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Final piece in place

The final piece of the 2006 Calder Cup Playoff puzzle fit into place on Sunday afternoon when the Providence Bruins dropped a 7-3 decision to the Lowell Lock Monsters at the Tsongas Arena.

The loss prevented the Bruins from overtaking idle Manchester in the Atlantic Division standings. Providence finishes fourth, and will take on the Portland Pirates in the first round of the playoffs; the Monarchs hold onto third place and will meet the Hartford Wolf Pack when the postseason gets underway on Tuesday night.

Schedules for all eight division semifinal playoff series can be found here.

The Lock Monsters scored three goals in a span of 74 seconds midway through the second period to break Sunday’s game open. Brad Zancanaro scored his first two career AHL goals, Keith Aucoin also scored twice and David Gove and Chris Hajt each picked up three assists.

Manchester limped into the final weekend of the regular season with three regulation wins in its previous 26 games, but swept a home-and-home from Lowell to get to 93 points.

Providence was on a 13-5-0-2 run before dropping Sunday’s finale.

Elsewhere on Sunday:

  • Kirby Law and Erik Westrum tallied a goal and an assist each and Patrick O’Sullivan recorded three assists as Houston defeated Iowa, 5-3
  • Denis Hamel tied an AHL record with his 27th power-play goal of the season, but Stephen Gionta scored with 42 seconds remaining to give Albany a 5-4 win in Binghamton
  • Jeff MacMillan and Ben Simon scored on their shootout attempts to lift Syracuse past Toronto, 5-4
  • Brandon Prust scored with 55 seconds left as Omaha snapped an eight-game winless skid with a 4-3 win in San Antonio