Fueled by two-point games from forwards Zac Dalpe and Zach Boychuk, the Charlotte Checkers pulled out a third period comeback that allowed them to steal an all-important victory from division rival Milwaukee Admirals. The win extends the Checkers’ lead over the Admirals to four points. Prior to last night’s game, the Admirals had not lost to an opponent this season when taking a lead into the third period.
Zac Dalpe opened up the scoring for the Checkers in the first period just a couple minutes after Kyle Wilson had given Milwaukee a 1-0 lead. Dalpe picked up some loose change around the net and pushed the puck past goaltender Anders Lindback, making it a 1-1 affair.
The Checkers would take their first lead of the game in the second when Nicolas Blanchard was also able to pop a rebound past Lindback at 7:09 for his fourth goal of the season. Two quick second period goals by Milwaukee’s Taylor Beck and Chris Mueller would then send the Admirals into the second intermission with a 3-2 lead.
Cue the third period and the Checkers’ Zac(h) attack.
Zac Dalpe’s game tying goal, his second of the evening, came 9:01 into the third frame. Dalpe picked off a pass at the Admirals’ blueline and turned and fired the puck at the net, surprising Lindback. Just twenty seconds later, Matt Pistilli forced a turnover that resulted in a two-on-none break where he would feed Zach Boychuk for the game-winner.
Defenceman Derek Joslin is making the most of his conditioning stint in Charlotte. In his two games since assignment from the Carolina Hurricanes, Joslin has picked up three assists and has been seeing valuable minutes, particularly on the powerplay. Two of his three helpers have come with the man-advantage.
As he has been all season, goaltender Mike Murphy put in a solid effort in net for the Checkers, making 29 saves in the win. Murphy has carried the majority of the workload for his team, starting eight of the last nine games since the Hurricanes recalled Justin Peters in relief of the injured Brian Boucher.
Charlotte will wrap up their two-game road trip this afternoon at 4:00pm EST in Chicago. The game will be broadcast on WBCN 1660AM. In addition, both audio and video can be found on www.AHLLive.com or you can receive game updates on twitter by following @CheckersHockey.