CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Goaltender Barry Brust was the difference, stopping 32 shots, as the Binghamton Senators blanked the Charlotte Checkers, 3-0, in front of more than 9,800 rowdy fans.
The shutout was Brust’s fourth of the season, tying him with Peoria’s Jake Allen for the league lead. Mike Murphy made 26 saves in a losing effort for the Checkers and for the first time this season was handed back-to-back regulation losses. The teams will meet again tomorrow at 3 p.m.
Binghamton opened the scoring, less than five minutes into the second period, with a tic-tac-toe play on the power play. Derek Smith took a pass from leading scorer Corey Locke and fed Kaspars Daugavins, who was parked at the right post and tapped it home.
Forward Brett Sutter tried to swing the momentum when he dropped Binghamton penalty minute leader Francis Lessard with a hit. Lessard took exception and the two were handed fighting majors. The Checkers went on the attack but Brust stood strong to keep his team ahead by one.
The Senators then went ahead, 2-0, on forward Ryan Keller’s 10th of the season. A defensive breakdown in the Checkers zone resulted in a scramble in front of the net. Charlotte netminder Mike Murphy made three stops before Keller chipped it in at 10:51 of the second period.
Early in the third period, Binghamton winger Mike Hoffman beat a defender and skated in on a partial break. He faked a shot and beat Murphy over the blocker to make it 3-0 Senators. The unassisted goal came at the 4:13 mark of the period and was enough to seal the victory.
Charlotte tested Brust in the final minutes but the Binghamton backstop shut the door.
The Checkers (19-11-4) will host Binghamton again tomorrow at 3 p.m. Get four tickets, four hot dogs, four Cokes and a Coke coupon for just $55 plus Ticketmaster fees. Call 704-342-4423 or head to www.gocheckers.com for more information.
NOTES: Zac Dalpe scored his first NHL goal for Carolina tonight in a 6-3 win over New Jersey… Jacob Micflikier has eight points (4g, 4a) in his last seven games…Jon Matsumoto seven points (4g, 3a) in his last seven games...Mike Murphy was handed consecutive losses for the first time this season…9,868 was the highest attendance at a Checkers game since opening night (12,512).
Binghamton Senators 3 at Charlotte Checkers 0 - Status: Final
Saturday, January 1, 2011 - Time Warner Cable Arena
Binghamton 0 2 1 - 3
Charlotte 0 0 0 - 0
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Bass Bng (holding), 6:33; FitzGerald Cha (interference), 11:18; Osala Cha (interference), 17:45.
2nd Period-1, Binghamton, Daugavins 8 (Smith, Locke), 4:44 (PP). 2, Binghamton, Keller 10 (Locke, Greening), 10:51. Penalties-FitzGerald Cha (interference), 4:13; Lessard Bng (fighting), 7:59; Sutter Cha (fighting), 7:59; Butler Bng (high-sticking), 18:43.
3rd Period-3, Binghamton, Hoffman 4 4:13. Penalties-Butler Bng (slashing), 9:32.
Shots on Goal-Binghamton 11-12-6-29. Charlotte 4-12-16-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Binghamton 1 / 3; Charlotte 0 / 3.
Goalies-Binghamton, Brust 11-11-1 (32 shots-32 saves). Charlotte, Murphy 9-5-2 (29 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10).
Linesmen-Mike Sheehan (90), Alex Stagnone (7).