things in overtime, as two minutes in Madison Bowey fired a wrist shot from the left point for his second goal of the postseason to give Hershey a 3-2 win and series lead.
McIntyre stopped 14 of 17 shots while Vanecek stopped 29 of 31. Providence was 0-3 on the power play and 4-4 on the penalty kill. The P-Bruins will look to keep their season alive Tuesday in Hershey when the teams meet again for game six at 7pm.