DULUTH, GA—The Charlotte Checkers fell behind by two goals in the first period and could not bounce back as they were edged 2-1 by the Gwinnett Gladiators on Saturday evening.
The Checkers outshot Gwinnett 36-15 but Gladiators netminder David Brown stopped all but one en route to his fourth win in eight tries against Charlotte. Charlotte now has a 7-4-2 record in 13 games against their division rival.
Coming into the game, the Checkers were on a four-game win streak and had picked up a point in six straight games (5-0-1). Gwinnett held the ninth spot in the American Conference and were five points away from the eighth and final playoff spot.
Just a minute and a half in, the Gladiators opened the scoring on the game’s first shot. Defenseman Chad Denny forced a turnover down low in the Checkers end and wrapped the puck around and in past Charlotte goaltender Ryan Munce for the early 1-0 lead.
With less than seven minutes to play in the period, Gwinnett went to work on the power play and doubled their lead. Phil Youngclaus sent a pass from the right corner to an open Tim Miller in the slot. Miller made no mistake, blasting the puck into the empty cage for his 10th of the year.
Charlotte carried the play in the second period, however Brown continued to dominate, stopping 16 shots to maintain the two-goal lead. The Checkers had three opportunities with the man advantage but were unable to get on the board.
Charlotte held a 24-10 shot advantage through 40 minutes of play but a 2-0 disadvantage on the scoreboard.
The third period was no different as the Checkers outshot and outplayed Gwinnett but were unable to get one past Brown until the final minute when Daniel Tkaczuk broke the shutout attempt. Tkaczuk grabbed the rebound from a David Marshall shot and lifted it over the stacked pads of Brown for his ninth of the season. The goal came with seven seconds to play in the game and the Checkers were unable to complete the comeback.
The Gladiators mustered a season-low 15 shots on net but Brown was the difference and they walked away with the 2-1 victory.
The Checkers (28-16-6) will host the Toledo Walleye on Thursday for the ‘Midnight Game’. Puck drops at 11:59 p.m. and ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com.
Notes: Charlotte is 5-1-1 in its last seven games…the Checkers lead the ECHL with 35.85 shots per game…Mike Taylor is currently riding a four-game point streak (1g, 4a)…goaltender Ryan Munce is 5-1-1 in his last seven games…Julien Brouillette ranks fifth among all ECHL defensemen with 30 points (12g, 18a)…Tyler Doig ranks fourth among all ECHL players with 56 points (14g, 42a)…T.J. Reynolds leads the ECHL with 202 penalty minutes and is second in overall plus-minus with a +22 rating…Andrew Carroll, Derek Couture, Kenny Roche and Kevin Schaeffer are with Hartford (AHL), Matt Ford and Randy Rowe are with Lake Erie (AHL) and Ethan Graham is with Milwaukee (AHL)…Trevor Glass, Chris Snavely and Chris Chappell are on the 21-day injured reserve.
Charlotte Checkers 1 At Gwinnett Gladiators 2 - Status: Final
Feb 13, 2010 - The Arena at Gwinnett Center
Charlotte 0 0 1 - 1
Gwinnett 2 0 0 - 2
1st Period-1, Gwinnett, Denny 7 1:31. 2, Gwinnett, Miller 10 (Youngclaus), 13:51 (pp). Penalties-Reynolds Chr (fighting - major), 3:37; Miller Gwt (fighting - major), 3:37; Paris Gwt (tripping), 4:06; Leveille Chr (interference), 12:52.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Crane Chr (slashing ), 0:39; Stefanishion Chr (roughing), 3:43; Forney Gwt (high-sticking), 3:43; Miller Gwt (hooking), 6:22; Denny Gwt (slashing ), 9:39; Stefanishion Chr (interference on the goalkeeper), 12:05; Francis Gwt (high-sticking), 19:01.
3rd Period-3, Charlotte, Tkaczuk 9 (Marshall, Slattengren), 0:07. Penalties-Chabot Chr (tripping), 10:30; Hurley Gwt (roughing), 15:09.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 8-16-12-36. Gwinnett 4-6-5-15.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 0 of 5; Gwinnett 1 of 4.
Goalies-Charlotte, Munce 13-10-1-1 (15 shots-13 saves). Gwinnett, Brown 7-10-2-0 (36 shots-35 saves).
Referees-Jarrod Ragusin (28).
Linesmen-Alex Stagnone, David Jones (57).