CHARLOTTE, NC—The Charlotte Checkers broke out of a three-game slide in exciting fashion as they got goals from nine different players and downed the Gwinnett Gladiators, 9-4, on Wednesday evening in Uptown Charlotte.
Michel Leveille led the way with a goal and three assists while Andrew Carroll, Aaron Slattengren, Tyler Doig and Matt Schepke each recorded a goal and two assists. Kevin Schaeffer, Julien Brouillette, Daniel Tkaczuk and Kenny Roche rounded out the scoring for the Checkers, whose nine goals were the most by the team since a 10-3 victory over Wheeling on Oct. 20, 2006.
Slattengren opened the scoring for Charlotte, just over four minutes into the game, on a rebound down low before Gwinnett tied it 22 seconds later.
From there, Gwinnett would take a 2-1 lead as Matt Siddall broke in alone, took a shot at Checkers goaltender Miika Wiikman and buried his own rebound.
The Checkers then tied the game on a slap shot by Brouillette and, with less than two minutes to play in the period, Gwinnett took the lead again on a slap shot of its own.
The second frame was all Charlotte as the team tied an ECHL season-high with five goals in a period.
Carroll started the action when he tipped home a Leveille point shot at 2:21. Schaeffer then recorded his second goal of the season on a wrist shot from the point to put the Checkers ahead 4-3. Gwinnett would tie it up midway through the period, however Charlotte added three more, on goals by Leveille, Roche and Tkaczuk, and headed into the locker room up 7-4 after 40 minutes of play.
Just under five minutes into the third, Charlotte increased its lead to four as Matt Schepke, who was set up behind the Gwinnett net, fed a pass to Tkaczuk who tucked it home for his seventh of the season. Tkaczuk was returned to the team from Hartford (AHL) prior to the game and now has 20 points (7g, 13a) in 13 games for the Checkers.
Doig then scored with less than three minutes to play to cap off a run of five unanswered goals and the Checkers cruised to a 9-4 victory.
Wiikman (8-2-2) stopped 27 of 31 shots for his eighth victory of the season and the Checkers kept pace with Florida, who also won tonight, for second spot in the competitive South Division.
The Checkers (19-13-4-0) will travel to Gwinnett Saturday before returning home to host the Kalamazoo Wings on Sunday. Game time is 2 p.m. and ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com.
Notes: Andrew Carroll has five goals and three assists in his last five games…Miika Wiikman has only two regulation losses in 13 games this season (8-2-2)…Aaron Slattengren has nine points (4g, 5a) in his last seven games…Tyler Doig ranks fifth in ECHL scoring with 42 points (10g, 32a)…T.J. Reynolds leads all ECHL defensemen with 151 penalty minutes, and is second in overall ECHL plus-minus with a +20 rating…The Checkers are 11-3-1 in their last 15 home games…Derek Couture remains on loan to Hartford (AHL) while Matt Ford and Randy Rowe are with Lake Erie (AHL)…Trevor Glass, Chris Snavely and Chris Chappell are on the 21-day injured reserve.
Gwinnett Gladiators 4 At Charlotte Checkers 9 - Status: Final
Jan 13, 2010 - Time Warner Cable Arena
Gwinnett 3 1 0 - 4
Charlotte 2 5 2 - 9
1st Period-1, Charlotte, Slattengren 5 (Schepke), 4:26. 2, Gwinnett, Higgins 1 (Lawrence), 4:48. 3, Gwinnett, Siddall 12 (Berti), 5:38. 4, Charlotte, Brouillette 8 (Tkaczuk, Dowzak), 14:09. 5, Gwinnett, Zanoski 18 (Mifsud, Marchesi), 18:33. Penalties-Marchesi Gwt (hooking), 9:41; Mifsud Gwt (hooking), 16:22.
2nd Period-6, Charlotte, Carroll 16 (Leveille, Brouillette), 2:21 (pp). 7, Charlotte, Schaeffer 2 (Carroll), 8:01. 8, Gwinnett, Higgins 2 (Brocklehurst, Miller), 10:05 (pp). 9, Charlotte, Leveille 13 (Carroll, Doig), 12:47. 10, Charlotte, Roche 16 (Leveille, Doig), 17:00. 11, Charlotte, Tkaczuk 7 (Schepke, Slattengren), 18:55. Penalties-Roberts Gwt (holding), 1:27; Schaeffer Chr (hooking), 9:55.
3rd Period-12, Charlotte, Schepke 11 (Harder, Slattengren), 4:49. 13, Charlotte, Doig 10 (Dowzak, Leveille), 17:05. Penalties-Berube Chr (cross-checking), 6:23; Chabot Chr (hooking), 12:37; Galivan Gwt (fighting - major), 15:16; Marshall Chr (fighting - major), 15:16.
Shots on Goal-Gwinnett 11-6-13-30. Charlotte 17-14-9-40.
Power Play Opportunities-Gwinnett 1 of 3; Charlotte 1 of 3.
Goalies-Gwinnett, Brown 5-7-1-0 (40 shots-31 saves). Charlotte, Wiikman 8-2-1-1 (30 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Nick Krebsbach (8).
Linesmen-Mathieu Chenier (71), Terry Wicklum (98).