Zac Dalpe (Photo Credit: Jeff Willhelm via Charlotte Observer)

The Charlotte Checkers: Filling the Void

The ending of the Carolina Hurricanes regular season left a void in the hearts of many caniacs. It’ll be a long wait until fans can once again watch that Finn…what’s his name? Or the joy of watching young…who is it…rhymes with sinner. After Friday’s jaw-dropping win, the Charlotte Checkers have not only filled the hockey void in our hearts, but distracted us completely from our Carolina Tornados, er, Storms…whoever.

Nick Dodge (Photo Credit: Jeff Willhelm via Charlotte Observer)

The Time Warner Cable Arena tried to contain over 6,000 fans that drove from all over the state to witness the unbelievable come-from-behind victory of the Hershey Bears. The Checkers shot five consecutive pucks past Brian Holtby to eventually win the contest 5-3.

The Charlotte boys found themselves trailing by three by the second period. Steve Pinizzotto started the trio with early goal from Kane in the first. Hershey continued to dominate into the second with goals by Mathieu Perreault and Andrew Carroll. You could hear a pin drop in the arena.

Cue conquering Checkers.

Brett Sutter led the charge with a goal line penetrator with less than three minutes in the second. Dalpe and Boychuk were the helpers in the successful sequence.

The Bears were all dressed up with nowhere to go in the final period. Zach Boychuk gained an extra-man goal, his third goal of the playoffs. Keeping with the power-playless trend, it would be the only power-play goal for either team despite the combined thirteen opportunities. (Checkers 6, Bears 7)

Osala (2), Dodge (3), and Bowman (2) all followed the triumphant suit in the third. Drayson Bowman also had two assists in addition to his empty netter. Oskar Osala claimed second star of the night for his draw inducing goal and two helpers. Nick Dodge took first star for his game-winning goal.

Michael Murphy continues to thrive between the pipes since returning from his injury just three games ago. He swallowed 32 shots Friday evening.

The victory was one forged from a Hollywood script. It was the perfect send off as the Checkers head north for game six while leading the series 3-2.

On a total side note, my virtual stalking of Zac Dalpe may now come to a satisfying conclusion. I was able to shake Dalps’ hand, exchange some Buckeye love (I mean that in a completely G-rated way), and tell him what a killer he has been in the playoffs. Anyone from OSU is good people. I was not disappointed. I’m sure we’ll be exchanging broken halves of a friendship heart upon our next meeting.

Let’s Go Checkers!

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Tags: AHL Brett Sutter Brian Holtby Calder Cup Charlotte Checkers Drayson Bowman Hershey Bears Michael Murphy Nick Dodge Oskar Osala Zac Boychuk Zac Dalpe

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