PROVIDENCE, RI – Jordan Szwarz‘s two goals, including the game-winning goal 8:28 into the first overtime, helped the Providence Bruins secure a 2-1 victory over the Syracuse Crunch and even the Eastern Conference Final series at one game apiece.
Ben Thomas opened up the scoring for the Crunch just 1:26 into the game. Mathieu Brodeur took a slap shot on Bruins goaltender Zane McIntyre, and the rebound came right to Thomas, who was left alone in the slot and buried the shot to put Syracuse up 1-0. Tye McGinn received the second assist on the Thomas’ goal.
For most of the opening period, the Crunch kept Providence hemmed in their own end and forced most of the action, but good Bruins defense kept the shot margin at 11-6 through the opening 20 minutes.
The Bruins offense came to life in the middle stanza, however, They were doing a good job testing Mike McKenna and getting pucks in deep. Jordan Szwarz tied the game for the Bruins with 3:13 remaining in the second period after Danton Heinen hooked him up with a nice centering pass in the crease. Tommy Cross received the second assist on Szwarz’s first goal.
Both teams had their scoring chances in the third period. McIntyre’s big save in came when he stopped a Crunch breakaway chance. McKenna on the other end stopped the Bruins scoring chances and the game headed to overtime.
Wayne Simpson made the pass to Szwarz from the right wing corner. Szwarz skated the puck and took a wrist shot that went past by McKenna for his second of the night and the game-winning goal 8:28 into overtime. It was Szwarz’s fifth goal of the playoffs. Heinen picked up his second assist of the night.
Bruins goaltender Zane McIntyre made 29 saves in the win, which was also his 14th straight postseason start. Crunch goaltender Mike McKenna made 34 saves in the loss.
The series now shifts to Syracuse for the next three games. Game three will be played on Wednesday night with the puck drop at 7 PM.