Providence Bruins, Springfield Falcons Clinch AHL Playoff Berths, Fighting for Top Seed in Conference

Ryan SpoonerIt’s been quite a hockey season in New England, and the on-ice success is not exclusive to the Bruins or Hockey East squads.

The boys down on the farm — the AHL squads — are also finding their share of success this season. That’s something that hasn’t always been the case in the past, either.

Both the Providence Bruins and the Springfield Falcons clinched postseason berths over the weekend, something that’s been a rarity for both in past years.

Providence clinched its first postseason berth since 2009 on Friday when the P-Bruins defeated the Albany Devils in Albany. The Baby B’s also seem poised to wrap up the Atlantic Division title soon, as they enter Monday holding a 12-point lead over the Portland Pirates.

On the same night Providence made the playoffs, Springfield clinched its first postseason appearance since 2003, although they did so with a loss. A day later, the Falcons wrapped up their first division title since the 1997-98 season when they beat the Portland Pirates 4-2 in Portland.

The Bruins (93 points) and Falcons (91 points) will now wrestle for the top seed in the Eastern Conference and all of the AHL. Providence holds the two-point edge over Springfield, as both look to hold off No. 3 Syracuse. The Texas Stars lead the Western Conference with 91 points.

Portland enters this week’s slate in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, while the Connecticut Whale currently sit No. 7, where they could be on a collision course for a first-round matchup with nearby Springfield.