The Providence Bruins on Sunday were less than a minute away from closing out the weekend on a high note with a come-from-behind win in their third game in three nights.
Instead, the Springfield Thunderbirds scored twice in the last minute of regulation time to tie the game, then won on a power-play goal in overtime. It was a defeat that left a sour taste after the P-Bruins showed great resilience by rallying in the third period to take the lead.
Providence came away from the weekend with three out of six points.
They probably deserved a better fate in Friday’s 2-1 home loss to Bridgeport after they outshot the Sound Tigers, 44-26. In a rematch on the road on Saturday, the P-Bruins scored a goal in every period in a 3-1 win.
On Sunday, Providence had a 5-3 lead in the final minute before Springfield’s Owen Tippett (19:19) and Alexei Saarela (19:51) scored to force OT. Saarela’s power play goal with 1:40 left in extra time sent the T-Birds home with a W.
“We have a group over here that’s certainly trying their hardest and (is) perhaps a little fatigued. Then you have a group over there that’s excellent offensively,’’ said Providence coach Jay Leach.
“You’re going to get these games. These two teams always have entertaining games. Some nights they’re fun to be a part of and some nights, like tonight, they’re not.’’
Here’s the good, bad and ugly.
— Trent Frederic was a standout all over the ice on Saturday with a goal and two assists.
— Newcomer Brett Ritchie had a strong weekend. He scored twice in Bridgeport and did a good job screening the goalie on Peter Cehlarik’s goal on Sunday.
— Paul Carey and Brendan Gaunce scored two goals each on Sunday.
— With three assists on Sunday, Jack Studnicka snapped a streak of nine straight games without a point.
— Zach Senyshyn had gone 12 games without a point before earning an assist on Sunday.
— Josiah Didier had to be helped to the dressing room after blocking a couple of shots in the second period in Bridgeport, but he returned for the third period.
— The P-Bruins outshot Bridgeport, 19-4, but scored only once in the third period of Friday’s loss.
— Late goals were a problem on Sunday. Springfield scored with 1:55 left in the first period, with five seconds left in the second, and then with 41 seconds and with 9 seconds left in the third.
— Providence had 56 seconds of five-on-three in the third period on Friday but couldn’t score. The power play is 22nd in the AHL at 15.7 percent.
— With points at a premium in the Atlantic Division, giving up two goals in the last minute of regulation, then losing in overtime, is a tough way to end a weekend.
— Providence is 8-10-1-1 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Only Bakersfield and San Jose have worse home records.
— Injured: Jakub Lauko, Cameron Hughes, Robert Lantosi