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Bruins, Aeros lock up playoff berths

Ben Guite recorded a goal and an assist in the third period as Providence clinched a berth in the 2005 Calder Cup Playoffs with a 3-1 win over Worcester on Friday night.

The loss effectively ended the IceCats’ 11-year run in Worcester. The Cats close out the season with home games on Saturday and Sunday, and then the team, which will miss the postseason for the first time since 1995, will move to Peoria next season.

Guite’s goal, 60 seconds into the third, was his ninth of the season and proved to be his fourth game-winner. He then set up David Gove‘s goal at the 4:04 mark.

Patrice Bergeron also scored for the Bruins, who qualify for the playoffs for the seventh year in a row. Hannu Toivonen made 24 saves.

Jay McClement had the only goal for the IceCats.

Providence will finish fourth in the Atlantic Division and face either Manchester or Hartford in the division semifinals, beginning next Friday night.

HOUSTON 5, CHICAGO 2
Brent Burns scored two goals during a three-goal third period as Houston wrapped up a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs with a 5-2 win over Chicago.

Mark Cullen added a goal and an assist, and Mike Smith made 17 of his 36 saves in the third period.

The Aeros will open the postseason with a West Division semifinal series against either Chicago or Milwaukee.

Elsewhere on Friday:
Niklas Kronwall recorded a goal and two assists as Grand Rapids kept its playoff hopes alive with a 4-3 win over Cincinnati… Matt Stajan scored two goals and an assist and David Ling scored twice in the shootout as St. John’s edged Edmonton, 5-4… Peter Sarno registered two goals and three assists as Manitoba kept pace with the Maple Leafs with a 7-2 win over Cleveland… Joel Bouchard and Layne Ulmer scored 55 seconds apart late in the third period to give Hartford a 4-2 win over Albany… Joni Pitkanen recorded three assists as Philadelphia beat Hershey, 4-1… Chris Bourque scored his first career professional goal at 2:04 of overtime, giving Portland a 2-1 win over Springfield… Matt Hussey and Shane Endicott scored late in the third as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton knocked off Norfolk, 2-0… Thomas Vanek picked up two goals and an assist to lead Rochester past Hamilton, 5-3… Brandon Bochenski had two goals and an assist and Jason Spezza added three assists as Binghamton rallied past Syracuse, 5-3… Cam Ward made 24 saves in Lowell’s 4-1 win over Manchester… Erik Westrum recorded a goal and two assists to pace Utah past Milwaukee, 4-1.