The odds were against us.
Providence is the regular season champion.
They won 50 games this season. Fifty. They only play 76.
They lost 9 games at home this season. Nine. Some teams lose nine in a month, they lost nine all season.
The shot disparity tonight was 47-18 Providence tonight. Since the five minute mark of the second period, 37-8 Providence.
I said in the Gameday setup that the Penguins needed to treat this game like Providence was on the brink of elimination. Sometimes the blind squirrel that I am finds a nut every now and again. The Penguins, led by none other than Brad Thiessen, shut the door on the P-Bruins advancing tonight and have done something only four teams in AHL history have ever accomplished and win tonight 2-1 in overtime.
Game 7 is Wednesday.
Brad Thiessen vs. Nik Svedberg. Dylan Reese was back for the Pens on the blueline as the seventh defenseman. Wilkes-Barre dressed the dreaded 11 forwards, 7 defenseman lineup tonight. Scratches were Cody Wild, Dom Uher, Steve MacIntre and Bobby Farnham who was injured in Game 6 with an upper body injury and was not on the trip.
First Period: Great opening jump by the Pens. Then Providence made their push. Jamie Tardif had a wraparound attempt that was labeled for the back of the net but somehow Thiessen got his pad over and denied the shot. Pens would continue to turnover the puck and have difficulty exiting the zone. Somehow, the period broke with no goal scored. Pens were sharp in the opening half, Providence sharper and Thiessen sharpest in the period.
Second Period: Pens would have to kill off a carryover penalty from the first. They do, but on a line change forget about the P-Bruins on the ice with the puck. It would set up to be a three on none on Thiessen and Craig Cunningham would finish it off to put the P-Bruins on the board first. Pens would get a power play, not score. It looked really bad. Pens find themselves all of a sudden in a 5-on-3 situation and Brian Dumoulin would pick a corner and tie the game.
Providence would tighten up and really start to roll the Pens. Wilkes-Barre would be badly, badly, outplayed. Thiessen made miraculous save after miraculous save.
Third Period: Providence throws everything but the kitchen sink at Thiessen. But he literally kept the season alive for the Penguins. He had a huge save on another wraparound bid. Shots this period were 20-2 Providence.
Overtime: Shots were 3-0 Pens in overtime. Then Trevor Smith did this:
Three Stars: 3) Craig Cunningham (goal, +1) 2) Trevor Smith (game winning overtime goal, assist, +1) and 1) Brad Thiessen (46 saves on 47 shots)
Anything goes in Game 7, Wednesday.
Will the Penguins close out the Bruins? The Bruins threw everything they had at the Pens tonight and could not knock Brad Thiessen or Wilkes-Barre down. It all comes down to Wednesday. Will the Pens shake the second round and out curse they have going?
No matter what happens, we all ride together.
Buy the ticket, take the ride.
Cardiac Penguins FOREVER.
Let’s Go Pens!!! All In!!!