TOLEDO, OH—The Charlotte Checkers forced overtime with a late third period goal but were edged, 6-5, in the extra frame by the Toledo Walleye on Saturday evening.
Michelle Leveille led the way offensively with a career-high five points and his four assists fell one shy of a Checkers single-game record. Leveille now has nine points on a current four-game streak. Ryan Munce outperformed his Toledo counterpart with 45 saves but was unable to get the win.
Munce was solid in the first frame stopping all 16 Toledo shots, including a flurry of scoring chances late in the period.
Early in the second, Toledo opened the scoring on a goal by Akim Aliu who was sent down by Rockford (AHL) earlier in the day. Akiu let go a wrist shot from the left side that trickled in just over the goal line for the 1-0 lead.
The Walleye went ahead by two, 44 seconds later, when Mike Hedden wrapped the puck around the net, picked up his own rebound and stuffed it home for his 15th of the season.
Charlotte would then break out with four goals in an 11-minute span beginning with a tally by defenseman T.J. Reynolds. Leveille broke in alone, was stopped by Pearce but managed to pass the puck back to Reynolds, who one-timed it into the back of the net for his fifth of the year.
Four minutes later, defenseman Ryan crane took a pass from Leveille in the high slot, stepped around a Toledo defender and fired the puck low on the glove side for his fifth.
The Checkers then took their first lead of the game with less than four minutes to play in the period. Leveille took advantage of a Toledo miscue at the blueline and made a nifty move before dishing the puck to Aaron Slattengren. Slattengren let a shot go and Matt Schepke was on the doorstep to bang home the rebound.
Charlotte went ahead by two with 29 seconds left in the period when Leveille beat a Walleye defender 1-on-1 with a toe drag and let a shot go that was stopped by the Toledo goaltender. Andrew Carroll, who scored the shootout-winning goal the night before, was parked in the crease and stuffed home the rebound for his team-leading 24th of the season.
Early in the third period, Toledo scored two goals 20 seconds apart before taking a 5-4 lead on Aliu’s second of the game with only three minutes to play in the game.
With time winding down, Leveille picked up the rebound off a Matt Stefanishion shot and beat Pearce between the legs for his second goal in as many nights and fifth point of the game. The goal came with just 41 seconds to play and set the stage for overtime.
In the overtime period, the Checkers had a chance to win, however a Toledo defenseman swiped the puck out of the crease as it was rolling toward the goal line. Then, with six seconds to play, Chris Robertson broke in alone on Munce and beat him on the blocker side for the overtime game-winner.
The Checkers (31-20-7) will continue their road trip tomorrow in Toledo before returning home on Thursday, Mar. 11 to host Gwinnett. The puck drops at 7 p.m. and ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4-ICE or visiting www.gocheckers.com. Season tickets for the inaugural 2010-11 AHL season are now on sale and 40-game packages start as low as $200.
Notes: Michelle Leveille is currently on a four-game point streak (2g, 7a)…Andrew Carroll leads the team with 24 goals and ranks tied for first among all ECHL players with three shootout-winning goals…T.J. Reynolds leads the ECHL with 239 penalty minutes and leads the Checkers with a +18 rating…Julien Brouillette and Derek Couture are up with Hartford (AHL), Kenny Roche is with Providence (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.
Charlotte Checkers 5 At Toledo Walleye 6 (OT) - Status: Final OT
Mar 6, 2010 - Lucas County Arena
Charlotte 0 4 1 0 - 5
Toledo 0 2 3 1 - 6
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Slattengren Chr (roughing), 7:27; Rankin Tol (interference on the goalkeeper), 7:43; Taylor Chr (tripping), 7:56; Danis-Pepin Tol (boarding), 11:07; Stefanishion Chr (holding), 13:04; Peralta Tol (interference on the goalkeeper), 13:52; Smith Tol (cross-checking), 15:49; Reynolds Chr (hooking), 18:34; Peralta Tol (interference), 19:39.
2nd Period-1, Toledo, Aliu 1 (Robertson, Piche), 1:47. 2, Toledo, Hedden 15 (Keefe, Danis-Pepin), 2:31. 3, Charlotte, Reynolds 5 (Leveille, Taylor), 8:50. 4, Charlotte, Crane 5 (Leveille, Slattengren), 12:41. 5, Charlotte, Schepke 21 (Schaeffer, Leveille), 16:31. 6, Charlotte, Carroll 24 (Leveille, Slattengren), 19:31. Penalties-DiDiomete Chr (fighting - major), 6:19; Danis-Pepin Tol (fighting - major), 6:19; MacMillan Tol (hooking), 6:53; Marshall Chr (holding the stick), 8:05; Carroll Chr (roughing, roughing), 20:00; Robertson Tol (roughing, roughing), 20:00.
3rd Period-7, Toledo, Tanguay 22 (Smith, Sawyer), 6:57 (pp). 8, Toledo, Keefe 1 (MacMillan, Hedden), 7:17. 9, Toledo, Aliu 2 (Danis-Pepin, Smith), 16:57 (pp). 10, Charlotte, Leveille 16 (Stefanishion, Slattengren), 19:19. Penalties-Schepke Chr (hooking), 5:23; Chabot Chr (fighting - major), 13:46; Piche Tol (fighting - major), 13:46; DiDiomete Chr (unsportsmanlike conduct, unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:29.
OT Period-11, Toledo, Robertson 14 (Aliu), 4:54. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 8-9-9-2-28. Toledo 16-12-17-6-51.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 0 of 6; Toledo 2 of 7.
Goalies-Charlotte, Munce 16-13-2-1 (51 shots-45 saves). Toledo, Pearce 12-13-1-0 (28 shots-23 saves).
Referees-Keith Kaval (20).
Linesmen-Cilint Evans (32), Ray King (39).