CHARLOTTE, NC—The Charlotte Checkers badly outshot the Cincinnati Cyclones 34-15 but unable to walk away with the win as they were downed, 5-3, for just the second time in the last 11 home games.
It was a night of firsts – Cincinnati made its first ever trip to Time Warner Cable Arena, defenseman Tysen Dowzak scored his first ever professional goal and injured blueliner Chris Snavely called his first ever radio broadcast. Just hours prior to the game, Miika Wiikman was traded by the New York Rangers to the Phoenix Coyotes leaving the Checkers without a backup goaltender for the evening. Charlotte broadcaster Jason Shaya then suited up in a backup role while Snavely replaced him in the radio booth.
Cyclones goaltender Jeremy Smith stopped 31 of 34 shots while Ryan Munce made 11 saves in a losing effort. The two teams would exchange goals seven times before the night was over.
Cincinnati opened the scoring just over seven minutes into the game on a shorthanded goal by Barret Ehgoetz. Scott Reynolds chipped the puck past a Checkers defender at the far blueline and Ehgoetz broke in alone on Munce beating him with a shot that trickled between the legs and in for his 21st of the season.
Charlotte, still with the man advantage, would tie it up a minute later on a beautiful tic-tac-toe play by Steve Ward, Michel Leveille and Kenny Roche, who was returned to the Checkers from Hartford (AHL) earlier in the day. Leveille took a pass from Ward down low and redirected the puck cross-crease to Roche who tapped it into the net past a sprawling Smith.
The Checkers held a 15-3 advantage in shots through 20 minutes of play and carried the play for the most part.
Early in the second period, however, the Cyclones took their second lead of the game when forward Ryan Del Monte took a pass in the slot and beat Munce glove side off the post and in.
Charlotte then evened the score at 2-2 midway through the period on a strange goal by Matt Schepke. Cyclones goaltender Smith dove out of his net and poked the puck away from Andrew Carroll onto the stick of Schepke who then fired it into the top corner of the wide open net.
Late in the period, Cincinnati took the lead for the third time in the game on a goal by Ian McKenzie but the Checkers tied it again two minutes later. Roche took a shot from the high slot and Dowzak was on the doorstep to stuff home his first ever professional goal.
With less than six minutes to play in the third period, Charlotte was assessed a delay of game penalty and the Cyclones went to work on the power play. Cincinnati cycled the puck down low before it made its way to Maxime Lacroix in the slot. Lacroix made no mistake and beat Munce high over the glove with a wrist shot for the game-winner. The Cyclones would add an empty-net goal to escape with a 5-3 victory.
The Checkers (30-20-6) will return home on Wednesday, Mar. 3 to host Cincinnati. The puck drops at 7 p.m. and ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com.
Notes: The Checkers are 8-2-1 in their last 11 home games…Kenny Roche has a four-game point streak (2g, 6a)…Ryan Munce is 7-4-1 in his last 12 games…Andrew Carroll leads the team with 23 goals and ranks tied for fifth among all ECHL rookies…T.J. Reynolds leads the ECHL with 235 penalty minutes and leads the Checkers with a +20 rating…Julien Brouillette and Derek Couture are up with Hartford (AHL), Ethan Graham is with Texas (AHL) while Matt Ford and Randy Rowe are with Lake Erie (AHL)…Codey Burki, Chris Chappell, Trevor Glass and Chris Snavely are on the 21-day injured reserve.
Cincinnati Cyclones 5 At Charlotte Checkers 3 - Status: Final
Mar 3, 2010 - Time Warner Cable Arena
Cincinnati 1 2 2 - 5
Charlotte 1 2 0 - 3
1st Period-1, Cincinnati, Ehgoetz 21 (Reynolds), 7:09 (sh). 2, Charlotte, Leveille 15 (Ward, Roche), 8:15 (pp). Penalties-DiDiomete Chr (tripping), 0:32; Reynolds Cin (hooking), 4:56; Kilpatrick Cin (slashing ), 11:03; McKenzie Cin (fighting - major), 13:41; DiDiomete Chr (fighting - major), 13:41.
2nd Period-3, Cincinnati, Del Monte 7 (Robinson), 2:24. 4, Charlotte, Schepke 20 (Tkaczuk, Roche), 8:59. 5, Cincinnati, McKenzie 2 (Motherwell, Reynolds), 16:23. 6, Charlotte, Dowzak 1 (Roche, Taylor), 18:26. Penalties-Benson Cin (instigating, fighting - major), 0:46; Reynolds Chr (boarding, fighting - major), 0:46; Robinson Cin (high-sticking), 5:15; Lacroix Cin (tripping), 10:00; Del Monte Cin (slashing ), 18:55.
3rd Period-7, Cincinnati, Lacroix 13 (Motherwell, Ehgoetz), 15:27 (pp). 8, Cincinnati, Ehgoetz 22 (Lacroix), 19:05 (en). Penalties-Reynolds Chr (hooking), 2:33; Jozsa Cin (roughing), 10:58; Dowzak Chr (roughing), 10:58; Reynolds Chr (closing hand on puck), 14:19.
Shots on Goal-Cincinnati 3-6-6-15. Charlotte 15-14-5-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Cincinnati 1 of 3; Charlotte 1 of 5.
Goalies-Cincinnati, Smith 19-12-0-2 (34 shots-31 saves). Charlotte, Munce 15-13-1-1 (14 shots-10 saves).
Referees-Steve Patafie (29).
Linesmen-Paul Reid (97), Mark Hamlett (81).