The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins became the third team in the history of the American Hockey League to win a playoff series after losing the first three games when they defeated the Providence Bruins 5-0 Wednesday in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series.
Chad Kolarik's power-play goal 4:44 into the second period triggered a four-goal burst in a 13:41 span as the Penguins advanced to the Eastern Finals against the Syracuse Crunch, the top farm team of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender Brad Thiessen stopped 34 shots for his second shutout of the series after making 46 saves in a 2-1 overtime win in Game 6. Warren Peters, Adam Payerl and Zach Sill had the other second-period goals for the fifth-seeded Penguins. Trevor Smith, who had the overtime winner in Game 6, added an insurance goal with 4:35 left.
The Bruins, the top seed in the East after finishing first in the standings during the regular season, appeared to be cruising into the next round after defeating the Penguins 8-4 and 4-2 in Providence before a 2-1 overtime road victory in Game 3. But the Penguins won 3-1 and 4-0 at home before pushing the series to the limit with the overtime victory in Game 6 at Providence.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton joined the 1960 Rochester Americans (vs. Cleveland) and the 1989 Adirondack Red Wings (vs. Hershey) as the only teams in AHL history to win a best-of-7 Calder Cup Playoff series after losing the first three games. The Penguins are the first team to win Game 7 on the road and the eighth to win Games 6 and 7 away from home.
Providence forward Trent Whitfield was also a member of the 2010 Boston Bruins, who won the first three games of a Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers but lost in seven games to become the third team in NHL history to lose after leading 3-0.