15 teams in, 5 to go

The Providence Bruins clinched a berth in the Calder Cup 2004 Playoffs with a 2-1 overtime win over Portland on Wednesday night, putting them in the postseason for the sixth year in a row and 10th time in 12 seasons of existence.

And despite their 4-3 loss to the Rochester Americans, the first-year Toronto Roadrunners wrapped up a playoff berth on Wednesday as well, making 15 teams locked into the field of 20.

Rich Brennan scored a power play goal with 22 seconds remaining in the overtime period to give the Bruins the victory. Providence is still three points behind Worcester for third place in the Atlantic Division. Matt Herr had a goal and an assist and Tim Thomas made 16 saves for the B’s.

Toronto got in when St. John’s dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to Syracuse. The Maple Leafs, who needed to win out the stretch to overtake the Roadrunners, took a two-goal lead into the final six minutes of regulation, but the Crunch got goals from Derrick Walser and Shawn Limpright to tie the score before Walser won it 25 seconds into OT.

The Roadrunners are locked into fifth place in the North Division, and will travel to either Cleveland or Rochester for the best-of-three divisional qualifying series.

The Amerks got a pair of goals from Jason Botterill in their 4-3 win over Toronto. Rochester is currently third in the North, one point ahead of Cleveland.

Elsewhere on Wednesday:
Hershey moved to within one point of fifth place in the East Division with a 4-2 win over Albany, as Peter Budaj stopped 21 of 23 shots and Agris Saviels and Mikhail Kuleshov scored 36 seconds apart in the second period… Ilya Bryzgalov made six of his 38 saves in overtime to help Cincinnati tie Cleveland, 2-2… Pavel Rosa scored two goals and assisted on another, all but locking up the AHL’s scoring title in Manchester’s 6-1 win over Springfield… Serge Payer scored with 2:05 left in the third to give Binghamton a 2-2 tie with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton; the Penguins locked up third place in the East Division with the point… Worcester spread the offense around as 11 players recorded a point in a 5-2 win over Hartford… Steve Maltais scored with seven seconds left to give Chicago a 4-3 win over San Antonio… Milwaukee became the first team to reach 100 points this season as Scottie Upshall scored twice in a 3-1 win over Utah, eliminating the Grizzlies from playoff contention.