Providence, RI – The Providence Bruins defeated the Hershey Bears Friday night 2-1 to even the Atlantic Division Finals at 2-2. The P-Bruins got goals from Alex Grant and Chris Porter while Zane McIntyre earned the start between the pipes.
The first period was the same story as last night’s game with Providence getting a 15-3 shot advantage but failing to find the back of the net. Stanislav Galiev had a late breakaway chance for the Bears, but McIntyre stuffed it to keep the game scoreless into the intermission. The P-Bruins capitalized on an early second period power play to finally open the scoring. Just 2:04 in, Peter Mueller passed the puck to Grant from the right wing corner. Grant sent a wrist-shot from the dot by Pheonix Copley for his first goal of the playoffs, giving Providence a 1-0 lead.
Hershey wasted little time tying the score at 1-1, as at 5:51 Dustin Gazley tipped home a shot by Christian Djoos for his first goal of the postseason. That remained the score most of the period, but Providence was able to jump back in front with 42 seconds left thanks to Porter. Porter, Noel Acciari and Chris Breen created havoc in front of the net and Porter was able to jump on a loose puck in front to score his third goal of the postseason. Copley was injured on the play and Hershey had to turn to backup Vitek Vanecek for the rest of the night as they entered the break down 2-1.
Providence again saw the better opportunities in the third, creating odd-man rushes and quality chances through the period. The Bears struggled to get shots to McIntyre, registering their tenth shot on goal for the game with 6:30 left in the game. They ended with a P-Bruin opponent season-low of 11 total shots as Providence went on to a 2-1 win.
McIntyre stopped 10 of 11 shots in a winning effort. Copley stopped 28 of 30 shots before leaving while Vanecek stopped all nine that he faced. Providence was 1-3 on the power play and 1-1 on the penalty kill. The P-Bruins will look to take a 3-2 lead in this best-of-seven series Sunday afternoon at the Dunk when the teams meet for game five at 3:05pm.