CHARLOTTE, NC—The Charlotte Checkers killed a four-minute penalty in overtime then made good with their ninth player in the shootout as they edged the Elmira Jackals, 2-1, on Wednesday evening in Upstate New York.
With the win, the Checkers match a season-best five-game win streak and sweep the season series with Elmira (3-0-0). Charlotte has now picked up points in seven straight games (6-0-1) and opens up a two point lead over Florida, with a game in hand, for second place in the division and fourth in the conference.
Special teams were a factor as the Checkers did not allow a power play goal against an offense that includes three of the top six scorers in the ECHL.
Ryan Munce stopped 35 of 36 shots for his fifth win in a row and now ranks third among all ECHL goaltenders with 21 wins. David Urquhart scored the lone goal in regulation, his first as a Checker
Urquhart got the Checkers on the board first when he one-timed a pass from Steve Ward through traffic and past Jackals goaltender Julien Ellis. Michel Leveille picked up the other assist and the goal came at the 14:58 mark of the first period.
Midway through the second period, Munce lost his glove in a scrum and Urquhart was forced to intentionally knock the net off its moorings, resulting in a penalty. On the ensuing power play, the league’s leading scorer, Tyler Donati fed a pass over to Thomas Beauregard who had a wide open net. Munce, however, dove across and shut the door for one of many impressive saves on the night.
Late in the second, Elmira would tie the game on an odd-man rush. Donati and his brother Justin broke into the Charlotte zone on a 3-on-2 with Chaz Johnson. Justin Donati let a shot go and Johnson was there to fire the rebound past a helpless Munce.
With one minute to play in the game, the Checkers were assessed a double-minor high-sticking penalty which would extend three minutes into the overtime frame. Charlotte killed the entire penalty on several key saves by Munce and, after a scoreless two minutes of even-strength play, the two teams prepared for a shootout.
Aaron Slattengren, Leveille and Matt Schepke scored in the first three rounds of the shootout but Elmira eventually tied it on three of their own. Munce and Ellis forced a ninth round of shooters before defenseman Kevin Schaeffer ended it with a wrist shot to the top corner.
The Checkers (36-20-7) will travel to Reading tomorrow before returning on Friday to host Trenton. 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 6-0-1 in their last six games and 11-2-1 in their last 14 at home…Ryan Munce has won five straight games, is 6-0-1 in his last seven starts and ranks third in the ECHL with 21 wins…Matt Schepke leads the team with a +19 rating and is tied with Andrew Carroll for the team lead in goals with 24…Carroll 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.
Charlotte Checkers 2 (SO) At Elmira Jackals 1 - Status: Final SO
Mar 17, 2010 - First Arena
Charlotte 1 0 0 0 - 2
Elmira 0 1 0 0 - 1
1st Period-1, Charlotte, Urquhart 1 (Ward, Leveille), 14:58. Penalties-Lepine Elm (holding the stick), 2:35; Turner Elm (tripping), 3:32; Doig Chr (hooking), 8:55; Slattengren Chr (roughing), 10:49; Berube Chr (fighting - major), 13:58; Lowry Elm (fighting - major), 13:58.
2nd Period-2, Elmira, Donati 36 (Donati, Johnson), 18:07. Penalties-Turner Elm (interference), 0:57; Urquhart Chr (delay of game - restricted area), 10:14; Proulx Elm (interference), 14:18.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Carroll Chr (double - roughing), 4:47; Dowzak Chr (instigating, fighting - major), 4:47; Connolly Elm (double - roughing), 4:47; Johnson Elm (fighting - major), 4:47; Lepine Elm (fighting - major, game misconduct - aggressor), 4:47; Slattengren Chr (interference), 7:43; Anderson Elm (roughing), 10:42; Tifu Elm (hooking), 13:51; Slattengren Chr (high-sticking - double), 19:00.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout - Charlotte 4 (Slattengren G, Leveille G, Schepke G, Stefanishion NG, Carroll NG, Hendrikx NG, Taylor NG, Chabot NG, Schaeffer G), Elmira 3 (Dansereau NG, Donati NG, Beauregard G, Donati G, Korchinski G, Tifu NG, Proulx NG, Connolly NG, Johnson NG).
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 15-9-6-4-1-35. Elmira 10-16-7-3-0-36.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 0 of 7; Elmira 0 of 4.
Goalies-Charlotte, Munce 21-13-2-1 (36 shots-35 saves). Elmira, Ellis 15-8-1-1 (34 shots-33 saves).
Referees-Joe Sullivan (4).
Linesmen-Ray King (39), Matt Macpherson (83).