P-Bruins Beat The Pirates As They Begin Final Weekend Of The Season
P-BRUINS COMMANDEER THE PIRATES 5-4
Spooner and Knight Earn First Professional Points in Debuts
Providence, RI – The Providence Bruins defeated the Portland Pirates 5-4 on Friday evening at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in front of 8,871 fans. The P-Bruins received two goals from Jordan Caron and single strikes Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman, Zach Hamill and Stefan Chaput.
Providence came out flying in the first period, looking to knock off top-seeded Portland in the teams' final meeting of the season. The P-Bruins looked to test Pirates goalie David Leggio early, but their offensive play was marred by penalties. In all three of Portland's power play opportunities, the Pirates were kept off the board by solid saves by Anton Khudobin. Khudobin's acrobatic play was good enough to send the teams into the first intermission scoreless.
The Pirates took an early lead in the second period, tallying even-strength and power play goals within 50 seconds of each other in the opening three minutes, courtesy of goals from Mark Parrish and Alex Biega. The P-Bruins weren't deterred, as LaVallee-Smotherman answered with his 11th goal of the season at the 5:04 mark. Jamie Arniel's rush into the Portland zone was poke-checked away, allowing LaVallee-Smotherman to pick up the loose puck and beat Leggio glove-side. In obvious frustration, Portland got two consecutive penalties, allowing nearly 1:30 of 5-on-3 play for the P-Bruins. While the club couldn't capitalize on the man-advantage, Colby Cohen found Caron back-door, who tipped in his 11th goal of the season. New addition Ryan Spooner picked up his first career professional point on the play. Providence continued to pressure the Portland defense and Caron lit the lamp for the second time at 17:48, jamming a pass from Jared Knight past Leggio to give the P-Bruins a 3-2 advantage going into the second intermission. The assist marked Knight's first career professional point as well.
The P-Bruins opened the third period with more quality scoring opportunities from Arniel and Hamill, but didn't find the back of the net until 6:41 when Hamill's shot made it through traffic past Leggio. Former Boston University teammates Cohen and David Warsofsky assisted on the goal to give the P-Bruins a 4-2 lead. Less than thirty seconds later, Chaput lit the lamp for his sixth goal of the season, extending the P-Bruins' lead to three. Lane MacDermid and Hamill assisted on the play. Portland answered with a late two-goal rush, scoring on the power play and the penalty kill, to bring the Pirates within one with five minutes remaining. However, the late surge wasn't enough as Providence held on for the 5-4 win.
Khudobin earned the win, stopping 26 attempts, while Leggio blocked 32 of 37 attempts to suffer the loss.