The Charlotte Checkers took on the Houston Aeros tonight for their third and final game of the weekend after winning back-to-back games against the Oklahoma City Barons Friday and Saturday night. Tonight the Checkers relied on Riley Nash to place the game-winner behind net minder Matt Hackett with 34 seconds remaining.
Despite missing six players due to being called up and another four to injury, the Checkers were able to win their fifth straight game, tying franchise history for longest win streak. Zac Dalpe started things off by netting his ninth point in the past five games to get the Checkers on the board at 4:26 after a 2-on-1 opportunity with Justin Shugg. Through the rest of the first the Checkers were able to contain the Aeros and maintain their one-goal lead despite the Aeros leading 10-8 on the shot clock.
Houston would tie things up in the second period as Brett Sutter found himself in the box for a two-minute minor for high sticking. Kris Foucault banging in the loose puck out in front to tie it up early on in the period. The play got chippy as the seconds ticked away and resulted in a Sutter and Mara brawl at center ice. Mara would go on to get a game misconduct along with the fighting major for leaving the bench. The game went into the final frame tied at 1 a piece and shots in favor of Charlotte 23-19.
Matt Beca and Schmitz seemed to have a good thing going early on in the final frame, but Hackett easily shot them down and despite strong efforts from the entire team the game was sent to overtime with Muse saving 23 shots. It would take until the final 34 seconds for the Checkers to score as Riley Nash lit the lamp behind Hackett to instill the fifth-win in a row for Charlotte. Not bad for a team that was on board for a 7-hour bus ride last night, arriving at 5am in the local area of Houston.
The Checkers head back home to take on the Grand Rapids Griffins Wednesday with the puck dropping at 7pm.
- Goaltending: John Muse made his season debut with the Checkers in between the pipes as Dan Ellis got called up and signed a one-year contract with the Hurricanes today. In his debut he turned away all but one of the 25 shots he faced and earned his first Charlotte Checkers victory. Matt Hackett saved 33 of the 35 shots thrown his way tonight, earning his team a point in the overtime loss.
- Shots on Goal: Charlotte 8-14-11-2 (35) Houston 10-9-5-2 (26)
- Power Play Opportunities: Charlotte 0/3 Houston 1/5
- Three Stars of the Game: