Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Providence Wins Game 1 in Overtime

Providence Beats Worcester 3-2 in OT
April 29, 2009
by T.Chace Jr.

In what was an intense, hard hitting affair Tuesday night, the Providence Bruins have taken Game 1 of this best of seven series against the Worcester Sharks in the Atlantic Division Finals. Providence Bruin captain Jeremy Reich did it again, he scored his second game winning goal of the playoffs. Reich snapped a wrist shot over Worcester Sharks goaltender Thomas Greiss's shoulder at 6:19 of overtime to give the B's a 1-0 series lead. The goal was unassisted and came after Providence played perhaps their best hockey of the night.

Head Coach Rob Murray stated "the overtime was probably the best string of minutes we played throughout the game, and it showed." In regards to Reich's offense, he said "his offensive skill is probably underrated, he's got a good shot and the time spent in the NHL helped, you hone your skills playing with better players and he is a much improved player."

The first period never started with a puck drop, as Bruins Jordan Knackstedt and Frazer McLaren were given unsportsmanlike conduct penalties at the start. At the 1:06 mark, during 4 on 4 play, Martin St. Pierre scored his second goal of the playoffs on an assist from Brad Marchand, to give Providence a 1-0 lead. That score held up to end the first period.

The second period's first goal was scored by Marchand on the power play, with assists to St. Pierre and Mikko Lehtonen at 5:55. Providence now led 2-0. Worcester fought back though, as P-Bruin killer Jamie McGinn, just returned from the parent San Jose Sharks, scored his first of two goals in the game at 12:55. Assists on McGinn's first playoff goal went to Dan DaSilva and defenseman Jason Demers. At the end of two periods it was 2-1 Providence.

The third period was dominated by Worcester, as the P-Bruins had trouble getting out of their own end. Solid goaltending by Tuukka Rask held the fort until McGinn scored again with just 5:21 left in regulation. With helpers from Demers and Ryan Vesce, the game was now tied at 2-2. McGinn, a rookie, had scored six goals against Providence during the regular season.

In overtime, it was all Providence. Reich scored his unassisted goal and the small but loud crowd went crazy. Worcester outshot Providence 37-27, and was 1 for 4 on the power play. Providence scored on 1 of 3 power play opportunities. Reich was named first star, followed by McGinn and Marchand.

The series now has a long break as both venues have previously scheduled events. For Providence it's the circus and for the Sharks they have a rodeo coming. Game 2 is next Wednesday May 6th in Worcester.

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