Carolina Hockey Snags Hat Trick


It was elation multiplied by three Friday night as the Carolina Hurricanes, along with their AHL and ECHL siblings, all claimed victories. It is the first time the Canes, Checkers, and Everblades won on the same night since December 28, 2010. Another crazy fact, each team won last night in a 3-2 victory. Apparently, a full moon over the southern state is a good omen.

The Charlotte Checkers won their contest in a 3-2 shootout in Bridgeport against the Sound Tigers. Chris Terry had another first-rate game. Terry earned a goal and assist during regulation. He also joinedZac Dalpe and Jon Matsumoto in finding the net past Nathan Lawson during the close shootout.

Matsumoto scored the other regulation goal. Each team had one extra-man goal in their six power play opportunities.

Michael Murphy gets his 21st win with 35 stops.

Checkers traveled to Syracuse for their 7:30pm match with the Crunch tonight. Syracuse is second to last in the Eastern Division while the Charlotte boys hold on to 3rd in their division and 5th in the Eastern Conference.

Let’s move east to Raleigh where the Canes gained two lovely points…

I sound like a broken record, but it was the Cam Ward show again. The Canes’ goalie made 35 stops. The New York Islanders were on Ward like hounds on a furry critter. Particularly, the Isles’ rookie Michael Grabner at the RBC Center on Friday night. Ward made three mind-blowing saves with those go-go gadget extremities in just the first five minutes of the contest.

Grabner leads rookies with 29 goals. He claimed goal and assist in regulation. However, the infamous Canes’ rookie leads all newbies with 51 points (25 goals & 27 assists).

J.Skinny (Credit: Chris O'Meara - AP)

Jeff Skinnermade Caniacs proud in Friday’s rookie showdown. #53 got the Hurricanes on the board with a tip-in from Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu with 3:26 remaining.

J.Skinny was also responsible for the pass resulting in the much-anticipated, game-winning shot from Joni Pitkanen. He held the puck and made a patient pass to the defenseman (who joked in the locker room after the game that he just decided to take a shot).

Mike Maniscalco on 99.9FM The Fan made an appropriate observation, “Skinner has a knack for big moments.” His skills are as awe-inducing as his contagious smile. Alright, that’s not really a statistical hockey observation, but it’s my post and I’ll crush when I desire.

I would be ashamed to leave out third star of the night, Erik Cole. He had the 2-2 draw at 15:23 in the third. His slap shot from Cory Stillman was his 20th goal of the season.

It was far from a flawless game for the Carolina Hurricanes, but it was a dynamite two-point win. Canes are now tied with the Buffalo Sabres with 76 points in the Eastern Conference standings. Next game is Tuesday with last place Ottawa Senators.

Last, but not least, the Florida Everblades. They had a regulation 3-2 win over the Gwinnett Gladiators. It didn’t appear to a victory after the first twenty as Gwinnett stole two goals in the final minutes.

Bobby Raymond brought the Blades within one on a rebound from David Fischer during an extra-man opening. The Gladiators went 0-for-6 on their power play chances.

Alex Imbeaultwas awarded Bud Light’s first star of the game with a pair resulting in the Everblades come from behind win. Imbealt is leading his team with 33 goals this season.

Bobby Goepfert rounded off the Carolina goalies’ success last night with 45 saves. The goalie took second star of the night. Murphy, Ward, and Goepfert made 115 saves collectively between the posts Friday.

All in all, one extraordinary night of hockey for the Carolina family. A huge congrats to all three teams.

Tags: Alex Imbeault Bobby Ge Bobby Raymond Buffalo Sabres Cam Ward Canes Carolina Hurricanes Charlotte Checkers Chris Terry Cory Stillman David Fischer Erik Cole Florida Everblades Gwinnett Gladiators Jeff Skinner Jon Matsumoto Joni Pitkanen Jussi Jokinen Michael Grabner Michael Murphy Nathan Lawson Ottawa Senators Sound Tigers Tuomo Ruutu Zac Dalpe