GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – The Charlotte Checkers scored early and often, en route to a 5-1 victory over the Adirondack Phantoms on Friday evening in Glens Falls, N.Y.
Five different goal scorers contributed to the offensive outburst for Charlotte, who snaps a four-game losing streak with the win.
Jon Matsumoto burned his former team with three points (1g, 2a), including the game-winning goal, in his first game against the Phantoms since signing with the Carolina Hurricanes over the summer. Mike Murphy had another strong game for the Checkers, making key saves when called upon and stopping 31 of 32 shots for his second win of the season.
The Checkers fired eight shots at Phantoms goaltender Johan Backlund in the first five minutes and jumped out to an early 2-0 lead.
Just 24 seconds into the game, Jiri Tlusty, a former first-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs, beat Backlund off the far post with a snap shot from the right wing circle. Matsumoto and Oskar Osala drew the assists on the goal which came on the game’s first shot.
The Checkers would add to their lead minutes later as Matsumoto tipped a Casey Borer shot through the legs of Backlund. Osala picked up the secondary assist, his second of the period.
Shortly after Eric Wellwood pulled the Phantoms within one, Jacob Micflikier restored the two-goal lead for the Checkers. Micflikier grabbed a rebound in the crease from a shot by Jerome Samson and buried it with 40 seconds left in the period.
Checkers assistant captain Nick Dodge then capitalized on the first shot of the second period at the 1:08 mark. While short-handed, Dodge picked up the puck his own blue line and broke down the ice on a two-on-one. Using Blanchard as a decoy, Dodge hammered a slap-shot short-side on Backlund to extend the Charlotte lead to 4-1.
Less than seven minutes into the second period, Zach Boychuk would make it 5-1 with his third of the season. Matsumoto took a shot from the slot which was kicked out by Backlund to Boychuk, who made no mistake and tucked it home. Samson picked up the other assist on the goal at the 6:50 mark of the period.
Mike Murphy was solid the rest of the way and the Checkers cruised to a 5-1 victory.
The Checkers (2-5-0) will travel to Manchester to face the Monarchs on Sunday afternoon. Fans can watch or listen to the game by heading to www.ahllive.com beginning at 3 p.m. The next home game will be Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. when the Checkers will host the Portland Pirates. Ticket information can be obtained by calling 704-342-4423 or visiting www.gocheckers.com.
Notes: The Checkers’ home opener was the largest crowd in Charlotte hockey history and is the second largest crowd in the AHL this season (12,512)…Jerome Samson has four goals in his last six games and leads the AHL with 41 shots on goal…Jon Matsumoto leads the Checkers with nine points (3g, 6a)…Zack FitzGerald was handed his 1,000th career penalty minute on Friday.
Charlotte Checkers 5 at Adirondack Phantoms 1 - Status: Final
Friday, October 22, 2010 - Glens Falls Civic Center
Charlotte 3 2 0 - 5
Adirondack 1 0 0 - 1
1st Period-1, Charlotte, Tlusty 1 (Matsumoto, Osala), 0:24. 2, Charlotte, Matsumoto 3 (Osala, Borer), 3:30. 3, Adirondack, Wellwood 3 (Lehtivuori, Gustafsson), 14:09 (PP). 4, Charlotte, Micflikier 3 (Samson, Boychuk), 19:19. Penalties-Bourdon Adk (holding), 7:26; FitzGerald Cha (roughing), 13:31; Holmstrom Adk (slashing), 14:13; Bourdon Adk (holding), 17:14.
2nd Period-5, Charlotte, Dodge 1 1:08 (SH). 6, Charlotte, Boychuk 3 (Matsumoto, Samson), 6:50 (PP). Penalties-Osala Cha (slashing), 0:59; FitzGerald Cha (high-sticking), 2:17; Bourdon Adk (tripping), 5:08; Marshall Adk (interference), 5:48; served by Nash Cha (bench minor - unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:20; FitzGerald Cha (misconduct), 17:30; Maroon Adk (misconduct), 17:30; Osala Cha (cross-checking), 17:58.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Testwuide Adk (boarding), 5:43; Rinaldo Adk (cross-checking), 9:07; Tlusty Cha (slashing), 10:48; FitzGerald Cha (interference), 12:30; FitzGerald Cha (roughing), 15:04; Legein Adk (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:04; Boychuk Cha (high-sticking), 15:11; Kennedy Cha (hooking), 17:29; Borer Cha (cross-checking), 18:54.
Shots on Goal-Charlotte 18-7-15-40. Adirondack 8-11-13-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Charlotte 1 / 8; Adirondack 1 / 10.
Goalies-Charlotte, Murphy 2-2-0 (32 shots-31 saves). Adirondack, Backlund 2-4-0 (40 shots-35 saves).
Referees-Chris Cozzan (18), David Banfield (44).
Linesmen-Frank Murphy (29), Steeve Lemay (64).