Providence, Rhode Island – The Providence Bruins (35-34-3-4, 77 points) erased a one-goal deficit third period deficit with unanswered goals from Maxime Sauve and Colby Cohen to defeat the Portland Pirates (36-31-4-5, 81 points) by a score of 3-2 in front of 10,198 fans at the Dunkin Donuts Center on the final day of the season, presented by Bill Dodge Auto Group. The Pirates needed to win and either a Manchester Monarchs or Syracuse Crunch loss on the final day of the regular season to qualify for the Calder Cup Playoffs. Manchester and Syracuse both won their games. It’s only the fifth time in the Pirates’ 19-year history that they will not make the playoffs.
After a scoreless first period, the Pirates scored the game’s first goal when Marc-Antoine Pouliot hammered home a rebound shot on the power play for his 12th goal of the season. Brett Sterling and Brett MacLean grabbed assists on the goal at 1:08 of the second period.
But, Providence would battle back and tie the game with six minutes left in the middle frame. Cohen fired a puck to the net from the left circle and Ryan Spooner tipped it in for his first goal of the season. Sauve also had an assist on the play.
But, the Pirates would retake the lead on a four-on-four goal with just 55.7 seconds left in the second. Nick Ross fired a hard wrist shot past Providence goalie Michael Hutchinson for his fifth goal of the season. Pouliot and Matt Watkins got the assists on the goal.
In the third, the Baby B’s, who were eliminated from playoff contention earlier in the weekend, were determined to end their season on an up note. They tied the score at 5:50 of the third after Spooner fed a puck from behind the net to Sauve, who tipped it by Portland goalie Peter Mannino. David Warsofsky also picked up an assist on Sauve’s 11th goal of the season.
Providence took the lead for good at 9:28 when Cohen ripped a shot from the top of the slot through traffic that beat Mannino. It was Cohen’s fourth goal of the year and was assisted by Warsofsky and Josh Hennessy.
Before today, the Pirates were 26-0-3-2 when leading after two periods.
Both teams went 1-for-4 on the power play. Hutchinson made 28 saves in the win and ends the season with a 13-14-1 record. Mannino made 21 saves and finishes the season with a 12-11-1 record.
The Fairway Mortgage Three Stars of the Game were: 1. Cohen PRO; 2. Sauve PRO; 3. Pouliot POR.
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