The Charlotte Checkers headed into tonight’s game looking for their third straight win overall and against the Oklahoma City Barons. Despite Brett Sutter putting the Checkers on the board early on, the Barons went on to dominate the Checkers 7-3.
Brett Sutter opened the scoring up for the Checkers at 7:39 after Justin Shugg created the power play opportunity to earn himself and Chris Terry the assists. However, the Barons answered right back as Philippe Cornet was able to find a way past the Checkers defense and put the puck past Peters to tie the game at one a piece. Just one minute later the Checkers found a way to regain their lead, Luke Pither finding his way, reinstating the Checkers lead before the halfway point of the first frame. The two teams battled back and forth, the Barons tying thigns back up with just under five minutes remaining, and then regained the lead off of a power play goal after Shugg went to the box for hooking.
The second period opened up with a big hit from Tim Wallace on Colten Teubert, causing Teubert and Bellemore to tussle, instilling a 5-on-3 advantage for Oklahoma, an advantage that pushed them further ahead. With the two-man advantage Johnathan Cheechoo capitalized just a few seconds in, putting the Barons up 4-2 early on in the second. It was at this point that John Muse would enter the game to relieve Justin Peters, in hopes of preserving the game and keeping any shot the Checkers had in winning. With eleven minutes remaining the Barons netted another goal thanks to Rajala and another less than a minute later from VandeVelde. Wit just over half of the period remaining the Checkers trailed 6-2. Chris Terry was able to pull them a goal closer as he capitalized on the power play, but that would be the final goal of the period, sending the Checkers into the locker room with a 3-goal deficit to overcome.
The Checkers were able to hold the Barons off for the first part of the period, but at 8:16 Marc Arcobello dug the hole even deeper for Charlotte to climb out of. The Checkers battled hard and tried to find a way to get the pucks to the back of the net, but the Barons were prepared and dominated the scoreboard as they defeated the Checkers by a final margin of 7-3.
The Checkers next game is February 9 for Charlotte’s Pink in the Rink where they will host the San Antonio Rampage.
- Goaltending: Justin Peters allowed four goals by him before being replaced by John Muse in the second period. Muse went on to allow three, but stopped the other 13 shots he faced. Meanwhile, Niko Hovinen allowed just three goals to push the Barons to a 7-3 victory.
- Shots on Goal: Charlotte 8-13-10 (31) Oklahoma 18-12-7 (37)
- Power Play Opportunities: Charlotte 2/4 Oklahoma 2/6
- Three Stars of the Game:
- Jonathan Cheechoo (Oklahoma)
- Mark Arcobello (Oklahoma)
- Philippe Cornet (Oklahoma)