PROVIDENCE – The Providence Bruins had high hopes for the AHL playoffs given the influx of talent to an already solid club at the end of the regular season. Those hopes were permanently extinguished on Saturday night when the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins rode out a wildly entertaining 5-4 double-overtime win over the P-Bruins at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Game 3 to cap off a three-game sweep in the best-of-five series.
Jake Guentzel scored his second goal of the game while taking advantage of a P-Bruins defender falling down on the ice, and snapped a wrist shot past Jeremy Smith with 6:08 to go in double-OT. Austin Czarnik scored two goals of his own while helping to power a three goal third period comeback that sent the elimination game into the extra sessions. But Providence couldn’t get one more goal past Scranton goalie Casey DeSmith among their whopping 63 shots on net.
Rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre was pulled after allowing four goals on 13 shots from the Penguins through two periods, and Providence’s only offense in the first two periods was an Austin Czarnik score after falling behind in the game’s first 10 minutes. Jake Guentzel scored on a McIntyre rebound just 35 seconds into the game, and watched Dominik Simon redirect one of his point shots on the PP to make it a two-goal advantage for the P-Bruins.
Jean-Sebastien Dea made it a three-goal lead for the Penguins in the second period before Providence finally got on the board. Alex Khokhlachev flipped a cross-ice pass to Czarnik for a blasted one-timer from the left face-off circle that traveled right on past Casey DeSmith. The final goal of the second period was almost a killer for McIntyre and Providence, a Tim Erixon wrist shot from inside the blue line that floated past the P-Bruins goalie.
Big P-Bruins defenseman Chris Breen scored on a long distance bomb to make it a two-goal game in the third period for Providence, and then Tommy Cross and Czarnik capped off the stunning third period comeback for the Baby B’s.