CHARLOTTE, NC—The Charlotte Checkers battled back from a two-goal third-period deficit to force overtime and win, 5-4, in a shootout over the Gwinnett Gladiators on Thursday evening.
David Marshall recorded his first career hat trick and Andrew Carroll scored his league-leading fourth shootout-winning goal of the season. Ryan Munce stopped 36 shots for his third win in four tries while Gladiators goaltender Danny Taylor stopped 33 of 37 in a losing effort.
The Checkers opened the scoring midway through the first period on a goal by Matt Stefanishion. David Urquhart, who was assigned by Hartford (AHL) earlier in the day, fired a shot off the post and Stefanishion was there to one-time the rebound home for his 17th of the season.
Gwinnett would even the score seven minutes later on an unlucky play for Charlotte. Matt Caruana let a shot go from the right side wall that deflected off of teammate Michael Forney and past Munce.
Early in the second period, Gwinnett forward Adam Berti was awarded a penalty shot when he was hauled down on a breakaway, however Munce was there to shut the door and keep the game tied at 1-1.
Charlotte took its second lead of the game just minutes later while working with the man advantage. Stefanishion one-timed a pass by Steve Ward toward the net and Marshall tipped it between his legs and past Taylor for the 2-1 lead.
With time winding down in the period, the Gladiators scored two quick goals, 45 seconds apart, to take a 3-2 lead. Forward Tim Miller beat Munce with a low slap shot before Scott Mifsud banged home a rebound from a scrum in the crease.
Gwinnett would add another, midway through the third, before the Checkers scored to cut the deficit in half. Tyler Doig fed a saucer pass to Marshall in the slot who then broke in alone on Taylor. Marshall faked a shot and backhanded the puck into the top corner to make it a 4-3 game.
Charlotte trailed with less than a minute to play in the game and pulled Munce for the extra attacker. Stefanishion carried the puck into the Gladiators’ zone and, with two defenders on him, made a great pass to Marshall in the slot to keep the play alive. Marshall made no mistake as he skated in, faked and this time put a forehand shot into the top corner for the hat trick and game-tying goal.
Both goalies were solid in the overtime frame, stopping the flurry of scoring chances from either side and setting the stage for a shootout.
In the shootout, Aaron Slattengren potted his signature low-blocker wrist shot before Mifsud evened the score. The remaining shooters were unable to score and it came down to the last shooter for Charlotte, Carroll, who skated in and beat Taylor high blocker side for the dramatic win.
The Checkers (33-20-7) will next host Gwinnett on Saturday for “Pink in the Rink”. 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: The Checkers are 9-2-1 in their last 12 home games…David Marshall has four goals in the last two games…Matt Schepke leads the team with a +18 rating…Michelle Leveille has nine points (2g, 7a) in his last six games…Andrew Carroll leads the team with 24 goals and leads the ECHL with four shootout-winning goals…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.
Gwinnett Gladiators 4 At Charlotte Checkers 5 (SO) - Status: Final SO
Mar 11, 2010 - Time Warner Cable Arena
Gwinnett 1 2 1 0 - 4
Charlotte 1 1 2 0 - 5
1st Period-1, Charlotte, Stefanishion 17 (Tkaczuk, Urquhart), 10:08. 2, Gwinnett, Forney 11 (Caruana, Francis), 16:50. Penalties-Roberts Gwt (tripping), 17:11; Taylor Chr (roughing), 19:20.
2nd Period-3, Charlotte, Marshall 17 (Stefanishion, Ward), 5:37 (pp). 4, Gwinnett, Mifsud 17 (McLean, Galivan), 18:04. 5, Gwinnett, Mifsud 18 (Youngclaus, Galivan), 18:49. Penalties-served by Gwt (head-butting (attempt) - double), 0:00; Francis Gwt (delay of game), 4:41; Francis Gwt (tripping), 7:57; Fritsch Gwt (closing hand on puck), 11:44; Filangieri Gwt (high-sticking), 19:42.
3rd Period-6, Gwinnett, Roberts 10 9:19 (pp). 7, Charlotte, Marshall 18 (Doig), 14:04. 8, Charlotte, Marshall 19 (Doig, Stefanishion), 19:37. Penalties-Paris Gwt (holding), 3:10; Leveille Chr (high-sticking, high-sticking), 7:35.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Forney Gwt (fighting - major), 0:05; Berube Chr (fighting - major), 0:05; Munce Chr (interference), 4:21.
Shootout - Gwinnett 1 (Zanoski NG, Galivan NG, Mifsud G, Francis NG, Paris NG), Charlotte 2 (Slattengren G, Marshall NG, Leveille NG, Stefanishion NG, Carroll G).
Shots on Goal-Gwinnett 12-14-10-4-0-40. Charlotte 9-12-12-4-1-38.
Power Play Opportunities-Gwinnett 1 of 4; Charlotte 1 of 6.
Goalies-Gwinnett, Taylor 17-12-2-2 (37 shots-33 saves). Charlotte, Munce 17-13-2-1 (40 shots-36 saves).
Referees-Jarrod Ragusin (28).
Linesmen-Mathieu Chenier (71), Paul Reid (97).