For the third game in a row, the Charlotte Checkers could not find a way to finish a game in regulation. The Checkers jumped out to a 3-1 advantage in a wild first period, but were unable to hold on to the lead, could not solve Rockford goaltender Alec Richards over the next two frames or the overtime period, and would need the shootout to complete the 4-3 victory over the Icehogs. The win extends Charlotte’s point streak to four games (3-0-1-0).
Rockford opened the scoring in the first on a delayed penalty call. The Icehogs were able to maintain control of the puck on the delayed call for almost a full minute before defenceman Brian Connelly fired a shot from the point past goaltender Mike Murphy.
Just 36 seconds later, Zach Boychuk fed the puck to Matt Pistilli on a two-on-one and Pistilli converted his seventh goal of the season to tie the game at one apiece. Chris Terry and Jerome Samson added first period goals to give the Checkers a 3-1 lead. Samson’s goal, his 13th of the season ties him with Jon Matsumoto for the team lead in goals and extends his current point streak to four games (3G, 1A). Defenceman Bobby Sanguinetti picked up an assist on Samson’s goal, giving him five assists in six games since returning from injury.
It was a second period of missed opportunities for the Checkers as they failed to convert on two powerplay chances against the worst penalty kill in the league and then gave up a late goal to Rockford’s Peter LeBlanc to go into the second intermission tied at 3-3.
Mike Murphy kept Charlotte in the game in the third period and the overtime, making a tremendous save with just 4 seconds left in the extra period to send the game to a shootout. Murphy stopped all three of the Icehogs’ attempts in the shootout, securing the extra point and the win for the Checkers. He has now stopped 12 of 13 shootout attempts on the season. Though the Checkers were unable to get a puck past Rockford goaltender Alec Richards after the first twenty minutes tonight, they had his number in the shootout. Charlotte’s first three shooters, Chris Terry, Justin Krueger, and Cedric McNicoll, all scored on their shootout attempts.
The Checkers jump right back into action tomorrow afternoon against the Chicago Wolves. Stay tuned in the morning for the Game Day Preview.
Topics: Alec Richards, Andrew Shaw, Brian Connelly, Carolina Hurricanes, Cedric McNicoll, Charlotte Checkers, Chicago Wolves, Chris Terry, Jerome Samson, Jon Matsumoto, Justin Krueger, Matt Pistilli, Mike Murphy, Peter LeBlanc, Zach Boychuk